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UMass Amherst team wins student investment competition

Student team outpaces S&P Index

BOSTON - A student team from UMass Amherst has won the most recent UMass Student Managed Funds competition, delivering an impressive performance that exceeded the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

The 18-student team was able to achieve a 30.93 percent investment return during Fiscal Year 2011, slightly exceeding the Standard & Poor's 500 Index of 30.66 percent and outpacing student investment teams from the University's Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell campuses.

"This is an extremely impressive achievement and reflects the knowledge and sophistication of the students involved," said UMass President Robert L. Caret. "Students from our Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell campuses have performed with distinction. This year, the Amherst team came out on top, but I envision spirited, demanding competitions in the future."

Robert C. Holub, Chancellor of UMass Amherst, said: "Business education is one of the many academic strengths of UMass Amherst, and I am delighted to see our students achieving at a level that puts them shoulder to shoulder with top professionals in the country. These are blue-chip students delivering a blue-chip performance."

The University of Massachusetts Foundation created the Student Managed Funds competition in 2008 by seeding student teams on the Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell campuses with $25,000 in endowment funds to manage. The student teams work under the guidance of faculty advisors and with the UMass Foundation Investment Committee. The UMass Lowell team had won the previous three competitions.

The fund managed by the UMass Amherst student team ended Fiscal Year 2011 with a balance of  $112,770.

The UMass Amherst team was honored at a reception held this week at the UMass Club in Boston and received a $5,000 award to be added to its investment account. The UMass Lowell team also received $5,000, marking its previous wins.

Sean McDavitt, the leader of the Amherst team and a UMass Amherst senior, said the competition helps to sharpen skills - and is fun, as well.

"I really enjoy getting to study the decisions companies make and how they affect end-value for the investor, as well as the thrill of watching your investment hypothesis become reality. Also, it's fun to be around smart people," he said.

"This competition provides our students with an important, hands-on learning experience and has also generated a terrific return on investment for our endowment," said Robert M. Goodhue, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of the UMass Foundation. "It is a true win-win activity for the University."

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073; Sheila Regan, 774-455-7190



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