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UT Joins 2011 TVA Investment Challenge


TVA logoAfter taking a three-year hiatus, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration is participating in the 2011 TVA Investment Challenge (TVAIC) -- a unique, innovative partnership between TVA and 24 universities in its service area, sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

In the challenge, students actively manage TVA stock portfolios, each worth approximately $250,000. They design long-term investment strategies, place trades and provide performance reports to TVA. Students are held to guidelines that are similar to TVA's professional money managers.

"Students participating in the TVA Investment Challenge manage real money and build a portfolio of securities. The lessons students learn and the opportunities they have to apply fundamental principles of investing will be invaluable to them as they begin their careers," said Darren Williams, faculty advisor to the UT Knoxville team.

Each school's final portfolio performance will be evaluated in December 2011 as the schools compete for financial awards. During the years that UT Knoxville previously participated, 1998-2007, the university's annualized total return on its portfolio was 12.9 percent, significantly above the 3.6 percent generated by the S&P 500. The UT teams won a total of $115,303.

To support the 2011 competition, the college created a special TVA Investment Challenge finance course taught by Williams this semester and will continue through the fall. Students were selected on the basis of their GPA, a resume and an interview. The 2011 nine-person team consists of Louis Amagliani, Diego B. del-Castillo-Negrete, Will Jolly, Dilshod Jumaniyazov, John Kerrigan, Michael Knapp, Matthew Price, Suzanne Rech and Alan Williams.

The students' credentials are stellar, yet diverse. They are juniors and seniors majoring or having a specific interest in finance, international business, mathematics, economics, entrepreneurship, accounting and logistics. They include a member of the Chancellor's Honors Program and the college's Global Leadership Scholars program, a co-founder of the University of Tennessee Investment Group, and an Ambassador to the Masters Investment Learning Center.

"The TVAIC is a great program that allows us, as students, to apply the skills that we learn in other classes to real-world situations," said Amagliani. "We make decisions based on solid research and corporate analyses."   

In addition to his educational role at UT Knoxville, Williams is a securities analyst at Martin & Company, an investment firm with over $1.4 billion in assets. He focuses on equity research and analysis and on equity portfolio and strategy recommendations.

Other participating universities include Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Austin Peay State University, Belmont University, Christian Brothers University, East Tennessee State University, Lipscomb University, Middle Tennessee State University, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, Murray State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, Trevecca Nazarene University, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Kentucky, University of Memphis, Union University, University of Mississippi, University of North Alabama, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Tennessee at Martin, Vanderbilt University, Western Carolina University and Western Kentucky University.

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