Senior Business Fellows take first place in portfolio competition

The Elon Business Fellows student investment team took first place in the RISE portfolio competition in Dayton, Ohio March 30-April 1. Elon took first place in the undergraduate equity blend class.

For the 2005-2006 academic year, the portfolio management team members were Tim Buckley, Adam Clontz, Chris Hickey, Jordan Kienzle, Gillian Murray, Sarah Murphy, and Brendan Reese. Dr. Wonhi Synn, professor of finance in the Love School of Business, is the faculty advisor for Elon’s portfolio management team. Clontz, Murray, and Kienzle are pictured above.

The annual RISE (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) Conference took place at the University of Dayton. Student portfolio management teams from 191 institutions representing 14 countries and the United States were invited to showcase their investment success in the areas of growth, value, blend, alternative and fixed income styles of management. Twelve-month risk-adjusted returns were used as the metric to identify the top portfolio team in each investment category at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Elon’s student-managed investment portfolio is run by a team of senior Jefferson Pilot Business Fellows responsible for investing a portion of Elon’s endowment in the stock market. These student managers inherited a strong portfolio from last year’s class and expanded upon it further to produce an aggregate 28 percent return in 2005, well above the 5 percent return on the S&P 500 over the same twelve-month period. These returns were good enough to warrant a first place standing in the undergraduate equity blend class. Equity blend refers to a style of management that includes both growth and value stocks within the portfolio allocation.

The RISE forum is a unique opportunity for students to meet and listen to top-tier investment professionals, many of whom work in major financial centers on Wall Street and in Chicago. Notable speakers included Dr. William Dudley and Richard Bernstein, both chief economists at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, and famed stock picker Elaine Garzarelli of Garzarelli Research, Inc. Keynote speakers at the conference were involved in the public sector as well, notably Michael Oxley, congressman from Ohio who co-wrote the monumental Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in 2002, and former Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans.