Make The Connection

November 30, 2022 | By Cole Hatcher

Jeremy Dao ’24 (from left), Kolby Brock ’23, and professor Barbara MacLeod represent Ohio Wesleyan at the recent Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium (SMIFC) Conference in Chicago. OWU is a founding member of the consortium. (Photo courtesy of Kolby Brock)

Earning Learning

Ohio Wesleyan Students Attend National Conference on Student-Managed Investment Funds

Name: Kolby Brock ’23
Hometown: San Dimas, California
Major: Politics and Government
Minor: Accounting
High School: Western Christian High School (Upland, California)

Name: Jeremy Dao ’24
Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Major: Finance
Minor: Accounting
High School: Le Hong Phong High School for the Gifted

OWU Connection Experience: Attending the Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium (SMIFC) Conference in October in Chicago

Brock is the current president and Dao is a former vice president of the Ohio Wesleyan Investment Club, which manages a stock portfolio currently valued at more than $179,000. The investment club’s 10 current members meet weekly and are mentored by professor Barbara MacLeod, CFA, OWU’s John J. Joseph Professor of Business Administration.

Both students traveled with MacLeod in October to attend the annual Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium (SMIFC) Conference hosted by Indiana State University’s Scott College of Business. Ohio Wesleyan is a founding member of the consortium.

Both Brock and Dao also are Economics Management Fellows, selected for their high potential for success at OWU and interest in business-related studies.

‘Invaluable Experience’

Brock: “Investment Club has been an invaluable experience that has allowed me to bring together my interests in the economy and politics. ... 

“The current economic situation has made it difficult for all investors. Issues like supply chain shortages, inflation, foreign exchange rates, and a potential recession have negatively impacted companies’ financial results and investor sentiment. The club has to look at companies with positive fundamentals and strategic growth plans for the long-term future.

“The Investment Club invests in companies for the long term, so the question we ask ourselves is do we have confidence in a company to weather economic uncertainty in the short term and to be positioned for growth over the long term.

“Professor MacLeod advises the club on stock trades, submits trades once approved by student-vote, invites her connections to share about their job and knowledge in the investment field, and provides students information on opportunities such as training and conferences.”

Dao: “The club is a wonderful place for you to get used to the concept of investing. I was able to learn a lot from the club and professor MacLeod is a very kind person. She introduced me to an internship opportunity last summer and it was a fantastic experience for me.” (Dao interned at Scholtz & Company LLC, completing operations and investment analyses for the Stamford, Connecticut-based investment strategy and management company owned by OWU alumnus Peter Scholtz ’74.)

Favorite SMIFC Conference Moments

Brock: “My favorite part of the conference was talking with other like-minded college students about their college’s investment portfolios and their successes and challenges. College students from across the country came together to discuss and learn more about investments.”

Dao: “It was to learn about the current economic events and their implications on the market.”

SMIFC Lessons

Brock: “I learned that many other universities’ Investment Clubs are through an upper-level class and the opportunity to join is limited to only Finance majors. At Ohio Wesleyan, Investment Club is open to everyone regardless of major and class year, which allows anyone to participate in managing a portion of the university endowment. It is truly a privilege to be able to be a part of the club.”

Dao: “It is always useful to understand the current state of the U.S. economy and also that of the world, and to learn about the future expectations from the experts’ perspectives. What was talked about at the conference pretty much tied to what I learn in my finance classes, which I really love to see, especially that theory-to-practice connection.”

Why Ohio Wesleyan

Brock: “I chose Ohio Wesleyan because of its affordability and the OWU Connection with the ability to travel to explore interests more in-depth such as attending the SMIFC Conference and Theory-to-Practice Grant opportunities.”

Dao: “I came here because OWU has such a strong department in Economics and Finance, which are what I am interested in. I also talked to alumni and current students and received very positive feedback about the experience here with very useful professors.”

Plans After Graduation

Brock: “My plans after graduation are to pursue a career in public service, helping to improve state government.”

Dao: “I am not really sure. Maybe to seek some professional full-time position as a financial analyst or something related to finance and accounting.”