Financial and investment opportunities highlighted at anniversary events

Financial and investment opportunities highlighted at anniversary events.

Photos by Isaiah Tulanda ’20

Claremont McKenna College’s Student Investment Fund and Financial Economics Institute recently celebrated milestone anniversaries, with keynote alumni speakers, student presentations, and faculty discussions at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

Financial and investment opportunities highlighted at anniversary events.


The Student Investment Fund (SIF) is commemorating its golden anniversary this year, while the Financial Economics Institute (FEI) is marking its 20th anniversary — both highlighting how they fulfill CMC’s mission to prepare its students for thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions.

FEI advisory board chairs – Alan Heuberger ’96 and John Shrewsberry ’87 P’24 – opened the daylong event by sharing insights on navigating career paths and building connections for professional growth. Shrewsberry emphasized the long-term impact of the FEI and how CMC students are learning vital practical skills as they work on their institute projects.

Financial and investment opportunities highlighted at anniversary events.

“FEI is a stalwart among the research institutes here at CMC,” said Shrewsberry, who is also a CMC Board of Trustee member. “The work that students are doing with FEI will certainly send them into the workforce with real skills. My advice to students is to absorb all of the benefits of your work and position yourselves for whatever jobs or academic careers that you are truly passionate about.”

The Student Investment Fund, which is operated exclusively by a team of CMC student portfolio managers and analysts, offers students opportunities to manage money and make investments. The returns ultimately fund scholarships benefiting fellow CMCers. Launched in 1974 with a $500 securities investment from a CMC alumnus, the SIF has trained hundreds of CMCers in fundamental investing, long-term strategies for portfolio management, organizational resources, and recruiting and placing human capital within the fund.

“The professionalization of the Student Investment Fund is so impressive,” said Economics and Finance Professor Eric Hughson, who serves as SIF’s faculty advisor. “Students get internships in finance so much earlier in their careers than they used to, and exposure to finance early on is key. It’s really nice to see continued involvement from alumni who were formerly in the fund—the SIF has a network and they use it to get students access to internships.”

Zara Vakath ’24.

At the anniversary celebration, Zara Vakath ’24, CEO of the SIF, along with FEI students Kiefer Tierling ’26, Aryaman Kaiswal ’24, Gabriel Yang ’25, and Matthew Ho ’24 presented their projects. Additionally, Sanjam Gujral ’24, Albert Tang ’27, Anushka Shah ’26, and Tony Pappas ’27 gave Fintech Practicum presentations.

“There are very few universities and colleges, if any, that have a 50-year-old Student Investment Fund,” said Nishant Dass, director of FEI and the Charles M. Stone Professor of Finance. “That the SIF was founded so early in CMC’s 75-year history tells us something about the DNA of our College. I am very proud of this heritage and feel honored to carry the mission forward as the director of FEI. Of course, the nature of the finance industry has changed a lot over this period, and so, I want to make sure FEI adapts and evolves in serving our students appropriately and prepares them for the future of finance.”

Other highlights of the day included:

  • Valay Shah ’08 presented an overview of the alternative asset industry;
  • Matthew Goldman ’04 and Miles Bird ’12 discussed how they launched startup companies;
  • Sean Wasserman ’11 gave a presentation on fintech lending;
  • Ryan Patel, CMC’s Visiting William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellow, spoke on how AI is shaping the future of finance; and
  • Ben Hunsaker ’06 offered the evening keynote address on how CMC had led financial innovation through the SIF and FEI.
Gilien Silsby


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