The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School Global Equity Fund is managed by 19 students in the school’s part-time MBA and Master of Finance programs. The global fund was established in 2009 and holds investments primarily in companies outside the United States.
The limited-enrollment fund gives students the chance to research companies and manage and invest money from the school’s endowment fund. The fund managers’ goal is to outperform the MSCI All Country ex US Index, though it’s equally important that each member learns the processes by which investment decisions are made in a professional asset-management setting.
In a course that meets once per week for an entire year at the Smith School’s Washington, D.C. campus in the Ronald Reagan building, students gain unparalleled financial knowledge and skills, including asset management exposure, quantitative portfolio management experience, and financial modeling skills. They develop skills using and applying tools from Smith’s extensive suite of financial databases and information systems.
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. Participants are chosen through an application process and selected on several criteria including analytical abilities and communication and leadership skills.