Bauer Cougar Fund Sets Record for New Investors

July 9, 2007

The C. T. Bauer College of Business Cougar Investment Fund, L.L.C. has closed for new investment in 2007 with a record $1.7 million in new contributions, bringing the total fund assets to more than $9 million.

The Cougar Fund is a private investment fund managed by Bauer College graduate students. The fund’s purpose is to give students the opportunity to gain experience in the management of an investment portfolio, while providing a diversified investment vehicle for its investors. The Cougar Fund started in February 2002 as a tool for teaching master’s level finance students how to become professional investment fund managers. The initial investment offering of $1.9 million from 19 investors has regularly outperformed its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index.

Of the approximately 6,000 university-based, student-run investment funds in the United States, the Bauer College Cougar Fund is one of only three that have private investors rather than relying on university endowment funds. Students of all backgrounds compete for limited manager slots – between 16 and 24 are available each year – and commit to participating for 12 to 16 months.

“The Cougar Fund is a student-run private investment company, with real investors and real money, that delivers a real return to its investors,” said Ronald F. Singer, Bauer finance professor and Cougar Fund managing director. “The value of this experience goes way beyond finance to all industries, where knowledge of how to value business operations and analyze investments makes a difference to the corporate bottom line.”

Praveen Kumar, professor and Bauer Finance Department chair, praised the educational value of this highly selective program.

“The diverse background of Cougar Fund managers makes this experience a tremendous training ground for the real world of business,” he said. “This program gives our graduate students the chance to take a top notch education in financial management and apply it to the global marketplace. Students benefit from the practical experience, and employers benefit from getting access to student leaders who know what it takes to succeed in today’s complex economy.”

In February 2007, a team of three finance majors and fund managers – Jeff Detwiler, Michael Sergii and Jason Wangler - competed in the Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium representing the Cougar Fund. The Bauer team was the only public school chosen among five finalists and placed second in the regional competition.

Shelley Nadel