The Carlson Funds Enterprise (CFE), founded in 1998 by Twin Cities financial executive and Carlson School professors, is one of the largest student-managed portfolios in the country. The CFE consists of two limited liability companies with oversight from an Advisory Board made up of representatives from each limited partner. The Carlson Growth Fund was funded by four institutions in 1998 and has grown to include nine participants and a total of $15 million in assets. In 2003, the Carlson Fixed Income Fund was funded by six institutions and now has seven clients and more than $18 million in assets. We’re also unique in that our participants are institutions and individuals rather than donors or a university endowment.
The mission of CFE is to leverage the Carlson School’s faculty and financial community resources to create a real-time learning environment, immersing students in strategic and financial analyses of real companies. The CFE combines classroom concepts, hands-on experience, and industry mentoring to prepare students for real-world jobs. Much of this work takes place in Carlson’s Financial Markets Lab which is equipped with the same on-line market data services used by investment professionals. For the financial industry, the program provides a pool of Carlson School graduates who can hit the ground running.