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Sternies Explore Investment Management

The Stern Investment Management and Research Club Reflects on the Semester

Credit remained a hot asset class for much of last year, and Stern’s 2nd Annual Credit Competition enjoyed significant buzz because of it. The competition, hosted in November 2016, saw participation from top business schools – all pitching credit investment ideas ranging from investment grade to high yield. Stern’s team was represented by Neville Commissariat (‘18), William Li (’18), Pramit Mukherjee (’18), and Shirley Tian (’18), who pitched a Buy recommendation for 14%/L+11.26% Surplus Notes of MBIA Insurance Corporation due in 2033. After two exciting rounds, teams from The Wharton School and Columbia Business School emerged as joint winners.

Eight esteemed judges from the credit industry—including leading credit portfolio managers, managing directors, and successful investment strategists—visited Stern to judge the students’ pitches. The event also featured keynote speaker, Mr. Sheru Chowdhry, Co-Portfolio Manager of Paulson & Co., who shared his expertise investing in distressed credit, structured credit, and other event-driven strategies.

Equities had their day, too, as Stern held its Annual Stock Pitch Competition in October. First-year MBA students sharpened their skills by pitching long and short recommendations from a list of stocks that included Michael Kors (KORS), Trip Advisor (TRIP), Southwest Airlines (LUV), and WebMD (WBMD) among others. After two rounds of pitches and Q&A, the four winners of the competition were Karan Vazirani (URI: Long), Simon Walenski (RIG: Long), William Li (LUV: Short), and Abhinav Sharma (LC: Long) respectively.

Separately, NYU Stern’s part-time investment club organized the S&P Langone Stock Pitch Competition, held in December. Student-led research teams were assigned to industries and pitched stocks to a panel of judges composed of experts in the investment and research industry. A team of Mohnish Zaveri, Diven Sharma, Arthur Khaykin, and Marvin Jiwan won the competition with a Buy recommendation for Lear Corporation (LEA: long)

Sternies have also been leaving their mark at external competitions:

• Simon Walenski, Devesh Kumar, and Jerry Diao reached the finals of UNC Alpha Challenge where they pitched Transocean (RIG: Long), AirLease (AL: Long), and WageWorks (WAGE: Short)

• Karan Vazirani, Abhinav Sharma, and Elise Jia participated in Columbia Business School’s Stock Pitch Challenge where they pitched Hospital Corporation of America (HCA: Long)

• Joe Martoglio, Shirley Tian, and Tina Kou represented Stern in Darden at Virginia Investing Challenge where they pitched Yelp (YELP: Long)

• Neville Commissariat, William Li, and Pramit Mukherjee represented Stern in Cornell Johnson’s MBA Stock Pitch Challenge where they pitched Wayfair (W: Long), AirLease (AL: Long), and Standard Motor Products (SMP: Short)

Finally, SIMR ended last semester with an updated take on passive versus active funds in the 7th edition of its newsletter – eVALUATION. Exploring the trend towards passive investments, the newsletter featured interviews with experts supporting both sides of the debate. Notably, it included an interview with Charley Ellis, leading investment management expert and author of The Index Revolution: Why Investors Should Join it Now, who spoke about his career, how the investment management industry has changed, and his thoughts on the future of the industry. It also featured interviews with renowned and successful active managers, who discussed how they have generated alpha through finding inefficient markets overseas and exploiting inefficiencies caused by passive investments. On the other side, leading providers of passive investments and academics spoke to the significantly lower fees of passive management, how active investing is a zero-sum game, and the recent underperformance of active managers.

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