Loras College earns second place in worldwide investment competition

Robert Waterbury

Two teams placed in the top five

DUBUQUE, Iowa – A team from Loras College, a liberal arts Catholic College, has earned second place in a worldwide investment competition with both of its student-led teams earning invitations to the finals by placing in the top five among 70 universities from 14 different countries.

The Peeptrade Global Investment Challenge is designed for undergraduate and graduate students worldwide to receive real money management experience. Contestants construct a portfolio using a virtual endowment of $1 million and compete on the investment performance of their virtual portfolios.

“Loras finance students have the opportunity to manage a portion of the Loras endowment through a course called LIFE (Loras Investment Fund for the Endowment) Portfolio, but this challenge allowed the students to see that what they learn about investment at Loras makes them competitive against teams from top universities from around the world,” Eric Eller, associate professor of finance, said.

Loras’ wealth management team including seniors Zach Frett, of DeWitt; Joe Shealy, of Peoria, Illinois; and Kyle Zacok, Naperville, Illinois, earned second place in the undergraduate division during finals held at the University of Chicago. Its second team made up of senior Matt Henick, of Western Springs, Illinois; junior Nicole Moeller, of Janesville, and senior Vladimir Petrov, of Vidin, Bulgaria, placed in the top five.

Cash awards were given to the top three finishers with Loras’ second place team receiving $2,000. The University of Technology Sydney placed first, while Hong Kong Baptist University and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona tied for third place.

Both Loras teams were the sole U.S. representatives in the top five, outpacing teams from Washington University (St. Louis), Rice University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Oklahoma State, Darmouth, Georgetown University, John Hopkins University, George Washington University and more.

Finalists were determined by performance of their portfolios in comparison to performance of the S&P 500 over the competition period, along with other investment criteria. Finalists then presented to a panel of longtime financial professionals. Scores were based on performance, presentation, Investment Policy Statement (IPS), adherence to that IPS, and a final report submitted at the completion of trading. Both Loras teams, as they do in the LIFE Portfolio class, chose to screen potential investments to ensure they conformed to Loras values based in Catholic Social Teachings.

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