Coles Annual Report 2019-2020

Student Managed Investment Fund Turns 10

Since its launch ten years ago, the members of Kennesaw State University’s Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) have nearly tripled the fund’s value, won numerous awards and leveraged their experiences to open doors to jobs at major businesses in the financial industry. The SMIF gives undergraduate students supervised control over a real six-figure investment portfolio. Students learn to conduct fundamental analysis on publicly traded equities and make investing decisions based on that research. Their conservative investing philosophy has seen the fund grow from $100,000 to $270,000. “The real crowning achievement of this organization isn’t the fund’s growth,” said Govind Hariharan, faculty advisor and

chairman of the board of directors. “It’s in the student job placements and the growth of their professional careers. Our students have gone on to do great things and continue to grow.” Alumni of the program can be found working for Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and UPS. The fund capped off a decade of active trading with an awards ceremony in early March 2020 for almost 100 students, alumni and industry partners at The Buckhead Club in Atlanta. Nicholas Busson, a finance major and the fund’s chief operations officer, said the fund has taught him as much about professionalism as it has finance.

Govind Hariharan with SMIF Students

“Out of all the career-readiness programs I’ve been in, I would say this one was absolutely the best experience for that,” Busson said. “During our meetings, we have industry advisors who sometimes fly in from out of state. Being able to talk to people who have been in the field for 20, 30 or 40 years and explain your thought processes is a significantly important learning experience.” When Hariharan and former Coles College Dean Tim Mescon initially approached Gene Henssler, president of Henssler Financial, in 2006 about supporting the fund with an initial $100,000 investment, he considered it “a no-brainer.” The group’s meeting space – complete with computer terminals loaded with financial analysis software – is named the Henssler Trading Room. The scope of the fund’s activities has grown since 2010, especially in providing students with opportunities to learn from working finance professionals. Representatives from

companies like Henssler Financial, WellStar Health System, Bloomberg, Home Depot, Voya Financial and others are on the fund’s advisory board, while senior executives from Truist, Blackrock, UPS and JPMorgan Chase have hosted career conversations with students. As the fund celebrates 10 years of promoting student success, Hariharan is setting new goals. Plans include establishing an alumni association and growing the fund to $500,000 within the next five years through strong investments and donor gifts, with the intention of creating additional student opportunities. “The performance of our graduates has already inspired companies to hire from us because they see our alumni doing well,” Hariharan said. “We anticipate exponential growth in the recognition of the quality of our graduates.

Student Managed Investment Fund Students in Henssler Trading Room



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