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Student investment managers gain insight, experience at New York conference

Student investment managers gain insight, experience at New York conference

Students at the Quinnipiac GAME Conference
Oakland business students involved in the student-managed investment fund attended the seventh annual Quinnipiac GAME conference in New York.

Students in Oakland University’s Managing Investment Funds course (FIN 480/4900) packed their bags and headed to New York to learn at the seventh annual Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (GAME) VII Forum. Here, students from around the world networked with industry leaders, investment professionals, other students and faculty members from around the world to learn best investment management practices. 

The three-day conference gathered renowned finance experts, professionals, academics and students from around the world to discuss pressing issues facing investment professionals, interact with industry leaders, and learn best practices in investment management.

The first day consisted of keynote speaker panels where discussions covered a variety of topics such as global markets,corporate governance, the global economy, and investment strategy. Day two consisted of breakout panels and workshops. On the final day students explored career opportunities in the field.

“Getting exposed to the world capital of finance is motivating to students and that in itself makes the experience invaluable,” says Robert Uptegraff, Jr., special instructor of finance, who led the FIN 480 course in winter 2017. “The most respected financial industry professionals participated in the forum. Students could tailor their schedule so they attended sessions related to their career aspirations.”

Industry support for this innovative investment conference is very strong. Strategic partners The Hartford, LPL Financial and NASDAQ OMX Group are joined by 63 additional firms in providing more than 88 keynote speakers, panelists, workshop presenters and student managed portfolio competition judges. The nearly 1,600 participants represented 160 colleges and universities, 40 countries, 47 states, and 94 companies and organizations.

“My favorite part was the opportunity to learn from TV anchors on CNBC, Bloomberg and Morningstar,” says Jake McNeil, finance senior. “I also appreciated the chance to listen to investment bankers who are managing $300+ billion in assets talk about the market and different trends.”

Support from an anonymous donor helps make the trip possible for the Oakland students registered in the class.

“Attending the conference was extremely beneficial,” says finance major Anthony Munaco. “It gave me more of an insight to what a career in the investment industry would look like as well as a greater understanding of how to translate what I learn in the classroom to the real world.”

In addition to attending the conference, this marked the first year Oakland students could participate in the student-managed portfolio competition. After submitting a detailed overview of its portfolio, the OU team was one of 12 chosen to present its portfolio to a panel of Wall Street professionals who serve as judges. The presentation includes a history of the portfolio, investment philosophy, process, composition and performance.

“It was an honor for the Oakland team to be chosen to present at the forum,” adds Uptegraff. “Any school that offers a student managed investment fund for at least one year can submit to compete, but only 12 are selected.”

Oakland’s team was the only one in the competition responsible for managing a portfolio funded with real money. A key part of OU’s Managing Investment Funds course includes researching and preparing investment portfolio recommendations for The Kresge Foundation, which provides the $2 million that makes up Oakland’s student-managed investment fund.

The Quinnipiac GAME VII Forum continues to help students with their future endeavors.

“As a graduating senior, this trip helped me to grow into the financial advisor that I aspire to be,” adds McNeil. “Actually seeing Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, World Trade Center, Times Square and Central Park was a profound experience. Just being able to say I’ve been there builds my credibility. As I talk with different recruiters about relevant career opportunities, they respond very positively and always want to hear more when I mention the New York City trip.”

The Managing Financial Investments course (FIN 4900) is available for undergraduate business students with major standing and proper prerequisites. To learn more about the course, visit