College Park, Md. – July 22, 2009 – The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business announced the launch of the Global Equity Fund, to be managed by 10 finance students in the school’s part-time MBA and Master of Science in Business: Finance programs. The global fund will begin this fall and hold investments primarily in equity markets outside the United States.
The limited-enrollment fund gives students the chance to research companies and manage and invest from the school’s endowment fund. The fund managers’ goal is to outperform the Morgan Stanley Capital International World Index, with an equal emphasis on learning the processes by which investment decisions are made in a professional asset-management setting. With its unique focus on international markets, global fund team members will need to evaluate political and currency risk, analyze country and industry conditions, and implement stock-selection models. The fund will pay dividends to the Dean’s Office each year, to be invested in school programs.
“This fund offers our top students a real hands-on opportunity to understand the interconnectedness of global financial markets,” said G. “Anand” Anandalingam, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. “In applying what they’ve learned in their finance classes to actual investment decisions and managing real money, our students will gain a competitive edge as business leaders with analytical skills and a first-hand understanding of the evolving global financial landscape.”
The program is modeled after the Smith School’s successful Mayer Fund, a $2 million portfolio managed by full-time MBA students that consistently beats it benchmark, the S&P 500 Index. It is a follow-on to the equally successful undergraduate-managed Lemma Senbet Fund introduced in 2006.
In a course that meets once per week for an entire academic year at Smith’s Washington, D.C. campus at the Ronald Reagan Building, students gain unparalleled financial knowledge, including exposure to asset management and financial modeling. They use and apply tools in the Smith School’s Financial Markets Lab and develop leadership skills, all of which are particularly attractive to potential employers.
Participating students are assigned roles in operating the fund, either as portfolio managers or equity analysts specializing in a specific geographic area or industry such as technology or telecommunications. Applicants are selected based on several criteria including analytical abilities and communication skills. More information about the fund is available online.