The Torch Funds allow graduate and undergraduate students, majoring in Finance, at the Haslam College of Business to gain valuable experience managing a portfolio of securities on a live exchange. Students must apply to become Torch Fund managers, and the process is highly competitive. The college’s Carroll, Haslam, LaPorte and McClain Torch Fund managers have unlimited access to the Masters Investment Learning Center’s resources to manage these funds.
Graduate Torch Funds
The Haslam and LaPorte Torch Funds provide Haslam’s first-year MBA students majoring in Finance the opportunity to manage a portfolio of securities currently worth approximately $1.6 million combined.
Beginning October 1, selected students manage either the Haslam Torch Fund or the LaPorte Torch Fund, preparing three performance reports and giving oral presentations to stakeholders within the college including James A. Haslam II, Christopher and Quinita LaPorte and the Torch Fund Professional Advisory Board.
The reports detail the fund’s holdings and performance over three performance periods and relate that performance to a benchmark based on the S&P 500 and Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index.
Haslam and LaPorte Torch Fund graduate student managers are selected each September and receive a total of three academic credit hours for their one-year tenure as a wealth manager. The three hours in Finance 585 count as a finance elective and are awarded at the end of the one-year tenure.
Undergraduate Torch Funds
The Carroll, Haslam, LaPorte and McClain Torch Funds allow junior and senior undergraduate students majoring in Finance the opportunity to manage a portfolio of securities currently worth approximately $2.5Million combined. The funds provide a learning experience that adds to a student’s financial education and enhances potential investment-related employment. The Carroll, Haslam, and LaPorte Funds focus primarily on wealth management whereas the McClain Fund takes a value-investing approach.
The Carroll, Haslam, LaPorte and McClain Torch Fund managers receive a maximum of three academic credit hours in finance (Finance 495) for their two-semester management of a fund. Each semester, managers are responsible for performance reports as well as various oral presentations. The Carroll, Haslam and LaPorte Funds are benchmarked against the S&P 500 and Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index. As a value investing fund, the McClain Fund is benchmarked against the Russell Value Fund.
Students are selected for the program in both the spring and fall semesters. To apply, students must have completed Finance 301 with a C or better and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all upper-division business courses.
Participation in the Carroll, Haslam, LaPorte or McClain Torch Fund is by faculty permission only. Students who wish to be considered for the multi-semester position of portfolio manager should send a current resume, letter indicating their interest, and a one-page discussion of their academic and work background to the current Torch Fund director.