At the end of March, three Robins School students competed in the Quinnipiac G.A.M.E. Forum in New York and beat nearly 50 other schools for first prize. This is the first time a Robins School team has competed in the competition.

Ben Barad, ’18, Devika Jhunjhunwala, ’19, and Tyler Pike, ’18, represented the winning team.

“We were elated to win,” Barad said. “This was our first year in the conference and yet we aimed to win and prove that our university belongs in the competition and can continue to have great results moving forward.”

The team is made up of nine students who work together throughout the year to maintain and make decisions about the University of Richmond Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). The students are Ben Barad, ’18, Caroline Cator, ’18, Arnanto Januri, ’18, John Lawrence, ’18, Tyler Pike, ’18, Hershal Chaddha, ’19, Devika Jhunjhunwala, ’19, Toan Nguyen, ’19, and Collin Zucker, ’19.

The Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) Forum is the largest student-run financial conference in the world with more than 1500 students from 157 universities, representing 42 countries. Students that have managed an actual portfolio during a full calendar year can take part in the student-managed portfolio competition. The competition was based on the portfolio submitted during registration and judged on the risk-adjusted returns. 

“The team has been preparing for the forum the entire year by researching the U.S and the entire globes’ macroeconomic situation and choosing the best assets to invest in,” Barad said. “For the conference we compiled an annual report of over 100 pages with all of the information about the ETF fund research this year and created a poster board to outline our research and performance.”

Devika Jhunjhunwala worked closely with him on the strategy. 

“The way we operate in the fund helped us to easily prepare for the competition,” Jhunjhunwala said. “Throughout the course of the fall semester, we did our top-down analysis, including regional, sector/industry, and ETF analysis, and presented our reports on them. Having all that information to begin with really helped us.”

That detailed research throughout the year pushed the team to the top according to Tyler Pike, ’18. 

“As one person cannot be an expert on the entire global economy, it took a team to win,” Pike said. “We had to cover regions, and then come together as a whole, putting our analysis together to create a clear, well-informed, vision of where the global economy was headed.” 

He also said their specific strategy was more effective than those of the other teams. 

“We quickly realized that were the only fund focused exclusively on ETFs. Further, we were certainly the only group of economists at the conference, which gave us an edge,” Pike said. “We were first shocked and then elated to hear that we had won, effectively beating all the finance student funds at their own game. It was a great validation that our method and structured approach to analysis leads to success.”

“Winning a competition like G.A.M.E. on a national stage signifies excellence in all the factors required for successful investing over time,” said Rob Dolan, professor of economics, and Jerry Stevens, professor of finance, who supervised and mentored the team throughout the year.

According to their website, The University of Richmond ETF fund is a student investment group with academic oversight from the economics department at the University of Richmond. Established in 2014, fund focuses on identifying asset classes and regions through extensive research of key macroeconomic indicators to develop a top-down approach and create a portfolio centered in equities and fixed income. This is the first competition in which the fund has competed.

“This proves our university belongs in this competition, and can continue to have great results moving forward,” Jhunjhunwala said. “We plan to make the conference a highlight of the year for us each year from now on and expect to continue to have some of the best results moving forward.”