Earlier this month, the Laker Asset Management club finalized negotiations with the university’s endowment committee to approve a significant increase in this year’s funding.
This year, the Mercyhurst endowment fund approved a 100% increase, which brings the total of university funds being managed by LAM to $200,000.
“Since we received the first $100,000 in February 2018, we have illustrated that we understand how to limit risk through proper diversification while keeping steady returns,” said current LAM president and one of four co-founders, senior Adrian Larsen. “In order to keep turnover of assets high from semester to semester and increase club engagement we asked for another $100,000. The idea is that we can set aside a small portion of the money for shorter term investments, which will ensure that the club has something to invest with every semester.”
Now three years old, Laker Asset Management views this increase in funding as an important milestone for the club, Larsen said.
“To have a second round of funding in three years is nothing short of remarkable,” Larsen said. “I am very excited about the fact that we will be able to provide our members the opportunity to have a larger say in the investments. The added $100,000 will increase participation and turnover in our investments.”
LAM was founded in the spring of 2017 to create an intellectually creative environment for hands-on experience in financial research. The club also boosts networking opportunities for current students with alumni and other professionals.
LAM meets weekly and devotes its time to research, discussions, making investment pitches and weighing in on portfolio decisions.
There are approximately 20 students who participate on a regular basis, with an additional 10 to 30 students who come to observe and join in from time to time.
LAM vice president Drew Hoover, a junior, said LAM meetings are designed to be equally educational and experiential.
“Every week, the club officers and board members try to provide a teaching aspect to the meeting for those students that are new to investing,” Hoover said. “About halfway through each meeting, we then dive into more developed research that applies directly to our portfolio. These two segments of our weekly meetings allow for a diverse group of Mercyhurst students to be interested in the club.”
LAM makes efforts to prepare students for their future careers and provides them the opportunity to manage a large amount of Mercyhurst’s endowment fund.
Students are broken down into teams, who then research new investment ideas.
“Since I’m a junior analyst in the domestic sector, I work with my team in researching domestic companies and finding potential investments,” said junior analyst Nathaniel Tennesen, a sophomore who joined LAM this year.
Another first-year LAM member, sophomore Michael Koniar, agreed that he values his investment research experience.
“I am most proud of the research I did for our solar investment,” Koniar said. “We just recently decided to buy a solar (exchange-traded fund) and the research that was done to find out if it was a good purchase was done by my group.”
Laker Asset Management is looking to expand their student experience even more over the next several months.
This semester, the club is sponsoring a trip to Pittsburgh to meet with finance professionals. Next semester, club members will embark on their annual trip to New York City, which they hope to expand from last year.
“This will be our second time visiting, and we plan on making more connections with people that are either alumni or friends of alumni,” Hoover said.
For students interested in getting involved with Laker Asset Management, weekly meetings take place each Tuesday at 7 p.m. in CAE 311.
Interested students can also check out the club’s website at lakerasset.com.