Kennesaw State's Student Management Investment Fund team wins international competition


KENNESAW, Ga. (March 26, 2015) —The Kennesaw State University Student Management Investment…

Georgia (Mar 26, 2015)KENNESAW, Ga. (March 26, 2015) —The Kennesaw State University Student Management Investment Fund (SMIF) team has been named the best in the world.

It earned that designation after taking first place at the Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) Conference’s Undergraduate Growth Style Investment Competition held recently in New York. It was the first time Kennesaw State has participated in the five-year-old competition.

There were more than 1,200 participants from 140 colleges and universities representing 40 countries, 39 states and the District of Columbia.

“This is like winning the Olympics,” said Stefano Mazzotta, associate professor of economics and finance. “And our students won the undergraduate competition, the most competitive one. When we say that Kennesaw State is a world-class institution, we mean it. This success supports it.”

The object of the evaluation was the Student Management Investment Fund itself, and results were based upon the brokerage statements and monthly returns. In 2014, the Kennesaw State SMIF strategic asset allocation achieved a high return with relatively low risk when it returned 15.4 percent, (versus the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index of 11.3 percent), with a market beta of 0.89 and a Sharpe ratio of 1.7.  

“This is a wonderful success story and the results of intense and meticulous work of several cohorts of student managers over the years and careful mentoring,” Mazzotta said. “I feel really proud of our students, managers, associates and analysts.

“I also feel very grateful to Dr. Gene Henssler, Mrs. Pat Henssler and the Henssler Financial Group for donating the seed money that started it all. I am happy that we can repay our debts of gratitude with such dividends.”

The Kennesaw State University Student Managed Investment Fund LLC, established in August 2008, was created to provide real-time, hands-on experience in portfolio management and investing for its top business majors. Students are actively involved in the management of the fund on a day-to-day basis, effectively applying classroom theory to a real-world setting.   

The SMIF, housed within the Michael J. Coles College of Business, provides students with hands-on asset management experience and the opportunity to interact with established members of the financial business community. In addition, students may receive academic credit for their work with the SMIF. Student members have also participated in other activities such as the RISE conference in Iowa and are eligible for upcoming functions that are designed to enhance the learning experience of the SMIF.

“I am extremely proud of all the hard work and dedication put forth by the past and present members of the fund,” Nicole Moutos, SMIF chief executive officer, said.

 Tim Turner 


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit