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University Relations
800 Hotz Hall
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

FAX 479.575.4745


FOR RELEASE: Thursday, April 17, 2008

Walton College Students Place First in Global Investment Portfolio Competition

Craig Cox (left) and Spencer Piland
Craig Cox (left) and Spencer Piland

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – More than 2,300 students from 257 schools in 69 countries attended the eighth annual Redefining Investment Strategy Education (RISE) Forum held at the University of Dayton in Ohio, March 27-29. The University of Arkansas’ M.B.A. Shollmier Portfolio Management Team in the Sam M. Walton College of Business won first place in the Graduate Hybrid Funds Class in the student-run portfolio competition. The Shollmier Fund was established in 2000 with a $250,000 investment from Dudley and Ken Shollmier. It was valued at more than $380,000 at the end of 2007.

Front row L-r:  Nambi Raghupathy, April Seggebruch,
Ram Chandrasekaran, Joe Holcomb

Back row L-r: Eugene Krupitsky, Robert Zeiler, Alex Fortin, Ravi Gunda, Ryan Stearle

The winning team consists of graduate students in the business administration program as well as undergraduate business students. The M.B.A. finance class is known as the Shollmier class. Each week, the Shollmier class meets with the undergraduate portfolio management class to discuss the investment portfolio and to make buy, sell or hold recommendations. Craig Rennie is the faculty mentor for both classes. The Shollmier Fund portfolio saw an 18.99 percent return in 2007 compared to the S&P 500’s 5.49 percent annualized return. The top 10 holdings were Research in Motion Inc., Apple Inc., Foster Wheeler Ltd., Fidelity Nordic Fund, McKesson Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Microsoft Corp., Forest Oil Inc., WellPoint Inc. and Verizon Communications.

All portfolios in the competition were submitted and all winning investment selections were made prior to the conference. Alex Fortin, a student in the Master of Business Administration program, made a presentation of the portfolio with support from undergraduates Craig Cox and Spencer Piland of the portfolio management class and the Arvest fixed-income class who were also representing the university at the conference.

The RISE VIII Forum provides an important opportunity for our finance students to compete with their peers at different universities nationally and across the globe,” said Rickey Costrell, associate director of the Garrison Financial Institute at the Walton College. “The fact that our team won in their category is a tremendous confidence booster for our students and is an affirmation that the Walton College provides world-class education. At the awards dinner, when the judges announced that our team won first place in the Graduate Hybrid Funds Class, we were elated and felt proud to represent the Walton College.”

Students manage five portfolios in the Walton College including the Rebsamen Fund, an undergraduate hybrid fund with about $1.3 million that is also the third oldest student managed fund in the world; the Shollmier Fund; the Arvest Fixed Income Fund, a $5 million fixed income fund belonging to Arvest Bank; and two separate accounts, one with $5 million and one with $250,000.

The students in this year’s Shollmier class were Ramanathan Chandrasekaran, Alex Fortin, Ravi Gunda, Joe Holcomb, Eugene Krupitsky, Nambi Raghupathy, April Seggebruch, Ryan Stearle and Robert Zeiler.

The RISE VIII Forum was sponsored by the University of Dayton, United Nations Global Compact, Deutsche Asset Management, Aman Stock Exchange, Bovespa, CFA Institute, CME Group, CNBC, Colombo Stock Exchange, Dubai Financial Market, The Financial Services Forum, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Morningstar, NASDAQ, New York Stock Exchange, Palestine Securities Exchange, Shangai Stock Exchange, The Wall Street Journal and TIAA-CREF. The conference brings together students, faculty and Wall Street in an interactive learning environment to discuss significant issues that confront investment professionals.

The forum annually welcomes universities with student-managed portfolios to showcase their success in the areas of growth, value, blend, alternative, fixed income and hybrid styles of management. Twelve month risk-adjusted returns are used to identify the top portfolio team in each investment category at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The forum included keynote presentations by nationally renowned industry professionals, specialized breakout sessions focusing on a range of investment, career strategies and academic program development related issues as well as security analysis and portfolio management workshops.



Danielle Strickland, manager of advancement communications
Office of university relations
(479) 575-7346, strick@uark.edu