The University of Georgia Foundation's investment committee voted unanimously to invest $750,000 from the foundation's endowment in the Student Managed Investment Fund as part of its long-term portfolio strategy. The foundation's investment will boost SMIF's capital from a balance of approximately $354,000 as of Aug. 31 to more than $1 million.
The program provides a platform for students who are interested in investing and/or careers as financial industry professionals to serve as investment managers for the foundation with responsibilities that require regular reporting of market values and reinvesting returns back into the portfolio.
"The foundation's commitment is a confirmation of the huge impact that SMIF is having on Terry/UGA students in setting them up for tremendous professional success," said Mitchell Reiner, chairman of the board of trustees for SMIF and COO of Capital Investment Advisors. "When we look at the companies in cities like Atlanta, New York and Chicago who are seeking the talent coming from SMIF combined with the student demand for the program, Terry College, the university, and the board of trustees all realize that we have something very special here."
The Student Managed Investment Fund was initiated in 2006 with a $100,000 gift from University of Georgia Foundation Trustee Darren DeVore and his wife, Pam, both of whom are 1986 UGA graduates. They wanted to give students practical experience through an opportunity to serve as actual investment managers versus learning about the financial services industry through hypothetical investment scenarios.
The program allows a group of UGA students to manage a UGA Foundation-owned investment fund. And since its inception, the returns students have achieved compare favorably to major Wall Street averages.
Through fiscal year 2015, the DeVores and other donors contributed a total of $250,000 to the fund, whose team has grown the balance by an average of 8.95 percent on an annualized basis since the fund's inception.
"I am extremely proud of the students who have participated in SMIF over the years and have done a great job researching and selecting quality investments that have enhanced the value of the fund," DeVore said. "Pam and I are elated to have been able to support SMIF from the beginning and I am grateful to my fellow trustees for voting to invest additional foundation funds in the program."
Student-managers will offer presentations to the Investment Committee recapping their investment strategies and providing an analysis of the fund's performance at three board meetings each year and will provide interim updates as needed.
"The SMIF team has brought some new and fresh investment ideas to the foundation and I am looking forward to working with them to help grow the long-term portfolio," said John Crawford, chair of the investment committee. "This is an outstanding opportunity for the SMIF students to prepare for a career in the financial services industry and to develop strategies for success both personally and professionally."
Annette Poulsen, the Billy Sterne Chair of Banking and Finance in the Terry College, is the faculty adviser for the Student Managed Investment Fund.
"We have 42 student managers on the team. Each year when we announce the application process, we have more than 150 of our top finance students apply for these positions," she said. "Any students who wish to participate for a second year in SMIF must reapply. The selection process is extremely competitive."