Published 03/09/15

Million-dollar Archway Investment Fund provides real-world experience

A decade ago, Bryant Finance Professors David Louton, Ph.D., Peter Nigro, Ph.D., and Hakan Saraoglu, Ph.D., had a vision: create a “mini career experience” where students would get top professional training in an academic setting through a student-managed investment fund. Bryant’s Board of Trustees voted to invest $200,000 in their vision and established the Archway Investment Fund (AIF) — a portfolio now exceeding $1 million managed entirely by students.

This distinctive two-course program provides students with real-world experience that can’t be beat, first by simulating what they’ll encounter to secure a professional position, and then by giving them real money to manage as practice for what they’ll actually do on the job. Both the securities analysis and portfolio management classes occur concurrently in the semester so that the two classes can meet each week to present their ideas to each other, debate issues, and hear guest speakers.

To become an AIF manager, students have to interview for the role of securities analyst. If accepted, they do what securities analysts do for the first semester: recommend stocks. If successful, they are “promoted” to portfolio manager for the next semester, where their focus becomes selecting and executing investment strategies.

The C.V. Starr Financial Markets Center is the AIF base of operations, receiving real-time news and data transferred by live feeds through Reuters 3000, a financial trading system used by some of the largest financial organizations in the world.

Selected highlights

  • AIF students attend professional conferences in Boston, Dayton, and New York, including the Global Asset Management Education (GAME) Forum in New York City.
  • In 2009, the Bryant team captured first place in the Chartered Financial Analyst Investment Research Challenge. This success was an affirmation of the talent of AIF students and of advisers.
  • The annual Financial Services Forum brings leading industry experts to campus.