The Bentley Investment Group (BIG) is a student organization that is responsible for managing a portion of the university’s endowment. This student-managed portfolio gives Bentley students the opportunity to make real investment decisions. BIG is open to and has members from a variety of majors and provides students with the experience of working in a team environment and making group decisions.
Founded in 1997, with an original allocation of $250,000 from the Board of Trustees, the original 24 members of BIG worked hard to establish the framework for this new educational concept. Throughout the years, BIG has grown by leaps and bounds, implementing new strategies and reforming internal processes.
BIG has established guidelines and procedures for more efficient presentations and stock valuations, as well as a more efficient decision-making process.
The group has its funds allocated to several equities across six industries. Because of correlation among certain industry groups, BIG combined technology with telecom and materials with industrials. The group also added real estate into the conglomeration. The intuitive diversification they implemented plays an important risk hedging measure that the group has taken.
Though the academic calendar does not stretch the length of a full year, the investment group operates year-round. Over the summer, BIG meets bi-weekly through online conferences. At the meetings, they cover stop-losses (another risk hedge) and discuss market direction in order to prepare more for the various market trends. Those in attendance of these meetings include the Executive Board and a few individuals whose eagerness to assist the portfolio’s undertakings far exceeded the limitations of the academic year.
The goal of the Bentley Investment Group is to provide undergraduate students the investment management duties to a portion of the Bentley University endowment. The group’s goals are to achieve capital appreciation of the portfolio, while providing an educational experience to each member. The group is open to all members of the Bentley community and maintains its classification as a student-run organization with no control or unprompted intervention from a third party.
The Bentley Investment Group seeks to run an equity fund focusing on investment exposure to small, mid, or large capitalization companies that conduct business on a global scale.
BIG takes a two-prong approach to running the fund, focusing on education and capital appreciation. BIG educates the membership on investment vehicles, thereby retaining more knowledgeable members, who go on to contribute to the investment process of the fund.
Using an active fundamental investment approach, the Bentley Investment Group aims to add value to the investment process by making active decisions in sectors and individual securities. Therefore, security selection is a key driver for returns. BIG allocates assets by using the experience and analytical expertise of all members. By utilizing a predominantly top-down investing approach, BIG is able to allocate into various sectors that the group sees as the most efficient diversification of the Fund.
The fund’s assets are divided using the benchmark’s sector weightings as a guideline. The stated weightings are discussed by the membership, and deviations are decided upon. Reallocation to match desired weightings takes place on a weekly basis.