Every spring, the CFE rotates between the incoming and graduating students. While we are impressed with the learning the 2015 class has exhibited, we are also delighted that they have been working hard to make the transition the smoothest ever.
The pickup in the global economy has presented interesting investment opportunities and challenges, allowing us to bring “real-world” events into the classroom on a daily basis.
Job prospects for the 2015 and 2016 classes are very strong because of a combination of the CFE program and current economy. If you are looking to hire CFE graduates, please do not wait until the last minute!
Finally, all the new instructional staff have brought new energy and exciting ideas to the program that will help continue improving the curriculum and our learning outcomes. Our goal is to produce the best possible graduates from a student-managed fund program in the U.S. Our alumni, mentors, board members, and participants have all been part of some rich dialogue regarding our curriculum these past 12-18 months. Thank you for caring about the CFE!
We are excited that our class of 2016 students officially started their CFE experience on March 24. Links to our MBA and undergraduate students' photos and bios can be found online. Please feel free to reach out to any student directly or send us a job/internship description, which we would be happy to send along to our talented students. A PDF of our Class of 2016 Student Bio Book (554.95 KB) can also be easily viewed online. If you would like a copy of our resume book, please e-mail the CFE.
Over the course of three Fridays in February, a select group of students presented the Funds Enterprise’s 2014 performance overview to all nine of our institutional investors. The students who attended did an excellent job of providing broad overviews of positioning in both the CFIF and the CGF, discussing key issues and performance drivers in each portfolio, and fielding questions from investors. The students also received valuable feedback on both individual positions and portfolio exposures overall.
During the course of all the meetings, all the participants seemed impressed with the quality of the learning and engagement of the students from the CFE program. Many of the conversations led to a rich knowledge exchange and ways to improve the communication and learning for the students. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a wealth of professional talent to draw upon in learning about financial markets!
The class of 2015 placement statistics are show below. Click to enlarge photo
Comments from our students
The Carlson Growth Fund experienced a difficult 2014, declining 14.45% for the year and underperforming the Russell 2000 Growth Index. The underperformance can be attributed to stock selection as we held companies whose investment thesis broke down during the course of the year. Throughout 2014, the Carlson Growth Fund portfolio was relatively concentrated, holding 15 stocks at the end of year and this contributed to the portfolio’s volatility and underperformance.
Last November, the Carlson Growth Fund’s class of 2015 had its first opportunity to present new investment recommendations. The mentors approved four new investments and we have been building positions in these companies. Our initial investments are being monitored to ensure the companies’ progress at achieving milestones before transitioning these investment into full positions. We are also working on our next round of investment recommendations, and are looking forward to presenting to the mentors in April.
The Carlson Fixed Income Fund had strong performance in 2014, outperforming our benchmark (Barclay’s Intermediate Government/Credit Index) by 44 bps. In 1H14, the fund outperformed the benchmark by 29 bps driven primarily by strong credit selection. This strong security selection was partially offset by our duration positioning, as our expectation of rising interest rates never materialized. In 2H14, the Fund decided to take a duration neutral positioning relative to the benchmark and focus more on security and industry selection. Therefore, our 15 bps outperformance in 2H14 was driven primarily by the selection of high-quality credits and our underweight position in both the financial and energy sectors, with duration positioning having minimal effect on performance.
The Fund’s strong performance has continued into 2015, with the Fund outperforming the benchmark by 5 bps in January. The outperformance in January was driven by our underweight positioning in both the financial and energy sectors, which experienced spread widening during the month.
The Funds Enterprise will be holding its spring networking event next month. The mixer is a great opportunity for alumni to reunite, students to connect, and corporate partners to learn more about the program. The CFE Mixer will be held on Thursday, April 23, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Kieran’s Irish Pub in the Titanic Lounge. Please visit our event site for more information.
Women in Leadership
The Fund Enterprise’s Gender Balance in Finance event, along with other signature women’s initiatives at the Carlson School, will be highlighted in the next Carlson School Alumni Magazine. Read the latest edition online.
Other Upcoming Events
April 7 - First Tuesday
May 5 – First Tuesday
April 14 – Growth Fund Student Investment Recommendations
April 16 – Fixed Income Fund Student Investment Recommendations
April 24 – Carlson School’s Women’s Leadership Conference
May 7 - CFE Board Meeting
May 18 - Commencement
Advisory Board Update
John Sabre has stepped down from the CFE Advisory Board and will be continuing his leadership as CEO of Mount Yale Capital Group. John has been involved with the CFE for over 7 years and continues to be an advocate for our program and students in the program. We want to thank John for supporting our students and program.
After three and half years with the Carlson Funds Enterprise, it is with mixed emotions that I announce I will be leaving the Funds Enterprise at the end of April. I have accepted an offer to be a part of the Schwan’s Consumer Brands team as their Associate Brand Manager in Bloomington.
While I am excited to start working in the consumer goods industry, I will greatly miss the opportunity to work with the amazing Carlson School students, staff, and faculty on a daily basis. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to meet so many great professionals in the Twin Cities and look forward to staying in touch with many of you. The CFE is a fantastic program, and my time here has been incredibly rewarding. I am proud to have been a part of so many transformative initiatives while working in this capacity and am confident the momentum will continue after my departure.
Thank you for your support of the Carlson Funds Enterprise!
Jerry Caruso is working on updating the job description to reflect the program's current needs and then the position will be posted for hiring. This is a critical position for the CFE and we will be moving as quickly as possible to get it filled. If you know of anyone who would be interested in the position, please direct them to the University's employment site at http://employment.umn.edu.
New CFE Video
Fixed Income Analyst/Trader, Segall Bryant & Hamill
I joined the CFE Fixed Income Fund in the fall of 2008 for what promised to be one of the most interesting and volatile years the fund has ever seen. Within just two weeks of the start of class Lehman Brothers was bankrupt and we were launched into managing the fund during the height of the financial crisis. It was a wild ride as we learned to stress company cash flows and perform due diligence in a real time environment. It was a great learning opportunity and my experience has helped me immensely throughout my career. I have leveraged the skills I learned in the fund to become a Fixed Income Analyst/Trader at Segall Bryant & Hamill. Not only did the credit research skills we learned provide me with a great foundation, but the perspective I gained through managing through the financial crisis has helped me understand credit performance in both up and down markets. The CFE allowed me to hit the ground running upon graduation. I am excited for the future of the Fixed Income Fund and look forward to see how it grows in the future.
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.
The CFE is starting an Ambassador Program this September. CFE Ambassadors are working professionals who don’t necessarily have the time to be a CFE mentor but who want to still be a resource to current CFE students. Ambassadors are not obligated to attend events, meetings, or pitches but are encouraged to interact with our students if contacted by them. By being an ambassador you are agreeing to let us share your contact information with students so that they can contact you about careers, projects, research, etc.
If you’d like to be a part of our Ambassador Program, please fill out our information form with your preferred contact information.
If you would like to stay in the loop about CFE events and news, please sign up to be added to our distribution list.