College Park, Md. January 19, 2007 - A group of Robert H. Smith School of Business undergraduate and MBA students had the honor of ringing the bell to open trading on the New York Stock Exchange this morning. The students manage the Smith Schools two investment funds the Mayer Fund and the Lemma Senbet Fund and are in New York for an educational trip to meet with financial professionals.
The 9:30 a.m. bell-ringing ceremony was televised on CNBC and Bloomberg Television, as well as broadcast live on NYSEs Web site, www.nyse.com. A photo of the ceremony and additional information can be found at the NYSE Web site. Following the bell-ringing, the students took part in an educational seminar at the exchange.
The successful MBA-managed Mayer Fund, a $1.2 million portfolio, beat the S&P 500 index by 9 percent last year. The fund was established in 1993 and each year pays dividends to the Deans Office to benefit Smith School programs. Second-year full-time MBA students comprise the funds management team, two as portfolio managers and 10 as equity analysts. In addition, a member is responsible for technology and marketing for the fund.
The $50,000 Lemma Senbet Fund, modeled on the Mayer Fund, is managed by 10 undergraduate finance majors. Named for an esteemed Smith finance professor for his contributions to the school, the Senbet Fund launched this past fall as one segment of the Undergraduate Fellows Program. The fellows program is an initiative Smith introduced last fall to offer students participation in small-scale specialized academic concentrations, or tracks, that provide hands-on experience and close interaction with faculty, alumni, peers, and companies.
Like the Mayer Fund, Senbet Fund managers goal is to outperform the S&P 500. The undergraduate fund will also pay a dividend to the Deans Office each year. The New York Stock Exchange, operated by NYSE Group Inc., is the worlds largest and most liquid cash equities exchange where investors buy and sell listed companies common stock and other securities. Ringing the bell to open or close trading on the exchange is an honor usually reserved for representatives of listed companies or dignitaries.