Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Xaverian Capital: Schwartz School of Business student society hired as an internal investment manager for StFX

October 13th, 2020
Xaverian Capital co-presidents Daniel Brohman and Jay McKenna

Managing real funds on behalf of a client. That’s what a group of students in StFX’s Gerald Schwartz School of Business will be doing this year. Of note, the client is their university.

StFX’s Board of Governors has approved and hired Xaverian Capital, a Schwartz School student society, as an internal investment management team to manage $500,000 of the university’s endowment funds. 

It's an unmatched opportunity, and Schwartz School of Business Dean Dr. Tim Hynes says he could not be more pleased the university’s Board of Governors hired the Schwartz School students to serve as one of their Endowment Fund investment managers. 

“This shows the board’s confidence in the abilities of our students and their support for our efforts to provide Schwartz School students with the most tangible, real-world experiential learning opportunities,” Dr. Hynes says. 

“This will not only enhance the educational opportunities for our students who hope to move on to careers in the financial markets and banking sectors, but it will give them a real leg up in launching those careers.”

Daniel Brohman and Jay McKenna are the co-presidents of Xaverian Capital, which also includes Connor MacEachern, Dominic Young, Erik Usher, Jacob Nobbe, Joseph Robinson, Josh Foster, Luke Geiger, Nick Coyles, Sam Lacey, Emily Hall, Sophie Sharp, and Zolo Osorjamaa.

LONG TERM BENEFITS

“It excites me knowing the school has trusted students in managing a portion of their endowment. At the end of the day, this will provide learning experiences for students that will be second-to-none. It is definitely something that will have long-term benefits for the academic excellence of the school, as well as for the students that come through the program,” says Mr. Brohman, a fourth year advanced major BBA student from Toronto, ON who hopes to pursue a career in asset management. 

Mr. McKenna is a fourth year student from Calgary AB who is pursuing an advanced major in finance with a minor in economics and would like to begin his career in capital markets with an eye to eventually becoming an entrepreneur. 

“The job market is very competitive in the financial industry and this helps members stand out,” he says.  

“We are also gaining real world experience of managing people in teams. Most people think our experience is solely in investment management, however, leading/being part of a group like XC goes far beyond investment research.” 

ENRICHES EXPERIENCE

Mr. Brohman says the long-term benefits for having students manage real funds on behalf of a client are numerous. 

“For one, this enriches the academic experience for students coming to StFX, knowing they will have the opportunity to gain experiential learning in the form of real-world operations and engage in practical aspects of portfolio management, investment analysis, and valuation. 

“These are all skills that we aim to achieve through critical hands-on learning experiences all while engaging in regular interactions with industry professionals.”

He says this initiative allows students to learn beneficial and practical content that may not otherwise be taught in a classroom. 

“I believe this experience will allow students to build foundational knowledge that is critical to their success as they begin their careers in capital markets. This is an opportunity that is unmatched as they will have direct access to investing $500,000 of their clients' money, an experience you don't usually get until working in a career.”   

ELEVATE READINESS

Mr. Brohman says this initiative has been in the works for years now. The two founders of Xaverian Capital, Thomas Ciha and Cameron Chubb, he says, started the society a few years back with the hopes of securing a grant from the school to manage a student-led fund. “They saw that many other schools had similar programs, which really allowed students to gain real-world experience all while promoting the academic excellence of the school.”

They thought this would be a great opportunity for students to elevate their readiness and credibility as they move into careers in the finance world. 

“StFX has realized that this is a step in the right direction for competing with other top business programs, who have similar student-managed funds. We have all the students on the team go through an extensive training program, which enables the team to be ready for everything that comes with this initiative.” 

The entire team, he says, is thrilled that the school has trusted them to manage a portion of the endowment. 

“The main thing that excites me about this opportunity is the image that it will carry over to the entire school and all the students. This is a professional institution at the end of the day, and it allows StFX to promote the excellence of the business program by having this sort of fund operating.” 

Mr. McKenna says he gained interest in investing while in high school. Although he didn’t work in the financial industry, he began to read and follow the markets. Last summer, he worked for Mackenzie Investments where he conducted research and compared and analyzed mutual funds and ETF’s. 

Mr. Brohman worked at a private equity firm this past summer in Toronto where he dealt with researching potential buyout opportunities. He was tasked with providing valuation models and fundamental analyses of companies, which he says allowed him to continue to build the foundational knowledge of researching and looking for suitable investment options. He’s been investing real money since he was 16 and was able to create his own investment account at age 18. “I have always loved the public markets and have always found ways to make money in them,” he says. 

“I believe this experience will help me as it will elevate my readiness for real-world operations. It has helped me gain crucial valuation skills that I will be able to carry with me into my career. Aside from that, it has also taught me how to manage a team and deal with the adversity that comes with running a sizable organization. It has also taught me how to network well and build relationships in the industry that I will be able to use to my advantage as I progress through my career.”

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