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Claudette Zolkowski
Oct 15, 2015

New $2 million Student-Managed Investment Fund powered by The Kresge Foundation

Oct 15, 2015 by Claudette Zolkowski

The fund complements the business school’s Managing Investment Funds course which teaches students the essentials of portfolio management, stock selection and portfolio evaluation

One of the largest of its kind in Michigan, the fund has been carved out of the foundation’s $3.5 billion investment portfolio. It provides real-world investment experience to OU undergraduates while exposing them to local career opportunities in investment management.

The course is held in the business school’s Data Analysis Lab, which is equipped with professional-level financial tools including 10 dual-screen Bloomberg financial terminals and a stock market ticker. 

Kresge Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Rob  Manilla, FIN ‘85, says Kresge created the student-management investment fund to bolster a talent pipeline of candidates to fill local investment jobs.

“The beauty of the lab is that it gives students the tools they will use in the real world,” Manilla said.

“Graduates from Oakland will have one step up against the competition.”

“We’ll see the success of the program when other Michigan companies — the GMs, the Fords, the Strikers — are fighting to hire graduates of this program,” said Rip Rapson, Kresge CEO

Students Say

“It’s like having an internship, but it’s a class,” Hanna Becker

“This being on my resume will set me apart from others—having real-world, real money experience,” Jennifer Krumholz

“We get real life experience. Not only working with real money, but working with valuation of companies and stocks … actually doing the things we would if we were working for a big investment firm,” Nicholas Stanton

“We really get a great feel for how this position would be in the real world,” Brad Garriguas

Must have completed FIN 322. See, Student Managed Investment Fund web page for more details.


WWJ News Radio 950 Reporter Laura Bonnell likens the Data Analysis Lab to Wall Street, interviews OU business student Jennifer Krumholz; second audio clip interviews business Nicholas Stanton.


An excerpt from The Oakland Press

Oakland University announces $2 million student-managed investment fund

“It’s not just a $2 million investment,” Kresge Foundation president Rip Rapson said. “This is the build out of a whole program that reflects (well) on the university.”

Kresge vice president Rob Manilla, a 1985 Oakland graduate, hopes the program will help the region retain locally trained talent which might otherwise leave the area while seeking their first job out of college.

“We have phenomenal local talent here and sometimes we don’t take advantage of that,” he said.

Manilla was awed by the plethora of equipment in the approximately 1,000-square-foot room.

“They will use the tools used in the real world,” he said. “It gives students a glimpse into what the profession is. ... Kids out of Oakland are going to have a step up.”

One of the inaugural students is Leah Slazinski, a senior finance major from Oakland Township.

“They’ve provided us with every single tool we’ll ever need on top of guest speakers,” she said. “Not many people have (real world experience at the college level). This allows us to think for ourselves – fail or succeed.”

An excerpt from The Oakland Post

Oakland University put $2 million into the hands of its finest: the students. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 30, the Kresge Foundation and Oakland University announced a new student-managed investment fund that will provide students with a real-world experience of managing stocks. 

“This is not just about the two million. It’s really the curriculum,” Manilla said. “The students led through this curriculum will actually pick a stock, and they’ll learn how to value stocks and how to create portfolios. They’ll learn what risk measures are.”

Not only will students be exposed to real-world situations, they will also be able to immerse themselves in a realistic setting.

The data analysis lab was renovated to include two large plasma screen televisions to show stocks and a real-time stock market ticker along the wall. However, the most impressive upgrade is ten dual screen Bloomberg terminals — special computers that can access the Bloomberg Professional service to monitor and analyze market data.

“The beauty of the lab is that it gives students the tools they will use in the real world,” Manilla said. “It gives students a glimpse into what this profession is. Graduates from Oakland will have one step up against the competition.”