Todd A. Williams Student Managed Investment Fund
The Todd A. Williams Student Managed Investment Fund was created by a $1 million gift from alumnus Todd Williams, managing director at Goldman, Sachs & Company in 2007. Dan Zhao, assistant professor of economics, supervises 10 to 20 students, who earn credit for the course.
Each semester Austin College students learn asset allocation and valuation, how to research companies, and much more by managing a real investment fund, instead of pretend portfolios seen in similar college courses. Students are responsible for a sector of the market and make PowerPoint presentations on companies within that sector to their professor and peers for investment consideration. They are also expected to make presentations on other companies within their sector (held by the fund) and the performance of the sector itself. In addition, students must keep the overall portfolio balanced and prepare a mid-year and annual report for review by all stakeholders.
“My hope is that this fund will cause students to learn more about investing as a career while concurrently giving them more confidence to seek opportunities in this field and making them meaningfully more attractive to potential recruiters,” said Todd Williams. “Recruiters want students with practical experience who can hit the ground running.”
Zhao has noticed the difference managing real money makes in the student’s analysis of companies. “The level of focus and serious research the students are devoting to managing this money is quite impressive,” he said. “With many games that involve ‘play’ money, decisions can be made based on feelings. Using valuation techniques and extensive research, our students are making calculated decisions, not emotional ones.”
Todd A. Williams
Student Managed Investment Fund
Alumni Advisory Board
Todd A. Williams, retired managing director Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Zeke Ashton, managing partner Centaur Capital Partners
Kirk Rimer, Crow Holdings, Dallas