Wayne State University launches student managed investment fund with $100,000 endowment from Fifth Third Bank

Next fall, students in the School of Business at Wayne State University will have direct experience in portfolio management thanks to a $100,000 endowment from Fifth Third Bank that will be used to launch a student managed investment fund (SMIF). The donation will be formally presented at a ceremony at WSU on December 3 featuring Fifth Third Bank's Chief Investment Strategist Jeffrey Korzenik who will be providing an Economic Outlook to a group of students.

A SMIF is a pool of money which business students invest as a learning experience. SMIFs vary in size from several hundred thousand dollars to millions of dollars. The program mimics the structure of an asset management team, similar to those at Fidelity or Vanguard. Some SMIFs such as the University of Texas at Austin, manage funds for private clients, and are accredited investors under U.S. securities laws.

In addition to managing a portfolio, these classes provide related experiences relevant to being a professional fund manager and enhance the employability of WSU business students who can claim real world experience upon graduation.

"Fifth Third Bank is committed to the revitalization of Detroit and a key component of that is higher education along with developing and retaining a talented workforce," said David Girodat, president & CEO of Fifth Third Bank Eastern Michigan. "With this grant, Wayne State University can improve the learning experience for its business majors who will have the opportunity to be real time fund managers."

WSU's SMIF will be run by a new three credit course that will begin in the fall 2015 semester and be called FIN 5220 Portfolio Management. An adjunct professor who has significant experience in the industry will teach the class and develop a board of advisers for the students. Students can take the class as many times as they wish and must have already passed or be concurrently enrolled in FIN 5215 Security Analysis and Portfolio Management, which is WSU’s core investments class.

WSU's Financial Management Association students will be working on the fund throughout the summer, but will not invest the $100,000 until it officially kicks off in the fall. 

"This new student managed investment fund heightens the profile of our university and provides a built in internship to our curriculum," said Robert Forsythe, dean of the Wayne State University School of Business. "We cannot thank Fifth Third Bank enough for their generosity in providing the initial funds that we intend to grow into a multimillion dollar portfolio."

This endowment to WSU is part of a more than $300,000 commitment by Fifth Third to promote academia within Detroit. With grants through the Charles E. Schell Foundation, Fifth Third Bank helps low-income Detroit youth with tuition assistance by endowing $100,000 each to the University of Detroit Mercy and Oakland Community College.

Media is invited to attend the check presentation ceremony on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at Wayne State University's Prentis Building Fishbowl located at 5201 Cass Ave. in Detroit. Contact Eric Younan at eric.younan@53.com or 248-752-0082 to register.


About the Wayne State University School of Business

Established in 1946, the School of Business at Wayne State University has a distinguished history of preparing leaders to excel in a wide range of industries. More than 31,000 business alumni can be found around the world, developing innovative entrepreneurial ventures, managing multinational corporations and making a difference in nonprofit and government agencies. The school’s academic programs - in accounting, finance, information systems, management, global supply chain management and marketing - are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and are regularly recognized for high quality by third-party reviewers such as The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. For more information, please visit business.wayne.edu.

About Fifth Third Bank Eastern Michigan

Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan, is based in Southfield, Michigan and led by President David F. Girodat.  Fifth Third Bank is metropolitan Detroit’s fourth largest bank and has $4.2 billion in assets. Fifth Third Bank serves customers in eight southeastern Michigan counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Livingston, Genesee and Washtenaw. Fifth Third Bank currently operates 91` banking centers, and more than 150 ATMs throughout eastern Michigan. Fifth Third Bank is proud to be named as one of the "101 Best & Brightest Place to Work" by the Michigan Business and Professional Association and a "Top Place to Work" by the Detroit Free Press.

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