Highlight: Dr. Erin Oldford
The Fund is Memorial University’s first student-managed investment fund (SMIF). Launched in September 2018 with alumni donations totalling $150,000, The Fund provides students with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary for careers in capital markets.
Dr. Erin Oldford led the development and implementation of The Fund and currently serves as its faculty advisor. In her paper titled Confessions of a faculty advisor: Development of a student-managed investment fund under constraints, published in Managerial Finance, she chronicles the experience of setting up a SMIF at a regionally-based school including the challenges and decision-making processes during implementation as well as the capacity-building process and program design.
Dr. Oldford drew on the experiences and scholarly research of over 300 SMIFs around the world as well as the expertise of Memorial faculty members and mentorship from local industry to develop and implement The Fund. By outlining proposed organizational, governance and funding structures, along with performance metrics and curriculum integration opportunities, she provides an in-depth resource for other institutions looking to set up a SMIF.
The primary goal of The Fund is to provide students with an active, experiential learning opportunity through researching and investing real money in capital markets. SMIFs also benefit students by increasing the number of guest speakers in classes and SMIF meetings and cultivating more opportunities for student internships as relationships with alumni grow and deepen. Dr. Oldford says that the SMIF also provides value to both the university and the business community by attracting students interested in studying finance, broadening the breadth of courses offered, enhancing relationships with alumni and generating positive media coverage.