Real money. Real objectives. Real rewards.
Despite a volatile and challenging stock market, the Jones Graduate School of Business' student-run M.A. Wright Fund continues to generate impressive returns and win numerous competitions. Comprised of students selected through a rigorous application and interview process, the Fund provides Rice MBA students with a hands-on opportunity to learn, develop, and apply effective stock analysis and portfolio management risk and return techniques.
In 2013, a team of Wright Fund students came in 2nd place in the CFA Institute’s Research Challenge (IRC) – Southwest U.S. Region and advanced to the IRC – Americas Regionals. At the Southwest U.S. competition, the Wright Fund team’s presentation was judged superior to four other finalist teams from an original field of 25 universities. However, based on the IRC’s combined score of written stock research reports and oral presentations, the Fund’s team ended 2nd overall. In 2011, a team of Wright Fund students won the CFA IRC – Texas Region (as it was called in 2011) and advanced to the IRC – Americas semi-finals.
In 2012, a team of Wright Fund officers won the Portfolio Manager’s Competition at the Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium (TIPS). In this competition finalist teams ‘pitch’ their portfolio management process to a panel of esteemed investment professionals similar to the finals presentations that investment firms make to win institutional business. Wright Fund students last won this competition in 2009. Please see the listing below for more details on Wright Fund “Awards and Accolades”.
IRC - TX Winning Team 2011
(L-R) Nolan Waugh, Jeff Montgomery,
Edward Rowe, and Evan Bertrand
Portfolio Manager's Winning Team 2012
(L-R) Brian Walker, Erin Holmes, and Jimmy Moffett
The Fund’s consistently outstanding performance supports $12,500 annually in scholarships. The Wright Fund was recognized as having the Highest 2012 Return for a Student-Managed Core Fund at the QGAME conference in New Haven, CT. The Fund was also recognized for the second highest 2011 return and the highest 2010 return in its style category at QGAME.
The Wright Fund curriculum is designed for students with a sincere interest in the markets who hope to pursue a career in securities research or investment management. The Fund is a two-semester commitment, with half of the approximately 25 enrolled students rolling off each semester to provide for continuity of the Fund. In the first semester, students perform intensive research and analysis of individual stocks, making transaction recommendations for the entire Fund’s consideration. Second semester Wright Fund members serve as ‘portfolio managers’ responsible for the allocation, strategy, and risk-return management of one or two equity sectors. Four of the second semester students serve as elected officers to manage the fund under the guidance of Jill Foote, CFA, Ph.D., Director of the Fund, firstname.lastname@example.org. The officers for this school year are:
Each semester, first-year students are invited to apply and interview for 12 to 14 positions. During the selection process, candidates research and analyze a publicly traded company and make a buy, hold, or sell recommendation. Candidates are encouraged to use Bloomberg, published research reports, individual analysis, and other resources to determine their final recommendations.
The Wright Fund's home base for investment analysis and performance monitoring is the El Paso Corporation Finance Center, which provides students with access to state-of-the-art research resources and analytical software. Students get hands-on experience using extensive data sources and powerful analytical tools such as Bloomberg, Capital IQ, FactSet, and @Risk. Using these resources, along with a number of student-developed tools, Wright Fund students conduct extensive industry-wide and company-specific fundamental research, value companies using multiple state-of-the-art methodologies, and construct optimized sector portfolios based on sophisticated risk and return analysis.
The Fund runs a diversified balanced portfolio with 25 to 30 stocks and a few fixed income assets. Guest speakers from local investment firms regularly visit the class and offer strategic insights and professional experiences. The Fund is also frequently host to conferences including the 10th Annual Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium (TIPS)held on February 16, 2013 at the Jones School. The Wright Fund previously hosted the 2004 (inaugural), 2005, 2009, 2011 TIPS conferences.
The Fund also has ongoing interactions with members of its Oversight Board, which is comprised of senior local investment professionals. Many fund members get actively involved in the CFA Society of Houston (CFAH) and the 2nd annual CFAH Investor Symposium was held at the Jones School on November 8, 2013.
The M. A. Wright Fund was established in 1995 with a generous gift from the family of Myron "Mike" A. Wright, the former President of Exxon (now ExxonMobil). Mr. Wright was also one of the original founders of the Council of Overseers for the Jones School.
For Jesse H. Jones Graduate School students, the Wright Fund offers the opportunity to make real decisions.
Awards and Accolades
- Wright Fund students won the TIPS Portfolio Managers Competition (PMC) in 2012
- Wright Funds students last won the PMC in 2009 and have placed in each of the last seven years
- Wright Fund students placed 2nd in the CFA Institute Research Challenge (IRC) - Southwest U.S. at the 2013 Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium held at the Jones School, advancing to IRC - Americas
- In 2011 the Wright Fund team won the IRC – Texas (as it was then called) and advanced to the Americas Semi-Finals
- Wright Fund students won the inaugural IRC–TX in 2007 and were finalists in 2009
- The Fund was crowned Highest Return in 2012 and 2010, and placed 2nd in 2011 against other student-managed portfolios in the same style category at the student investment conference QGAME
- The Rice MBA is typically ranked among the top ten globally in finance by the Financial Times