Student Managed Equity Fund at Isenberg Tops the Competition

September 18, 2013 According to the University of Massachusetts Foundation, the Minutemen Equity Fund (MEF), a portfolio managed principally by Isenberg students, has outperformed rival student-managed funds on the UMass Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell campuses. During the fiscal year spanning June 2012-May 2013, the MEF returned 15.62% on its portfolio, narrowly topping its closest rival, UMass Lowell. In November, the Foundation will award both funds $5,000 during a gathering in their honor at the UMass Faculty Club in Boston.

 

Established in 2007 with a $25,000 grant from the UMass Foundation, the MEF currently manages $175,000 in assets. "We're a long-only fund; our number-one goal is to preserve capital," notes its chair, David Nataloni, an Isenberg senior and finance major.

 

The fund's portfolio, Nataloni continues, comprises forty companies. Pairs of students-the fund has 21 student members-focus on separate industries, like financial markets, health care, and utilities. The students pitch potential investments (i.e., companies) to the larger group during biweekly meetings. MEF's faculty advisor, Isenberg finance professor Ben Branch, tracks the portfolio, but never micromanages, says Nataloni.

 

"The members also learn a great deal from Isenberg alumni in the investment industry. Financial executives including Charles Bohn '69 (formerly of Citigroup), James Palermo '77 (CEO of Asset Servicing at BNY Mellon), and Ian Whear '11 (Great Hill Partners) have met with the group on campus. Whear, notes Nataloni, is one of over 150 former MEF members, who now serve as contacts in the financial industry. For current MEF members, that's an increasingly influential network, he says, both for industry insights and leverage after graduation.