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Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF)

The Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) provides valuable, real-time experiential learning in securities analysis and portfolio management. Managers gain real world experience in topics and theories that are discussed in the classroom. SMIF is the capstone to investment studies in a sequence of courses developed by the finance department.


SMIF was created in 1993 to provide a "hands-on" experience in research, investing, portfolio management, and the dynamics of the equity markets. The Board of Trustees started the program with a transfer of funds from the University's endowment.

Managers are chosen through a rigorous selection process that encompasses an application, formal interview, and written research report. The existing managers make all decisions with oversight from SMIF faculty advisors. Once selected, managers take courses in an "investment track" consisting of Financial Management, Fixed Income & Derivatives, Investments and Security Analysis, and Portfolio Management.

The managers also receive one unit of academic credit for their participation in the Fund. Meetings are held at least once a week throughout the entire year to evaluate the status of the portfolios and execute any other administrative duties that are pertinent to its success.

SMIF is completely equity based and is split into a Growth Fund and a Value Fund. The two funds are each comprised of approximately eight managers. A General Manager actively participates in both funds and ensures the professional management of SMIF as a whole."

Managers act as security analysts and portfolio managers. Through many different research sources, information is gathered in an attempt to lead to a buy or sell decision. Practical investment knowledge, exercised through field trips, internships, and a close working relationship with market professionals, has enhanced the educational experience for the fund managers.

The Fund maintains working relationships with alumni and other professionals in the financial services industry, acting as mentors for the managers of the portfolio. The managers work with faculty advisors from the finance department as well as with an advisory board consisting of investment professionals in the Richmond community. Each year, the Fund continues to improve and plays a unique role in the finance curriculum. Through high caliber students, determination, and professional conduct, SMIF will remain one of the most unique and prestigious programs offered at the University of Richmond.

Current Managers


Claire Griffiths, General Manager 
Claire is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance, Economics, and International Business, and is minoring in Environmental Studies.  This summer, Claire will be interning at Barclays as an analyst in their Sales and Trading division in New York City. The previous summer, Claire interned as a summer analyst in the consumer and retail group of Corporate Banking at Wells Fargo in Philadelphia. Outside of SMIF, Claire is also the president of Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity at the University of Richmond oriented towards professional development, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and an Oldham Scholar. Claire has lived in nine countries and enjoys traveling, being outdoors, and learning languages.


Sheldon McMeans, Growth Fund Manager
Sheldon McMeans is a rising senior pursuing a major in Economics with a concentration in Finance. Most recently, Sheldon worked at Old Farm Partners, a fund of hedge funds with offices in Richmond and New York, where he performed research and developed operational models for the firm. Next summer, Sheldon will be interning with Barclays in New York in their Equity Research division. In addition to SMIF, Sheldon is active in the University of Richmond ETF Fund and is a partner of Gateway Capital Management, an investment fund oriented towards career paths in investment banking, research and sales and trading. Outside of finance, Sheldon enjoys spending time outdoors, boxing, and cooking. 


Ben Smith, Value Fund Manager
Ben is majoring in Business Administration with concentrations in Economics and Finance. Most recently, he was an acquisitions summer analyst at UBS Realty Investors, focusing on the Southeast region. Prior to that, he worked for Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Simsbury, Conn., for several years. In addition to SMIF, Ben also serves as the co-president of the UR FinTech club on campus and has a strong interest in financial technology. He will be working in New York this summer as an equities summer analyst for Cowen Sales and Trading.


Alex Kohnert, Growth Fund, Vice President of Recruitment
Alex is pursuing a dual degree with a triple major in Economics, French, and Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance. This summer, she will be returning back home to the North where she will be interning with UBS doing Wealth Management in NYC. Outside of SMIF, Alex is a member of multiple business organizations and dedicates her time to community service throughout Richmond. 


Andrew Nummy, Growth Fund
Andrew is from Winnetka, Ill., and is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Economics. He has previous internship experience at Ameritus, a real estate investment group in Chicago, where he analyzed offering memorandums, leases, and financial statements to aid in property valuation. This coming summer, Andrew will intern at BB&T Capital Markets as a corporate rinance analyst in Richmond. In addition, he has held multiple leadership positions at the University of Richmond including Robins School of Business Student Government Senator, Men’s Club Lacrosse President, and New Student Orientation Advisor.


Bennett Cooper, Growth Fund
Bennett is a junior at the University of Richmond with a major in Business Administration concentrating in Finance. Last summer, Bennett worked for HHHunt, a real estate developer down in Richmond, where he worked with their acquisitions team to researched parcels on interest and conduct feasibility studies. Pursuing his passion for real estate, Bennett is the president and founder of the Spider Real Estate Group on campus, which allows students to connect with alumni from Richmond in the real estate industry and share experiences and skills they have developed through internships. Bennett will be working for Cushman and Wakefield in New York this summer as an intern where he will have exposure to multiple facets of the industry.


Blake Goodman, Growth Fund
Blake is a student-athlete from Pittsburgh, Pa., pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. This summer, he will intern at UBS Investment Bank within its Natural Resources group. Blake will also spend two weeks of the summer at the investment bank Harris Williams & Co., where he will participate in the company's M&A Boot Camp program. Last summer, he interned at Clark Capital Management Group, a Philadelphia-based asset management firm. Blake is also a goalie on the Division 1 Men's Lacrosse team.  


Caleb Michalak, Growth Fund
Caleb is majoring in Business Administration with a double concentration in Finance and Economics, as well minoring in Mathematics. He previously held an internship at Bluearc Capital Management, a hedge fund in Atlanta. Most recently, he was a summer analyst at 747 Capital, a private equity firm in New York. This summer he will be interning at Jefferies in the investment banking group. He is also a member of Theta Chi fraternity and serves as treasurer of the university club soccer team.


Kathryn Shea, Growth Fund
Kathryn is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies. She spent the past two summers studying abroad in Argentina and Australia, and last semester she studied at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Madrid, Spain. This summer she will be interning at a wealth management firm in Richmond, Va. Outside of SMIF she is vice president member education of Kappa Delta Sorority and is on the board of directors of the Igstaedter Foundation.


Lexi Serek, Growth Fund
Lexi is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Accounting. Most recently, Lexi was a summer analyst in the Investment Banking Division of Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, N.C., where she rotated through the Healthcare and Power & Utilities groups. This summer she will be joining Barclays as an investment banking summer analyst in New York. Lexi is also the founder of a non-profit organization named “For the Love of the Game” which collects and distributes new and used softball equipment to underprivileged youth in the Northeast region. Further, she is a member of Gateway Capital Management, a student-run investment group oriented towards career paths in investment banking and sales and trading.


Will Gladstone, Growth Fund
Will is a junior in the Robins School of Business. He is majoring in Business Administration, with concentrations in both Accounting and Finance. Will is from Rye, N.Y., a small town just north of NYC. This summer Will is working for Morgan Stanley but is awaiting placement on a specific team. After graduation, he hopes to work in Investment Banking.


Caroline Zerkle, Value Fund
Caroline is majoring in Accounting with a concentration in Finance. She is from Pittsburgh, Pa.. This summer she is interning at PwC in their core assurance practice in New York City. In addition to being involved with SMIF she is the treasurer for Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity and a supervisor at the gym on campus.


Chris Gilbert, Value Fund
Chris is majoring in Business Administration with a double concentration in Finance and Economics. Last summer he interned for the 1776 Capital Group, a subsidiary of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. This summer he will continue his work in wealth management interning for Clark Capital Management Group in Philadelphia. Aside from SMIF, Chris is deeply involved in several organizations and extracurricular activities on campus.


Kat John, Value Fund
Kat is from St. Louis, Mo., and is majoring in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Economics. Next summer, she is working at the J.P. Morgan Private Bank as a Wealth Management analyst. She worked at MB Technology Solutions, a technology consulting firm, last summer as a Business Development and Client Services intern. In addition to her role in SMIF, Kat holds a position in Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and volunteers at St. Catherine’s School weekly.


Kirsten Lee, Value Fund
Kirsten is majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Spanish. She is from Westchester, N.Y. This upcoming summer, she will be staying in Richmond, Va., where she will be interning at Genworth Financial as an Investments Controllership Intern. In addition to SMIF, Kirsten is involved in a number of organizations and extra-curricular activities on campus.


Laughlin Ashe, Value Fund
Laughlin is pursuing a major in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Economics and a minor in Mathematics. Laughlin is originally from Birmingham, Ala. He is interning this summer with the institutional investment firm Highland Associates. Outside of SMIF, he is the business development manager for The Collegian and is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity.


Marty Durkin, Value Fund
Marty is majoring in Business Administration with Finance and Accounting concentrations. Most recently, Marty interned with Dickinson Williams & Co., a lower middle market investment banking firm here in Richmond, Va. The previous summer, Marty interned at The Jordan Company, a private equity firm in New York City. Aside from SMIF, Marty is involved in a number of organizations and extra-curricular activities on campus. 


Michael Elliott, Value Fund
Michael is a rising senior currently pursuing a major in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Economics. Michael spent last summer in Richmond working as an investment banking summer analyst for Marriott & Co Investment Banking, a lower middle market investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisitions (buy and sell-side), capital raises, and strategic advisory. This upcoming summer, Michael will be interning in Washington, D.C., with Raymond James Investment Banking. He will be working within their Diversified Industrials industry group. In addition, Michael is currently a member of Gateway Capital Management, a Head Resident Assistant, Bonner Scholar, the Vice President of Administration on the Inter-Fraternity Council, and a member of the club baseball team at Richmond. Outside of school, Michael enjoys playing sports, being active, and hanging out with friends.


Ross Dimchev, Value Fund
Ross is an international student from Bulgaria. Ross is majoring in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Economics. During his spring semester and the summer after his junior year, he will be interning at Thompson, Siegel and Walmsley where he will be an equity research analyst. Outside of SMIF, Ross enjoys many extracurricular activities such as his a cappella group “Off the Cuff.”

Advisory Board Members

  • Rob Allen, Capstone Financial Partners
  • Nancy Bagranoff, University of Richmond
  • Perry A. Corsello, CFA, Virginia Retirement System
  • Christopher Dion, Lowe, Brockenbrough & Co.
  • John Earl, University of Richmond
  • Steve Fisher, Virginia Asset Management
  • Cederic Fortemps, Matrix Capital Markets
  • Patrick Galleher, Boxwood Partners
  • Steve Goddard, The London Company
  • Chris Haberlin, Davenport & Co.
  • Roberta Keller, Alexis Advisors
  • Ashley Long, 1607 Capital Partners
  • James Mallory, SunTrust Bank
  • Jeffrey McNeill, SunTrust Bank
  • Pat O'Hara, Agincourt Capital Management
  • Chris Pearson, Davenport & Co.
  • Matt Rosenthal, Aptimy
  • Doug Sandler, Riverfront Investment Group
  • Mark Schlegel, CFA, TFS Capital
  • John Sherman, Scott & Stringfellow
  • George Smith, Davenport & Co.
  • Don Steinbrugge, Agecroft Partners, LLC
  • Jerry Stevens, University of Richmond
  • Cody Tafel, Thompson, Siegel & Walmsley
  • Dennis Tarrant, Davenport & Co.
  • Dan Whitlock, Virginia Retirement Systems
  • Lonnie Whitlock, Lowe, Brockenbrough & Co.
  • Brad Young, Altius Associates


Including past portfolios

Research Reports

Past Annual Reports

Application Process

General Timeline:

  • The application process typically begins the week after winter break during junior year
  • The application involves a few essay questions and submission of a resumé
  • Students are screened
  • Applicants are given a company to write up an 8-10 page research report along with assignment of a current SMIF manager mentor
  • Research reports are submitted
  • Interview process is four interview sessions with two people each. Interviews are structured like sales and trading and investment banking interviews
  • Managers are chosen

Selection Requirements:

  • An overall grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • A grade of B or better in FIN 366 – Investments
  • FIN 366-Investments must be taken before fall semester of senior year to participate in SMIF

Faculty Advisor

Dr. John Earl
Department Chair, Finance
(804) 289-8589