The ANU Student Managed Fund (SMF) is administrated by the ANU Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics (RSFAS). It enables students to assume responsibility for the management of real money of over $0.7million, while simultaneously earning course credit. The Fund supports the RSFAS Student Managed Fund Equity Scholarship.
The SMF was established with a generous donation from Russell Clark, an ANU alumnus who completed his Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Asian Studies in 2000 and is a Partner at Horseman Capital Management in the UK.
Additional donations were made by the family of the Student Managed Fund’s Investment Advisory Committee member and alumnus Andre Morony (MEc 1974), as well as course convenor Associate Professor Geoff Warren and CBE Advancement Manager, Kerry-Ann Hugo. All donations were matched by the RSFAS on behalf of the University.
The SMF effectively manages a small slice of the University endowment funds, in accordance with its own Charter and Governance Structure and University policy, including the University Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) policy.
Entry to the course (FINM3009/FINM6009 – Student Managed Fund) is competitive. Students interested in applying to the SMF can find out more here.
WHAT MAKES US SPECIAL?
The SMF invests towards a specific purpose of funding a scholarship and takes a long-term perspective instead of trying to beat a benchmark index. Our perspective is that of an institutional asset owner, rather than a fund manager.
We are set up like an investment organisation, with students involved in every aspect of managing the fund. This includes not just undertaking fundamental analysis of selected stocks and performing valuation work. It also involves asset allocation decisions, portfolio monitoring and reporting, pitching ideas to the Investment Advisory Committee, and communicating with outside parties. These activities occur under four sub-teams – Asset Allocation, Active Australian Equities, Risk and Compliance and Relationships; which are led by a Chief Investment Officer who is also a student.
We are committed to the University’s SRI Policy. We do so by aiming to avoid investing in companies that cause social injury, and favour those that generate social benefit. Currently the ANU SMF is the only University Student Managed Fund to take part in socially responsible investing and this distinctively sets the ANU SMF apart from other Funds- find out more.
The manner in which students are evaluated is unique. Contrary to conventional university courses, students are graded on the contribution they make to the legacy, the team, and working towards the Fund’s long-term objectives. Short-term performance is not a key focus. Students are rewarded for aspects like training, educating and assisting other team members, building a model or process that helps the fund operate more efficiently & effectively, and conducting research that supports better long-term decisions.
We operate with two overlapping cohorts. Students enter the Fund as juniors, who are mentored and guided by senior members, and the cycle continues. This generates a very unique culture and fosters great learning for both the senior and junior members. It helps provide continuity as students roll in and out of the Fund over two semesters. It allows students to take on rewarding leadership roles which gives them the opportunity to pass down knowledge and insights onto new junior members.
The SMF is a transformative experience for students. It not only by facilitates a real-world experience that is the epitome of authentic learning, but it challenges them to embrace a purpose and take responsibility for pursuing it. This is not only personally rewarding but can also enhance opportunities for internships and graduate positions as they pursue their careers. The deep learning experience provided through SMF truly encapsulates the skills one would gain undertaking an internship position within the Finance industry.