Making the investment

Student society profile: Dalhousie Investment Society

- October 29, 2013

(Left to right): DALIS VP Jeremy Austin-Evelyn, President Mike Wilkes and VP Kirsten Neuendorf. (Colin Craig photo)
(Left to right): DALIS VP Jeremy Austin-Evelyn, President Mike Wilkes and VP Kirsten Neuendorf. (Colin Craig photo)

Now in its third year of existence, the Dalhousie Investment Society (DALIS) has become a major presence at the Rowe School of Business. Membership has soared to over 70 students, nearly half of which are first- and second-year business students. Political Science, Economics and Computer Science students are also becoming members.

“DALIS exists to educate students, beyond the classroom, about the complexities of the capital markets and helps members better understand the interdependent nature of political and economic events,” says Mike Wilkes, president. “Our goal is that members will then be able to form their own macroeconomic views that will give them an edge in job interviews.”

A big part of the learning takes place as society members manage a $100 million mock portfolio in the RBC Bloomberg Risk Lab. In order to trade on the portfolio, members must first become Bloomberg Certified. DALIS sets itself apart from other investment societies by incorporating derivatives and structured products in its portfolio. The students are coached by finance professor and DALIS faculty advisor Rick Nason.

DALIS also provides its members with opportunities to participate in national and international competitions and conferences. Five teams will take part in the Montreal Exchange Options Simulation, a nine-week online options trading competition, in which participants are required to execute various options investment strategies.

Learning through simulation

Earlier this year, Dr. Nason took a delegation of DALIS members to New York to attend the Quinnipiac G.A.M.E. Forum, a three-day global asset management forum attended by industry leaders and students from 118 universities around North America.

"DALIS is unique amongst student-run investment funds,” says Dr. Nason “Using a hedge fund format, students are getting the opportunity to do analysis and utilize techniques that other student hedge funds cannot, due to their restrictions.”

DALIS and another student society, the MBA Hedge Fund, have launched a new publication called The Schooner. The electronic publication features articles by students, portfolio performance reports, analytics and interviews with industry leaders.

“We’re excited to see the rapid growth of our society and hope to continue the momentum,” says Wilkes. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the inaugural issue of The Schooner and look to continue strengthening our relationships with the capital markets industry.” Three vice-presidents — Jeremy Austin-Evelyn, Kirsten Neuendorff and Max Vandewall — share executive duties with Wilkes.

DALIS maintains a presence on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook under "Dalhousie Investment Society."


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