On May 2, The William C. Dunkelberg Owl Fund met to present their Annual Report to board members and Owl Fund alumnus. The Owl Fund’s mission is to provide the Temple University students with an active learning environment where they put investment principles into practice to achieve professional and personal goals related to investment management.
In 2016, members were able to learn and gain real experience inside the world of asset management. The year had an unprecedented amount of geopolitical events throughout the year, which caused market volatility. The Fund appreciated by 8.15%, underperformed the S&P 500, which was up 11.96% by 384 bps. The 8.15% gain on the year gave the Fund a market value of $256,613.38 as of December 31, 2016.
During the Fall 2016 semester, the Temple University Board of Trustees and executive administration allocated $250,000 from the University’s Endowment to the Owl Fund, effective January 1, 2017. The fund will receive monthly installments of ~$20,000 throughout the year.
The Fund also made changes to the investment policy statement (IPS). The Fund is now allowed to invest in companies that are not a part of the S&P 500 Index. This expands their investment horizon beyond ~500 stocks. Its sector holdings limit was also increased during the school year, from five stocks to seven stocks. This will help the Fund diversify, and limit the use of sector ETFs. Finally, the Fund is now allowed to invest in publicly traded REITs, as Real Estate became its own sector on September 23, 2016. These changes signal unanimous confidence that the University has in the Fund. Leo Helmers, member of the Dean’s council and Owl Fund Advisory Board, attended a meeting recently and said, “President Englert was gushing,” after the presentation the students made to the University’s Investment Committee earlier last week.
The opportunities gained in the Owl Fund are unmatched real-world experiences that expose students to global investment world. “The Owl Fund gave me access to C-suite executives and investor relations teams from Fortune 100 companies, introduced me to Temple alumni across the financial markets, and allowed me to meet top industry professionals from across the country. Most importantly, I was able to meet highly motivated and passionate peers and work with them on challenging projects,” said The Chief Investment Officer of the 2016 – 2017 academic year, Joseph Heidt.
During the first quarter of the year, from January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017, the Fund outperformed their benchmark by over 100 basis points (1%). The year-to-date is up ~75 basis points (.75%) from their benchmark and they are learning from their experiences from the past year to put forth the tactics gained this semester. The Fund hopes to continue to grow throughout the rest of the academic year.