American University of Beirut

Students secure second place at the largest global portfolio management competition amid COVID-19

​​​​​​A group of students from the Investment Management Program (IMP) at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB) won second place at the Quinnipiac University Global Asset Management Education (GAME) Forum virtual edition of the portfolio competition, the largest student-run financial conference in the world.

The three-day GAME Forum offers participants an exquisite opportunity to be exposed to and discuss the financial best-practices with world-renowned industry leaders. This year, more than 1,500 students from 150 universities worldwide presented the strategy, philosophy, and performances of their student-managed fund portfolios using a virtual interface. The AUB–IMP team competed with more than forty other funds in the undergraduate value investment category, and were awarded runner-up, despite it being their first participation ever.

"Notwithstanding COVID-19, the organizers took the opportunity to confer away, thus continuing to hold the global portfolio competition to offer students an unparalleled experience, as well as career networking with industry-lead professionals," says Dr. Wassim Dbouk, director of the IMP program.

AUB's team comprised of undergrads Tala Al Assir, Najwa Al Sammak, Jad Ghanem, Gaelle Yammine, as well as their mentor Dr. Wassim Dbouk, Associate Professor of Finance at AUB.

"I'm proud to have been part of this impressive achievement which demonstrates drive, dedication, and commitment by OSB towards transforming business education in the MENA region, especially in the investment field," says participant Jad Ghanem. "Our fund's investment strategy emphasizes good quality stock picks, and a balanced robust portfolio in order to maintain returns in bull markets, while withstanding pressures in times of turmoil."

Teammate Najwa Al Sammak calls the win a great personal milestone, "I am proud to be part of a team that doesn't only work hard but works passionately. Winning second place bestows a great milestone for the program. I want to congratulate not only my colleagues, but everyone who directly and indirectly supported us and pushed us forward…this wouldn't have been possible without them."

Her teammate Tala Al Assir reminds us how AUB-OSB were pioneers in the Middle East by lunching the $ 1 million student-managed investment fund. "This contest was a test to verify whether our work was up to international standards. It’s a great honor for us to get such recognition from experts in the industry, especially when measured against top universities, who have been doing this for years. It demonstrates that our work and education are truly top notch, and that we are on the right track to future success," acknowledged Al Assir.

As for teammate Gaelle Yammine, she believes that their IMP portfolio was strategically well-positioned with regards to asset allocation and security selection, which would not have been possible without constant teamwork as well as support by OSB. "The opportunity to showcase our work on a global scale is a huge achievement that we are very grateful for," she remarked.

OSB Dean Steve Harvey salutes students working tirelessly during these volatile times, "The strength of our students is impressive. It shows that our students and Dr. Dbouk have established themselves as world-class in their field."

 Investment Management Program at a Glance

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