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Student-run investment group generates high returns

Charles Scarborough

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The Culverhouse Investment Management Group, an investment portfolio managed by selected students at the University, has shown success after its first year of investing. CIMG has turned $315,000 in to $380,000 in a little more than a year. Taylor Ritchie, who spent the last year as CIMG’s vice president of investment strategy, said the hard work and dedication of CIMG’s members has been the central factor in their success but that this type of success requires some degree of luck.

“The group members are the reason why we have performed so well,” Ritchie said “Students that have joined have offered a lot of good stocks for us to pick. They have done a lot of research and a lot of time is spent for them to decide which companies to invest in. But trust me, there is some luck in being this successful.”

Ritchie said the $315,000 came from a variety of outside investors, as well as UA faculty who had faith in the program.

“An investor in Birmingham put a large amount of money in the fund. Dean [Barry] Mason put some money in the fund. The bulk of it comes from outside investors.”

CIMG was founded more than two years ago in order to give students real world experience with investing.

In CIMG’s 2010 report, President Rob Norwood said CIMG is not a “resume builder,” but an organization that will impact members in a variety of ways.

“CIMG gives undergraduates real world investing experience and along with the chance to put into practice what they are learning in their business classes,” Norwood said in the report. “We believe that this opportunity gives our members a significant advantage when they graduate from The University of Alabama and enter the job market.”

CIMG founders Scott Peters, Rigo Flores, Caitlin Sims and Brad Green, have all gone on to high profile careers in the financial sector.

Scott Peters, who is referred to as the “godfather of CIMG” by Norwood within the annual report’s opening letter, recently began work in the Investment Banking division of Raymond James in Houston. Flores works as an analyst in BBVA’s Corporate and Investment Banking division in New York. Sims joined JP Morgan’s security lending desk in the fall of 2009. Green works for Morgan Keegan in Birmingham.

Ritchie, who serves as adviser to CIMG’s board of directors said he has focused his energy to recruiting new members to continue the group’s success following an extremely productive two years.

“Our alumni have all gone on to be successful,” he said. “They have all been offered good jobs and a lot of them are in law school now. We are looking for new members to be successful. We have had a lot of growth and we are looking for talented people to join us.”

Applications for CIMG membership have been sent to all business majors via crimson e-mail accounts. Those interested in being a part of CIMG may e-mail cimg.cba@gmail.com. All applications are due Monday.

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Student-run investment group generates high returns