Centenary students attend national student investment conference

Centenary students and Dr. Barbara Davis at the 2017 G.A.M.E conference in New York City. Left to right: Preston LeJeune, Matthieu St. Romain, Annie Cohen, Loren Lepore, Jacob Mosher, Jessica Innes, Parker Bear, Cheredith Rhone, and Dr. Davis.

SHREVEPORT, LA – Centenary sent eight graduating seniors from the Frost School of Business to an international conference in New York City this spring. Students studying finance and investment with Dr. Barbara Davis attended the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) VII Forum and had the opportunity to interact with industry leaders in investment management at the event that attracted over 1,500 participants from 47 states and 45 countries.

“This professional program planned and administered by Quinnipiac University allows undergraduate and graduate finance and business students to participate in investment education with many of the leading financial investment professionals in the global financial markets,” explains Davis. “Many of these individuals are seen or read regularly in the financial news, so it’s a unique opportunity to see these professionals at a forum designed specifically to educate the upcoming financial leaders. Students have the opportunity to ask questions to the participants with responses delivered immediately to the entire forum.”

During the G.A.M.E conference, Centenary students attended keynote addresses focused on issues such as global markets, corporate governance, the global economy, and investment strategy. Keynote speakers at the 2017 conference included representatives from Bloomberg, FOX Business Network, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan, among many other national and international investment firms and industry experts.

Breakout panels and workshops allowed the students to dive deeper into topics such as portfolio management, social media in financial markets, real estate investment, ethical dilemmas in investment management, and agriculture finance. The second day of the conference was devoted to sessions highlighting different career opportunities in the finance and investment industry, including investment banking, asset management, and financial media and journalism.

“My experience at the G.A.M.E. conference was invaluable,” says recent graduate Jacob Mosher, now pursuing an MBA at Centenary’s Frost School of Business and working as a graduate assistant in the Business Office. “I learned what being a professional in the finance world is like from the perspective of its most experienced contributors. Most students chose to attend the panels about the hiring process in finance and accounting. It was incredibly helpful to learn about this process directly from portfolio managers and recruiting coordinators.”

Centenary is one of several colleges and universities in the country that sponsors a Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF), giving students hands-on training in finance and investment management. Centenary’s SMIF was established in 2004 with a $100,000 donation by a friend of the College. It is overseen by a board made up of College officials and local and regional financial managers, including several alumni. The board meets annually to review the fund’s progress, but all investment decisions are made by students enrolled in Centenary’s Investments series of courses, FIN 426: Investments, and FIN 460: Advanced Investment Theory and Analysis.

“In 2016, the Student Managed Investment Fund grew from $149,800 to a little over $163,000,” says Davis. “The year-to-date return of 8.8% beat the benchmark for 2016 by 229 basis points.  The benchmark is a combination of the S&P500 and the Barclay’s Aggregate and was 6.51% for the same period. Beating the overall benchmark by 229 basis points is rewarding. That’s the purpose of actively managed funds, to beat your target. Anytime the SMIF does that based on the student’ choices from previous years, the current group is pleased.”