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The 11 students in College of Business Professor Steven Huffman’s Student-Managed Endowment Fund (SMEF) course exemplify the unique opportunities that the college at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has to offer.

On April 21, these 11 students gave the SMEF spring presentation to an audience of about 75 captivated students, business professionals and professors. Students glided through the presentation showcasing how they have effectively managed more than $550,000 (as of March 31, 2011) throughout the past semester.

They took turns highlighting not only the growth of their six active funds, but also discussed the rationale for decisions with evaluation of the risk involved in each move. After the thirty-minute presentation, students were peppered with questions from their guests. Questions were not merely answered but concepts were expanded upon with ease.

Samantha Kops, senior, realizes the unique opportunities that the SMEF program offers.

“The experience you gain from the SMEF program really stands out on a resume and will help to keep you competitive in the large pool of candidates,” said Kops.

Students are divided into analysts for various sectors and each specific fund is appointed a fund manager. Though the class only meets once a week, students are constantly utilizing an online discussion board to stay up-to-date. They use Morningstar Direct software, which is the same software being used in the field today.

When a student sees an opportunity and would like to make a move, a presentation is compiled. The entire class then discusses and votes on the proposed move before any action is taken.

After the student presentation, Jeremy Whitish of the CFA Society of Madison, presented Huffman with a check for $500 to ensure students from UW Oshkosh continue to enter the Global Investment Research Challenge (GIRC). With the completion of its fifth year, the GIRC event saw more than 100 CFA Institute member societies hosting local competitions with more than 2,500 students from more than 500 participating universities worldwide.

When the COB moves to Sage Hall, the new academic building, this fall, SMEF students will have the opportunity to conduct their work in an actual Trading Room. The Trading Room will feature Bloomberg Terminals, LED displays and a stock ticker.

According to Huffman, having a trading room will allow students to remain competitive when they enter the job market and will reap benefits for more than just the students involved in SMEF. As the room was not originally part of Sage Hall plans, funds are currently being raised to cover the cost of these items.

For further information about the innovative program or to donate, visit the SMEF website.

Article by Katelyn Zima, student in the College of Business.

Amy Pinkston, College of Business, submitted this announcement. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.