Sunday, January 23, 2011

Student-Managed Endowment Fund Semiannual Report Available Online

As reported in the Fall 2010 Semi-Annual Report, students participating in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Student-Managed Endowment Fund (SMEF) program are actively managing six investments funds and the MBA Advancement Fund.  The total of the seven funds have a combined market value of more than $500,000.
In February of 2010, the program received an additional $100,000 donation from the Anne Hillenbrand family, which increased the assets under management in that fund to over $250,000.

In May of 2010, the program began managing a portfolio for the Wisconsin Family Business Forum. Like the Brinkman, Hillenbrand and College of Business Alumni Association funds, the earnings from the portfolio will be used to fund scholarships. This year, the WFBF will award two $500 scholarships.

The undergraduate students who participate in SMEF integrate the financial principles and theories taught in the classroom with their own research to make investment decisions.

Stephen P. Huffman, CFA, FRM, Professor of Finance
and 2010-2011 SMEF program faculty advisor
“The SMEF program sets the participants apart from other job candidates,” said Stephen P. Huffman, CFA, FRM, Professor of Finance and 2010-2011 SMEF program faculty advisor. “SMEF participants have real examples of managing money and working in a team when answering interview questions.”

Past SMEF program participant and College of Business alumni, Mike Riegelman (BBA ’02) has experienced several benefits throughout his career.

“Since each manager has very specific areas to research, one learns in a real-world setting how to manage an investment sector independent of overall market volatility,” said Riegelman. “That has been particularly important during the last decade as good investments have still performed in spite of a largely flat overall market.”

Riegelman was an active member of the SMEF team for both semesters during the 2001-2002 academic year when the program only had one fund with a market value of about $25,000.

“Since there are several managers, your brain learns how to adapt quickly to people countering your ideas and playing the devil’s advocate, which is critical in analyzing investments and making general strategic business decisions,” he added. An important distinction of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s SMEF program is that the students who participate in the program make all of the portfolio-related decisions.
“Working with real money makes all the difference in the world, “ said Riegelman.

The Fall 2010 SMEF class included 12 returning and four new students: Bryan Nudelbacher, Justin Rose, Aaron Spaulding, Brian Krieger, Clint Federer, Alex Lackore, Michael E. Johnson, Zachary Mersberger, Wesley Merk, Mark Truettner, Jon Bakovka, Michael R. Johnson, Luke Schroeder, Dave Fochs Jr., Garrett Van Wyk, and Phil Derge.

In addition to being responsible for developing, reviewing and revising investment policy statements and actively managing endowment portfolios by evaluating financial assets, implementing appropriate investment strategies and monitoring the portfolios, participants are also assigned specific market sectors to analyze. After a semester as an analyst in the program, students can apply to become fund manager. While still being responsible for a sector, fund managers are required to prepare reports that are used to manage and evaluate each the fund relative to its target asset allocation and composite benchmark. Fund managers provide analysts with direction in terms of the type securities that are over- or underweighted in each fund. 
“The difference between the SMEF program and a traditional class is that it is kept small enough to garner personal development,” said Riegelman. “It not only helps you as an individual, but it helps the community by creating scholarship opportunities.”
This spring, the program will celebrate its tenth year. Students will formally present the SMEF program holdings to donors, faculty and other community members at 7:30 a.m. April 21, 2011  in the Reeve Union Theatre.
The SMEF program semiannual report is available online at

For more information about the Student-Managed Endowment Fund, please contact Stephen Huffman, Professor of Finance, at (920) 424-7202 or or go to the program’s web site at

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