Golden Griffin Fund
Since its inception in the fall of 2003, the Golden Griffin Fund (GGF), an investment-management course for both undergraduate and MBA finance majors at Canisius, grew from its initial $100,000 investment, from the college’s endowment, to more than $140,000. The student-run, real-money investment fund is invested in 20 individual stocks and four Exchange Traded Funds. It is specifically designed to educate students about the inner workings of the capital markets, while providing them with real-world learning experiences in investment management.
Bridging the Gap Between Theory & Practice
Under the Golden Griffin Fund, every aspect of investment management will be placed within your control. Using real money and real clients, you will be expected to research, create, and manage a stock portfolio. This includes advising companies to add to the portfolio, and soliciting new investors to increase your fund’s growth.
“The Golden Griffin Fund will help finance students bridge the gap between the classroom and the real investment world,” explains Nelson D. Civello, professor of finance and former professional adviser to the GGF.
The Golden Griffin Fund requires students to research, create, and manage portfolio holdings (stocks); analyze and recommend companies to add to the portfolio; and grow the fund through the solicitation of new investors.
“Students analyze different business models and market opportunities, apply various valuation techniques, and understand fundamental industry drivers,”adds Civello.
Fall students focus on conducting corporate research, development of an investment strategy and potential stock selections. The spring semester concentrates on fundamental stock research that will ultimately compose and shape the portfolio. Full-time faculty advisors and professional mentors empower students to take over the fund and make important management decisions to grow its value.
“The success of The Golden Griffin Fund and its members will attract student interest at Canisius, as well as potential business students from other areas who may be in search of a unique educational environment,” says Dr. Antone F. Alber, dean for the School of Business. “In turn, clients of the fund will have the chance to achieve investment returns based on students’ best efforts, build lasting ties to the college, and contribute to the development of a new, well-educated talent for the Western New York investment community.”
The GGF operates out of trading room known as the Financial Markets Lab in Old Main Room 111. The lab is furnished with various multimedia equipment including eight PC workstations; cable-access television with a data projection screen; and a Bloomberg terminal, which enables students to receive up-to-the-minute information on the world financial markets
Canisius College was the first higher education institution in Western New York to have the Bloomberg technology.
Michael S. Piemonte, assistant professor of finance, was named director of the GGF in July 2008. Prior to Canisius, Piemonte was senior vice president at M&T Bank, where he oversaw corporate finance, investor relations, retail strategy and planning, and mergers and acquisitions. He was also the chief financial officer of the publicly held Citibank subsidiary Student Loan Corporation, and served in management positions at Mellon Bank, Sallie Mae and Freddie Mac.