Real money. Real objectives. Real rewards.
Despite a volatile and challenging stock market, the Rice University, 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 2014, a team of Wright Fund students won the CFA Institute’s Research Challenge (IRC) – Southwest U.S. and advanced to the IRC Americas Semi-Finals. In the Southwest U.S. competition, the Wright Fund team’s combined score of the written research report and oral presentation was judged superior to eight other finalist teams from an original field of 25 universities. In 2013, Wright Fund students placed 2nd in the IRC – Southwest and, in 2011, won the CFA IRC – Texas (as it was called in 2011) and advanced to the 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”.
CFA IRC - SW US Winning Team 2014
(L-R) Aries Arifien, Jane Wang, Nael Ashour, Jamie Bullon, and Professor Jill Foote
CFA IRC - TX Winning Team 2011
(L-R) Nolan Waugh, Jeff Montgomery,
Edward Rowe, and Evan Bertrand
The Fund’s consistently outstanding performance supports $30,000 annually in scholarships. The Wright Fund was crowned Highest Return in 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2010; and placed 2nd in 2011 against other student-managed portfolios in the same style category at the student investment conference QGAME in New York City.
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 year, first-year students are invited to apply and interview for a position in the Fund. 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 and FactSet, 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, 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 20 to 25 stocks. 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 12th annual Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium (TIPS) which was held on February 21, 2015 at the Jones School. The Wright Fund previously hosted the 2004 (inaugural), 2005, 2009, 2011, and 2013 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 3rd annual CFAH-Rice Private Wealth Management Symposium and the 2nd annual CFA Texas Investor Symposium were held at the Jones School on November 14, 2014 and February 20, 2015 respectively.
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 CFA Institute Research Challenge (IRC) - Southwest U.S. at the 2014 Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium held at SMU, advancing to IRC - Americas Semi-Finals
- In 2013 the Wright Fund team placed 2nd in IRC – SW US, advancing to IRC – Americas Quarter Finals
- 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
- Wright Fund students won the TIPS Portfolio Managers Competition (PMC) in 2012
- Wright Funds students also won the PMC in 2009 and have placed in seven of the last eight years
- The Fund was crowned Highest Return in 2014, 2013, 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