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Student-run Bison Fund receives NDSU Research Foundation investment capital


Students of the Bison Fund will help manage NDSU Research Foundation assets.

The NDSU Research Foundation is presenting a major learning opportunity to the student managers of the Bison Fund. The organization’s board of directors has authorized the student group to be the investment manager for $700,000 in foundation assets.

The Bison Fund is an undergraduate student organization in the NDSU College of Business. The students use state-of-the-art technology in the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics commodity trading lab to monitor and analyze financial market data and place trades.

“Having funds from the NDSU Research Foundation managed by the student-run Bison Fund is a win for both organizations,” said NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani, president of the foundation’s board. “The students will have the opportunity to manage a separate fund that requires maintaining a balanced portfolio with asset allocation targets using the ‘Prudent Investor Rule’ while the foundation gains the benefit of having an increased percentage of its endowment funds being actively managed under the oversight of seasoned professionals.”

The Bison Fund currently helps manage more than $1.2 million in investments for the university. The additional monies bring the new total to about $2 million.

“It was exciting to hear that the NDSU Research Foundation decided to move forward with us,” said Bison Fund president Dylan Kallman, a senior and graduate student majoring in agribusiness and applied economics from Lino Lakes, Minnesota. “Many long hours have gone into planning, preparing and creating our pitch to sell them on what we are trying to accomplish. With this opportunity, both the foundation and Bison Fund will continue to create an innovative platform for students to have a real-world investment experience that will help us get the top-tier jobs that others dream about.”

According to the group’s faculty adviser, the Bison Fund experience has helped NDSU graduates gain careers as financial analysts, research associates, portfolio managers and investment advisers.

“There is no question that this $700,000 investment opportunity by the foundation is a great chance for our students to gain experience in fiduciary management of investment assets,” said Jeffrey Chen, assistant professor of finance. “Working in teams, our students will conduct macroeconomic analysis, examine real publicly traded companies, produce professional investment recommendations and implement trading strategy. With the chance of being directly engaged in managing real money, the students can perform as investment managers, which will substantially help them develop the professional skills necessary for the job market.”

In addition to their duties as investment planners, Bison Fund members also host business workshops, host guest speakers from industry and tour investment firms.

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