Welcome to the spring 2013 newsletter from the Carlson Funds Enterprise. Although we seem to be stuck in winter weather here in Minnesota, spring will be arriving at the CFE! Our new class of 2014 has been assigned business roles as well as their stocks and bonds, and will be joining us just after spring break. We welcome them and know they will bring the funds enterprise to a new level. They will "officially" take over the portfolio this summer after the Class of 2013 graduates in May.
Many of our class of 2013 students are still seeking full-time job opportunities in the Financial Services and Corporate Finance industries and our class of 2014 students are actively seeking summer internships. If you would like a copy of our resume book, please e-mail the CFE.
Class of 2013 Placements
Click chart for MBA and undergraduate statistics
CFA Exam Successes
We'd like to congratulate our students and alumni who successfully completed their CFA Level I exams this last December:
Reed DeLapp, CFIF '11
Joshua Reilly, CGF '08
James Thorson, CFIF '13
Carlson School Students Take First Place in CFA Research Challenge
Congratulations to the CFA Research Challenge team representing the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. CFE's own Ankesh Agarwala, from the Carlson Growth Fund, participated. The team took first place among 8 competitors including Bethel University, Minnesota State University - Moorhead, North Dakota State University, Saint Cloud State University, University of Minnesota University of Minnesota - Duluth, University of North Dakota and the University of Saint Thomas. Polaris was the case study. Way to go Ankesh!
Photo Courtesy of CFA Society MN
Comments from our students:
Equity markets continued to rally in February after a strong performance in January. Earnings have generally been positive so far this earnings season, which helped the Dow Jones Industrial Index to close the month above 14,000, and the current U.S. sequester seems not to have negatively impacted markets. Overall, the S&P 500 was up nearly 0.9% in February and was above 1500 for most of the month. The Carlson Growth Fund returned 1.01% in February, keeping in-line with our benchmark, the Russell 2000 Growth Index, which returned 1.06%.
Fixed Income Fund
The 10y Treasury market seems to have found a new trading range this year around 2%, after ending 2012 trading in the 1.5% to 1.8% range. As a result of rising yields, the Barclays Intermediate Gov/Credit index returned +0.12% YTD, while the Carlson Fixed Income Fund returned +0.13% YTD through February. Corporate spreads have remained steady in an improving economic environment, with broad corporate option adjusted spreads trading flat around 135bps.
- In December, CFIF had 4 out of 4 pitches approved.
- Increased mentor interaction: each analyst has had more interactions with his/her mentor in an attempt to gain insight into current industry best practices as the fund prepares for its spring pitches.
- Several analysts participated in a weekend long financial modeling seminar (Wall Street Prep) to gain additional skills that can be applied when analyzing companies.
- The class of 2013 has been working with the class of 2014 to get them up to speed earlier to ensure a seamless transition.
- The CFIF portfolio model has a new and improved quantitative attribution analysis that will provide more actionable insight into the drivers of the fund's performance.
Spotlight Event - CFE Social
This spring, the Funds Enterprise, in conjunction with the Carlson School Finance Club, will be holding a networking event in an effort to promote more alumni engagement and interaction with our students. We hope you can stop by and ask our students about the fund. See you there!
The CFE Mixer will be held on Wednesday, April 3, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Kieran's Irish Pub. Please visit our event site for more information and to register.
"Where are the Women?" Event Success
On February 13, 2013, the CFE hosted Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments, as keynote speaker of "Where are the Women? A Conversation on Gender Balance in Finance". Over 200 attendees had the opportunity to network, hear a dynamic national keynote speaker, and learn from a panel of knowledgeable financial professionals. The session, moderated by Roshini Rajkumar, provided an insightful discussion focused not only on gender balance in finance, but general career advice. Topics included how an inclusive workplace can benefit financial organizations, how firms are attracting female talent and how support systems enhance work/life balance. View the program guide online to see a list of our panelists and sponsors.
The purpose of this luncheon was to open the conversation about opportunities for the finance industry through a higher level of gender balance. We received a lot of feedback from this session that will help us continue the conversation in more detail on this high profile topic.
"Overdraft: A Nonpartisan Look at the National Debt" Documentary Screening
The Carlson School of Management and Carlson Funds Enterprise teamed up with Travelers to present a public screening of the Travelers one-hour documentary that explores the depth and impact of America's debt crisis at the federal and state levels. We had a great turnout for the screening, a wonderful group of panelists, and some very sharp questions which all helped stimulate discussion and action on this important topic. As a top educational institution, it is our privilege to encourage and aid in the discussion of topics which affect all of us.
Advisory Board Changes
Richard Venegar has stepped down from the board and will be continuing his career outside of Minnesota at Diamond Ventures.Bill Westhoff will also be stepping down from the CFE board at the end of the school year. Bill has been involved with the CFE for over 10 years and continues to be an advocate for our program and students in the program. We want to thank both Richard and Bill for donating their time and energy to our students and program.
We would like to welcome Mark Hood, VP and Director of Fixed Income Investments at Federated, as he joins our Advisory Board following Harlan Moret's retirement.
Shawn Messner, '04 MBA
Vice President, Investment Banking, Northland Capital Markets
As a member of the CFE Fixed Income Fund, exposure to investors and industry veterans was a regular occurrence, providing a dynamic learning experience for me during my time at Carlson. A direct result of those interactions was an internship and subsequent full time position with Piper Jaffray. If it weren't for the CFE, I would not have developed the fundamental skills allowing me to translate the MBA curriculum into real-world applications. The CFE provided me with the basis for what has been a rewarding career in capital markets, culminating in my current role as Managing Director and Head of Energy and Resource Banking at Northland Capital Markets.
I am very proud of my time with the CFE and my ongoing involvement with the program. The list of accomplishments from our CFE alumni continues to grow and the quality of our current and prospective members is a testament to the value we have collectively created.
The Carlson Funds Enterprise provides a variety of opportunities for organizations and individuals to engage with us. Opportunities include hosting site visits, sponsoring live case competitions, becoming a guest speaker, and lending financial support for student scholarships, research, and program development. If you are interested in learning more about ways to contribute to our program, please e-mail Jerry Caruso.
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