Volatile stock market provides real-world learning opportunities through Archway Investment Fund
Jul 06, 2018

In the wake of the Dow’s nearly 1,600-point plunge on February 5, history's biggest point decline during a trading day, Archway Investment Fund (AIF) students managing the program's equity fund explained how their investments will remain less volatile than the market. The fixed income fund managers noted that the Fed believes strong growth was likely to continue, though the students were closely watching the fund’s credit position.

They fielded tough questions – had they weighed growth to value? Was negative economic news from China and Japan a risk they were concerned with? Given what’s happening in China, Japan, and the U.S., have they considered investing in European markets? - from the program’s expert faculty including Asli Ascioglu, Ph.D., Coordinator for the Financial Markets Center and the AIF; Executive-in-Residence Kevin Maloney, Ph.D., P'16; and the evening’s guest speaker, Michael Leonard, CFA '13. "It’s interesting to see how the fund has changed since I was here," Leonard told the students.

Now an equity research associate at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Leonard recalls how helpful he found alumni sharing their experience and insight with him as a student. He’s glad to pay that forward by engaging with students in this program and in other forums.

 "All the opportunities the Archway Investment Fund program provides… set Archway Investment Fund students apart."

Archway Portfolio Manager Jharem Crevecoeur '18, who calls Leonard a role model, says it's inspiring to see the success achieved by someone who participated in the program.

The competitive edge

The student-managed Archway fund, established in fall 2005 to provide Bryant students with the opportunity to manage real-world investments following principles used by investment managers around the world, has surpassed $1.7 million. The current value of the Equity fund is $1.3 million; the Fixed Income fund is valued at a half-million dollars.

Austin Julian Perez ’18, a member of the AIF’s Executive Committee, notes that events, training, and "fantastic teachers and great speakers, including many alumni like Leonard, who listen and give us advice ... set Archway Investment Fund students apart."

Professor Maloney, an accomplished scholar and finance industry executive who joined the Bryant faculty in January 2017 to initiate the Fixed Income offering, says that “not a lot of colleges are doing this."

Both the Equity and Fixed Income tracks are two-semester programs that provide students valuable experience using Bloomberg terminals, Factset Financial System, Sustainalytics ESG Reports and other tools used by professionals in the financial marketplace.

AIF members also compete. For example, in 2017 the Archway team took first place in the growth category of the Global Asset Management Education (GAME) Forum.  

Bryant’s Wall Street Council, an organization of Bryant alumni, parents, and friends who work in investments, finance, banking, brokerage, or other financial services fields on or off Wall Street, helps students aspiring to Wall Street careers by providing job shadowing and internship opportunities, mentoring, and speaking to classes, or offering jobs to qualified Bryant graduates.

Maloney is impressed with Bryant students and alumni. Two Bryant graduates, working in fixed income for a local company, wanted to know more about the new AIF offering, he says. After he showed them the students’ work, they indicated an interest in hiring Fixed Income program graduates.

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