Spring 2014

It's the busiest time of the year here at the CFE. The 2014 students are making their pitches in a few weeks (then graduate in May) and the 2015 class is gearing up to take over the portfolio. The transition to the new class is already taking place and we are confident that we will have a smooth hand-off. Before we know it, spring will be here.

Many of our students are looking to network for full time jobs and internships and we appreciate any support/leads you can provide. In many cases, the students are just looking to learn about different career options. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

You can always reach out to me with ideas to help improve our program!

Jerry Caruso


Class of 2014 Placements

Graduation is quickly approaching and many of our 2014 analysts are still seeking full-time employment opportunities. Roughly half of the students have been placed but the remaining 50% continue to look for finance jobs in both financial services and corporate finance. If you or anyone at your firm knows of an opening that you think our students would be interested in, please send it to Bonnie Till.

Class of 2015

Get to know our 2015 analysts by reading about their backgrounds and career interests in our new

. Many of our students are still looking for internship opportunities and would love to hear about positions at your organization.

Team Carlson continues to dominate in case competitions!

ACG Cup Competition

Congratulations to our incoming CFE MBAs, Erik Ritland, Matt Miller, Robert Tinkham, Joe Stormont, and Matt Born for placing first place in the ACG Cup in February. We are also very proud of our outgoing MBAs, Jake Titus, David Lindsay, Andrew Foster, Jacquelynn Williams, Anders Gregerson, for placing second in the ACG Cup Competition.

CFA Institute Research Challenge

We'd also like to congratulate Carlson School undergraduates, Alec Haar (incoming CFE analyst), Tom Seeba, Jeff Janousek, Michelle Baumgaurtner, and Ethan Beatty, on placing first in the CFA Institute Research Challenge. These individuals beat three other final teams from Minnesota State University Moorhead, University of MN Duluth, and University of St. Thomas, who all gave compelling presentations to a panel of local CFA Charterholder judges.


Comments from our students:

Growth Fund

February was a mixed month for the Carlson Growth Fund, under performing the S&P 500 by 3.89% and its benchmark, the Russell 2000 Growth index, by 4.41%. The American economy appeared to emerge from winter hibernation in February, creating more jobs than in either of the previous two months and suggesting that momentum in the labor market might gradually build with the arrival of spring. While analysts cautioned that the report on Friday from the Labor Department was hardly cause for celebration, it eased fears of another prolonged slowdown, which had been raised by weak figures for hiring in December and January and mixed signals from recent releases of other data. The improvement last month led some experts to conclude that a hard winter, not a fundamental downshift, was the prime mover behind the economy's lackluster performance at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014.

Fixed Income Fund

February proved to be another positive month for the Carlson Fixed Income Fund, with the portfolio returning 0.35% before fees. However, February saw the benchmark return 0.38% and the class's streak of beating the benchmark came to an end. The portfolio saw strong gains again in the corporate sector while trailing the benchmark in both the government related and Treasury sector. The class remains bullish on the overall corporate sector with the continued overweight to the sector while keeping an eye on the potential rise in interest rates. The portfolio ended the month with a duration of 3.62 vs. a benchmark duration of 3.88.

Going forward, the class is in full preparation for the spring pitches with some exciting new credits being brought forward. Also, the new class that will be taking over the portfolio has been formed and preliminary meetings have taken place to bring the new class up to speed. The current class is very excited about the continued performance of the fund and confident the next class will continue to drive strong performance.

Program Updates

Robert Goldstein, CFE Academic Advisor, Wins Prestigious Smith Breeden Prize

Professor Robert Goldstein is a winner of the prestigious 2013 Smith Breeden Prize for his paper, "On the Relative Pricing of Long-Maturity Index Options and Collateralized Debt Obligations."

The prizes are awarded annually to the top three papers in The Journal of Finance as chosen by the publication's editors. Goldstein and co-authors Pierre Collin-Dufresne (Columbia Business School) and Fan Yang (Carlson School PhD student) will receive $5,000 for earning the honor of Distinguished Paper.

Jeannette Parr's Parting Words

Fixed Income Professional Advisor, Jeannette Parr, will be leaving the Carlson School after 7 years of dedicated service and reflects on her time at the Carlson School:

"Looking back over the past 7 years, what stands out the most is that I have had the privilege of meeting so many talented and kind individuals including students, staff and our partners in the business community. The vision of our CFE founders to create an opportunity for students to experience 'real money management' came to fruition and has launched numerous careers locally, nationally and even globally. Providing an experience in fixed income is not often found, but is especially useful to corporate finance as well as money management. We are fortunate to reap the benefits of their vision.

I am proud to have been a part of the program along the way and plan on participating as a mentor into the future. I want to thank Joe Barsky and Tim Nantell for the opportunity to be a part of CFE. The program has evolved and grown in so many ways. Each class has brought the fund to a new level, both operationally and in assets under management. We not only survived, but thrived during the Big Recession of 2009 and our partnerships have deepened with the business community.

I wish you all the best and I will enjoy seeing the CFE continue its success for many years to come."

For more on Jeannette's new role, read the PMA News Release.

The CFE has started a search to fill the CFIF Professional Advisor role and is now accepting applications. For more information the position, please visit the Professional Advisor posting.


Founders Celebrate 15 Years of Success

As part of the CFE's 15-year anniversary, we thought it would be great to get the original founders together again for a celebratory lunch. On December 10, seven of our founders braved the Minnesota weather to have lunch with CFE staff members and Advisory Board Chair, Matt Dudley. We were excited that many of them shared stories about the program's inception and were proud when they applauded former and current faculty, staff, and students for their continued dedication to the growth of both funds.

As a tribute to their success, the CFE created a Founders page that highlights key individuals who helped make the CFE a reality.
(From left to right: Upper Row - Lou Nanne, Bill Dudley, Matt Dudley, Jerry Caruso, Tim Nantell, Jay Kiedrowski, Matt Thompson, Bill Westhoff. Lower Row - Bonnie Till, Goldie the Gopher, Jeannette Parr.)

Featured Event: CFE Spring Mixer

The Funds Enterprise, in conjunction with the Carlson School Finance Club, will be holding our biannual CFE Mixer this spring. We're excited to host this social event again and encourage all attendees to speak with current students, catch up with old friends and acquaint yourself with new ones. Appetizers and cocktails will be provided. This event is open to all CFE alumni, mentors, and friends of the program.

The CFE Mixer will be held on Tuesday, April 1, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Mission Kitchen. Please visit our event site for more information.

Other upcoming events

  • Fixed Income Pitches April 8, 2014
  • Growth Fund Pitches April 10, 2014
  • CFE Advisory Board Meeting May 8, 2014

Alumni Spotlight

Kendal Carlson, '08 BSB
Director of Business/Operations, Presagium

I joined the CFE Growth Fund in 2007, following my summer internship at UBS in Equity Sales & Trading. After having rotated among traders and analysts for ten weeks, I was eager to contribute my newly-acquired skills to the fund. After my first few weeks, I was surprised and pleased that the CFE was no walk in the park: the investment process taught in the Growth Fund was similar in structure and rigor to the process in use at UBS.

After graduating from the Carlson School in 2008, I spent three years with UBS in New York as an Equity Program Trader. I wasn't building models or writing investment reports, but thanks to my experience in the Fund, I was equipped with the tools necessary to be a discerning participant in meetings with clients, analysts and UBS management. This was an important differentiator: my well-rounded exposure caught the attention of a senior manager who became my mentor at UBS. He later left the firm to cofound Presagium, a quantitative hedge fund, and invited me to join in 2011. Thanks to my exposure to challenging projects and significant accountability in the CFE, I was prepared to climb the learning curve that accompanied my role as Presagium's Director of Business and Operations.

Many of my peers leveraged their experience in the CFE to pursue careers as investment analysts and portfolio managers. I took a slightly different route, but the skills and exposure I gained in the Carlson Funds Enterprise have had a perennially positive impact throughout my career.

Get Involved

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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