CFA win

TCU Finance Students Take First Prize in Portfolio Managers Competition

The TCU Educational Investment Fund, managed entirely by students, was judged the best in the southwest in a competition sponsored by CFA societies. 

March 02,  2016

By Elaine Cole

The TCU team – one MBA and two undergrads – won the Portfolio Managers Competition at the Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium held at TCU February 27. The TCU team won over Baylor, Rice, Tulane and the University of North Texas to earn one of the top awards presented by CFA societies.  

“We wanted to win this for the EIF to prove that we're not only the oldest student-run investment fund in the nation, but also the best managed when it comes to people, processes and performance,” TCU MBA Varun Gadia said after the competition.

To qualify for the competition, student teams from throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico submitted reports detailing the investment style and performance of their student-managed fund. Five schools were selected to present to a panel of investment professionals, followed by Q&A.

The competition duplicates the presentations that investment firms make to compete for an account.

Gadia and teammates Patrick Hollinger and Claire Groves, undergraduate finance majors, represented the EIF in the competition.

“We worked hard and prepared a good presentation,” Hollinger said. “The judges commented that the Q&A portion of each presentation was heavily weighted when determining a winner. I felt that we did very well in Q&A, and this stemmed from our having a very deep understanding of our investment philosophy and process.” 

Groves said it was valuable for the team to win the competition “because it meant that the real-world lessons we have learned in the EIF are valued by industry investors.”

“The EIF at TCU is an exceptional learning place for both MBAs and undergraduates,” Gadia said. “We really work on our model valuations. We strive hard to drive value compared to our benchmarks and deliver superior results over the long term. Moreover, we work as a team in such a way that everyone grows and delivers.” 

Finance Professor Larry Lockwood, faculty advisor for the EIF, said the award is a tribute to the quality and prestige of the TCU Educational Investment Fund and the 1,000 alumni, dating back to 1973, who now oversee the management of billions of dollars in assets around the world.

“Pat, Claire and Varun did a great job explaining the EIF’s investment style and performance to the judges,” Lockwood said. “It’s intimidating defending positions and addressing real-world challenges to investment professionals with a large audience in attendance, but the TCU team stood out among the many schools in the southwest.”

The Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium is held each year on a different college campus. Student competitions are held in the morning, followed by a series of distinguished speakers and workshops. Keynote speakers for the 2015 symposium at TCU included Jim Hille, chief investment officer with TCU; Dan Meador, founding partner of Trinity Private Equity Group; and Lee Partridge, chief investment officer and managing director of Salient Partners. More than 140 investment professionals and students attended.