Equity management group's portfolio jumps by $500,000 in two years
Oct. 3, 2007
By Katie Taybus
A student-run investment firm based in Ohio University's College of Business tallied a 28 percent return on its investments in fiscal 2007, bringing the Student Equity Management Group portfolio's assets to $1.5 million, up from $1 million just two years ago.
The 20-plus members of the group each work 10 to 20 hours per week -- all extracurricular, all volunteer -- analyzing financial situations, researching and discussing company stocks and distributing investment information. Group members gain access to advanced equity research methods and high-end investment tools from their office in Copeland Hall.
SEMG has been responsible for managing and investing endowment funds since 2002 when The Ohio University Foundation provided $100,000 for the project. The foundation upped the ante in 2005, increasing the allocation to $1 million. Like other foundation assets, the group's profits go toward student scholarships and other university initiatives.
"Our performance is very important to us, but the real 'value add' is the opportunity to interact with other like-minded students and develop professional skill sets such as information-gathering and analysis, communication and argument, and teamwork and leadership," said Karl Ackerman, a senior finance and economics major and SEMG executive board member.
Ackerman -- one of a dozen students featured in Ohio University's new marketing campaign, "The Promise," which notes the group's accomplishment -- credits SEMG with providing an unparalleled experience. "We're able to apply the financial principles taught at Ohio University through real-life applications."
As a student-managed investment group, SEMG stands out from similar groups at other universities, which tend to be led by professors. "They are self-motivated and self-driven," said Natalie Chieffe, associate professor of finance and the group's adviser. "The concepts they discuss are the ones that intrigue them rather than what someone else told them to read."
After graduating, SEMG members often find themselves successfully competing with Ivy League students for jobs on Wall Street. Just ask Stephen Rice, a 2007 alum of the group. Rice recently took a position on Wall Street as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch's Technology Group.
"As student analysts, we were given the autonomy to run the group and as a result, we developed the confidence, maturity and knowledge base required to differentiate ourselves from the competition," he said.
Jennifer Hall contributed to this report.
Story updated Friday, Oct. 5, 2007 at 8:30 a.m. to correct photo caption.