Veteran investment banker to lead Carlson Growth Fund effective June 20.

Jerry Caruso, long-time investment banker with mergers and acquisitions and broad capital markets expertise, has been named to the position of professional director of the Carlson Growth Fund effective June 20.

In his role at the Carlson School, Caruso will be responsible for instruction and professional development of students, serve as the primary liaison between the Carlson Funds Enterprise and the external business community, and oversee the Carlson Growth Fund equity portfolio, which currently has approximately $18 million in assets under management.

"I am excited to join the Carlson Funds Enterprise and work with the students and faculty to continue to build this signature program," said Caruso. "My 25-year banking career and investment experience will complement Professor (Rajesh) Aggarwal's expertise and assist Carlson students in making broader connections in the financial services industry."

Most recently, Caruso was managing director for Lazard Middle Market LLC based in Minneapolis. Prior to that, he served as vice president with RBC Dain Rauscher, assistant treasurer with Coopervision Inc., and corporate lending officer with JP Morgan. Caruso received his bachelor of arts degree in economics from Northwestern University and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

In response to Caruso's hiring, Matt Dudley, chairman of the advisory board for the Funds, said, "The Board and I are extremely pleased that Jerry has accepted the position. His experience in the industry and connections to the business community will greatly benefit the program as a whole and the students in particular. We are looking forward to working with him."

Earlier this year, the Carlson School announced it had reached an agreement with the advisory board of the Carlson Funds Enterprise to ensure the future viability of both the Carlson Fixed Income and Carlson Growth Funds. Since then, Associate Professor Rajesh Aggarwal, US Bancorp Professor in Financial Markets and Institutions, has assumed academic responsibility for the Carlson Growth Fund and Professor Bob Goldstein, the C. Arthur Williams Jr. / Minnesota Insurance Industry Chair, has assumed academic responsibility for the Carlson Fixed Income Fund.

The Carlson Funds Enterprise was one of the first student-managed portfolios in the country. Its students and professional advisors are responsible for a small capitalization growth fund and a fixed income fund that combine for total assets of more than $35 million, a size that puts it in the top three student-managed investment funds in the world.