SPIFFY wins portfolio competition

SPIFFY, the Maine Business School’s student investment club, has won first-place in a worldwide portfolio competition.

The competition was part of the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (GAME) VIII forum March 22–24 in New York City, in which 1,500 students from more than 160 colleges and universities had the opportunity to interact with industry leaders and learn best practices in investment strategy.

An important feature of the annual event is the portfolio competition that compares the performance of student-managed investment funds. Each college investment team submitted its portfolio account statements, along with asset holdings.

“This is the first time SPIFFY has won this challenging competition and so it is a very significant success,” says Sebastian Lobe, assistant professor of finance and SPIFFY co-adviser with finance and accounting lecturer Matt Skaves.

“Since portfolio performance is measured by evaluating the monthly returns during the calendar year 2017, the award pays homage to SPIFFY members from the last academic year as well as from the current year.”

Co-president and finance major John Laperle says the award “demonstrates how SPIFFY is in the top tier of student-managed portfolios.”

SPIFFY (Student Portfolio Investment Fund) oversees nearly $3 million for the University of Maine Foundation. The club was established in 1993 with a donation of $200,000. Today, with more than 50 undergraduate members from a variety of disciplines, SPIFFY meets weekly to discuss changes to its portfolio.

At the awards ceremony March 23, the announcement of SPIFFY’s win in the “value portfolio” category was a “joyful surprise,” says Lobe, who accompanied 14 student members to this year’s GAME forum.

“What a wonderful timing since SPIFFY celebrates its 25th anniversary this September,” he says.

Former UMaine finance professor and SPIFFY founder Bob Strong, who led trips to the GAME forum each year from 2000 until his retirement in 2015, says he “always enjoyed seeing UMaine students rub shoulders with participants from much larger schools and proudly point out that the SPIFFY funds were considerably larger than theirs.”