Student’s GGF experience results in total return

"“The Golden Griffin Fund operates similar to a mutual fund…Students buy a portfolio of stocks and manage them for a total return to their clients.”"

Ryan Zimmer

If you ask Ryan Zimmer ’15, becoming a member of the Golden Griffin Fund (GGF) at Canisius “was the best decision of his college career.”

The student-run investment management program gave this finance major the opportunity to make real investments using real money: He selected potential companies in which to invest; created and managed portfolio holdings (i.e. stocks); and evaluated and recommended companies to add to the portfolio.

The GGF is currently valued at more than $400,000 and consistently beats the market benchmark. But the real value of the GGF, is that “it bridged the gap between everything I was learning in my economics and finance classes, and how it all applies to the real world.”

“The Golden Griffin Fund operates similar to a mutual fund…Students buy a portfolio of stocks and manage them for a total return to their clients.”

Zimmer put those real-world skills to the test last spring. He and four of his GGF classmates competed in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge.

The match-up pits top university teams, from around the world, in an intensive financial analysis competition that requires students to analyze businesses and make formal buy, sell or hold recommendations to a panel of industry professionals.

The Canisius team beat out more than 4,000 (undergraduate and graduate) students from 865 universities in 70 countries to take home the CFA world championship title.

“Our success is really a testament to the professors in the program,” says Zimmer. Professors not only prepare students for careers in banking, financial planning and securities, they go one step further, “providing opportunities for students to explore the field.” Career professionals are frequent guest lecturers in the classrooms and at department-sponsored networking events. “Professors also bring representatives from global banking and financial firms such as Citi, M&T Bank and JP Morgan Chase to campus to recruit.” Zimmer credits the professional connections he made with the college’s financial alumni for helping him land an internship at the Buffalo office of WellsFargo.

“The professors in the program push students to do better and to be better,” says Zimmer, whose internship turned into a full-time job as a financial analyst after graduation. “Because of them, I now have a top-notch position at a top-notch firm in Buffalo.”

Zimmer is in good company, as 100 percent of students who participate in the Golden Griffin Fund secure jobs in their field well before graduation day.

Canisius Magazine Cover Story
“Hounds of Zeus” CFA Institute Magazine
(Copyright 2015, CFA Institute. Reproduced and republished from CFA Institute Magazine with permission from CFA Institute. All rights reserved.)

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