2014 Advent

Regents increase student-run endowment management fund, Bloomberg terminals add research support

Student using Bloomberg_terminal

New Bloomberg Terminals Are Ready For Log-On

Sewanee’s student-run Investment Club closed out its first year of active management of a portion of the University’s endowment by handily beating its benchmark, Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

The club’s investment options are limited to stocks included in the Index.  For the year, the club earned almost 21 percent return while the Index was up about 16 percent.

In September 2013, the Board of Regents voted to give the club responsibility for investing $250,000 of the endowment.  The club’s first-year performance was good enough that the Regents have now placed an additional $200,000 under the club’s management.  Including the first-year  return on the original funding, the club now manages just over $500,000 of the endowment.

And as the club takes on the additional responsibility, its members will have a powerful new tool to aid their investment decisions: access to the Bloomberg Professional Service platform, used by many business and financial professionals.

Nine Bloomberg terminals have been installed in the Jessie Ball duPont Library, most in the Academic Technology Center's PC Room, where students have 24-hour access to the technology. All Sewanee students, faculty, and staff may use the Bloomberg Professional service.

Other terminals are going online in the Babson Center for Global Commerce, the office of the finance professor, and the Business Theme House, where a core of the Investment Club is based.

The platform provides access to business and financial news, data, analytics, and research for more than 320,000 global subscribers.

The terminals feature dual monitors and a proprietary keyboard that automates many research queries and functions.

The University has committed to a two-year trial of the service. Funding for the trial has been provided through generous donations from a group of alumni, the Babson Center for Global Commerce, and the library. A decision on whether to renew the service will be based on the level of use.

The new service has “the potential to be a huge benefit for our students,” said Vicki Sells, Associate Provost for Library and Information Technology Services and University Librarian. “I think the question will be how to best achieve multi-disciplinary usage and proper training for all, so that we can ensure we garner appropriate value from the platform.”

“One of the key drivers in getting a financial tool in place at the University has been the growth of our Investment Club to over 100 members as well as the active management of part of the University endowment” said Chip Manning, director of the Babson Center.

“In addition to providing support for business education,” he added, “the Bloomberg Professional service has significant multi-disciplinary applicability. For instance, much of its data sets can be used for research in fields including agriculture, energy, forestry, geology, international studies, journalism and public policy.  A great example is that pre-law students will have access to a comprehensive legal research tool embedded in the service.”