Kresge Provides $2M Student-managed Investment Fund at Oakland University


In an effort to give Oakland University business students real-life experience in portfolio management and stock selection, Troy-based Kresge Foundation and university officials today announced a $2 million student-managed investment fund designed to complement course work.

"This collaboration with Kresge will allow us to provide Oakland business students with an outstanding real-world experience," says Michael Mazzeo, dean of the Oakland University School of Business Administration in Rochester Hills. "The challenging curriculum will combine the very best blend of investment and portfolio management theory with the experience of working as a member of an investment team."

The new, 400-level business course, called Managing Investment Funds, began this fall at Oakland University's main campus. Ranadeb Chaudhuri, a finance professor at Oakland, teaches the class in the university's data lab, which has tools such as 10 dual-screen Bloomberg Business terminals and a stock market ticker. Chaudhuri teaches security analysis techniques and investment approaches used by professional investors.

As part of the course work, students research and analyze publicly-traded securities listed in the S&P 500 Index, and will present their recommendations to a class advisory board that include members such as Brian Edgar, senior vice president of investments at UBS Financial Services; Nick Krasnokut, investment officer at The Kresge Foundation; John Lesser, president of Plante Moran Financial Advisors; Chris Liparoto, senior vice president of wealth management at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management; Jason Raznick, CEO of Benzinga; and Phil Serra, vice president of investments at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

"By exposing students to a broader range of investment roles, we are optimistic that we will be able to retain our locally-trained talent — who typically head to New York City for their first professional experience — to explore and fill the many rewarding job opportunities that exist within metro Detroit's public, private, and philanthropic sectors," says Rob Manilla, vice president and chief investment officer at Kresge.

Manilla says advisory board members will supplement the class' curriculum with guest lectures about the asset management profession. A member of Kresge's investment team will officially conduct the stock transactions.

Manilla says the fund has been carved out of Kresge's $3.5 billion investment portfolio. There are plans to make the class available to more students in the following semesters. 

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