HOUSTON, TX, June 15, 2007 – The C. T. Bauer College of Business is pleased to announce that the Cougar Investment Fund, L.L.C. (the Cougar Fund), has closed for new investment in 2007 with a record $1.7 million in new contributions bringing the total fund assets to over $9 million. The Cougar Fund is a private investment fund managed by Bauer College graduate students. The Fund’s purpose is to give students the opportunity to gain experience in the management of an investment portfolio while providing a diversified investment vehicle for its investors. The Cougar Fund started in February, 2002, as a tool for teaching masters level finance students how to become professional investment fund managers. The initial investment offering of $1.9 million from 19 investors has regularly outperformed its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index.
Out of approximately 6,000 university based student run investment funds in the United States, the Bauer College Cougar Fund is one of only three that doesn’t rely on university endowment funds. Students of all backgrounds compete for limited manager slots – between 16 and 24 are available each year – and commit to participating for 12 to 16 months. Bauer Finance Professor and Cougar Fund Managing Director Ronald F. Singer explains that:
“The Cougar Fund is a student run private investment company, with real investors and real money that delivers a real return to its investors. The value of this experience goes way beyond finance to all industries where knowledge of how to value business operations and analyze investments makes a difference to the corporate bottom line.”
Bauer Finance Department Chair Professor Praveen Kumar praised the educational value of this highly selective program. “The diverse background of Cougar Fund managers makes this experience a tremendous training ground for the real world of business,” observed Kumar. “This program gives our graduate students the chance to take a top-notch education in financial management and apply it to the global marketplace. Students benefit from the practical experience and employers benefit from getting access to student leaders who know what it takes to succeed in today’s complex economy.”
In February, 2007, a team of three finance majors and fund managers – Jeff Detwiler, Michael Sergii, and Jason Wangler – competed in the Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium (TIPS) representing the Cougar Fund. The Bauer team was the only public school chosen among five finalists and ultimately placed second in the regional competition.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.
About the Bauer College of Business
The C.T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than 60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully accredited by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the college was renamed the C.T. Bauer College of Business.