CSUN Wins Portfolio Management Competition

The CSUN team holding their award

The first-placing winning CSUN team. From Row: Michelle Ha, Gaby Augustin, Tania Garcia, Kamie Valenza. Back Row: Joshua Woods, Patrick Facey, Spencer Bakst, Hunter Hays, Sara Hatcher, Professor Michael Phillips, Georgy Arzumanyan, Armen Haroutunian. Not pictured: Assistant Adviser James Chong.


California State University, Northridge business students took home first prize at the 13th annual RISE (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) international student portfolio competition, held in conjunction with the RISE 13 investment forum April 4-6.

The CSUN team placed first in the value portfolio category, besting about 200 other teams. The group was also one of only 16 teams invited to present their portfolio strategy at the RISE conference, a coveted invitation that affords the opportunity to meet and discuss their work with some of the industry’s top professionals.

The CSUN students, members of a business honors portfolio management class, manage about $1.8 million of university funds. The program was started about 20 years ago with $500,000 in seed money provided by the CSUN Foundation, which has since been returned in full.

Michael Phillips, the portfolio’s faculty adviser and director of CSUN’s Center for Financial Planning and Investment, highlighted the importance of this authentic management experience for CSUN students.

“This is the preeminent, worldwide student portfolio investment competition,” Phillips said. “It’s one of the most impactful experiences that we can provide to CSUN finance students because it gives them exposure to the real world that’s otherwise impossible.”

Sponsored by the University of Dayton in association with the United Nations Global Compact, RISE is the world’s largest and longest-running student investment forum. RISE brings internationally known leaders in the finance industry to the University of Dayton to share their perspectives on economic and market trends, forecasts and critical issues with students, faculty and professionals.

This year, RISE drew nearly 2,400 participants, including two Federal Reserve presidents, an electronic address from Ben Bernanke, current chairman of the Federal Reserve, and stellar panelists and moderators from the finance industry. CNBC’s Steve Liesman and Bloomberg Radio’s Kathleen Hays broadcasted live from the event.

CSUN has participated in the RISE competition for three years. They have been invited to present their portfolio and placed second in the competition in both of the previous years.

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