How the Fund Operates

Student sitting in the Parker Center Lab, speaking to another person off to the side

The Cayuga Fund class (Applied Portfolio Management) is the capstone class in asset management for students interested in pursuing investment management careers. Both undergraduates and MBAs may participate.

The Cayuga Fund is a student-managed fund with assets under management of approximately $1.5 million in Cornell University endowment money. MBA students interested in becoming Portfolio Managers for the Cayuga Fund and participating in the associated course, NBA 5120 – Applied Portfolio Management, are selected in the spring semester of their first year in a competitive process based on academic preparation and achievement, strong analytical skills, and demonstrated interest in pursuing investment management careers. They are also encouraged to participate in the management of the Cayuga Fund in their first year by trying out to be first-year sector analysts for the fund and receive course credit for doing so (NBA 5250 – Cayuga Fund MBA First Year Sector Analyst program). Undergraduate students interested in taking the Cayuga Fund class should take NBA 4120 – Equity Investments and Analysis (offered every spring) as a prerequisite.

The selected managers enroll in the Applied Portfolio Management class (NBA 5120/5121 for MBAs and NBA 5121 for undergraduates), taught by Professor Scott Stewart and Senior Lecturer Chris Meredith. Each member participates in one of seven teams that cover key economic sectors in the S&P 500. Based on rigorous research, they prepare and present proposed investment ideas to the class as a whole. Student course grades are based on their formal reports, presentations, and class participation, as well as portfolio performance relative to the sector benchmark.

Faculty Advisors and outside Investment Advisors (professional portfolio managers or research analysts, many of whom are Johnson alumni) work with students, providing resources and ongoing expert feedback in the investment process. Investment Advisors may be invited to attend formal class presentations in person or via teleconference. Student Portfolio Managers prepare a formal annual report on the performance of the fund, which they present at the end of the academic year.

In addition to the Cayuga Fund course, Johnson offers several other courses tailored to meet the needs of future investment professionals. Interested students are encouraged to make an appointment to see any member of the Parker Center faculty and staff to learn more.