Center for Asset Management - Off and Running

The Darden School is pleased to announce substantial progress in the campaign to create the Center for Asset Management (CAM), which will serve as a hub of thought leadership and professional development for faculty, students, alumni and business practitioners in the field of asset management.

Thanks to CAM’s founding donors (see below), the center has raised more than $10 million in early seed money toward the $12 million goal of phase one. The CAM campaign’s total goal is $20 million.

"We are enormously grateful to the donors," said Darden’s Dean Bob Bruner. "The business of managing wealth on a global scale has become increasingly complicated and competitive. With continued support, CAM will build on Darden’s strong foundation in finance to prepare principled leaders for the asset management industry and deliver a steady stream of thought leadership in this important field."

The Wide Spectrum of Asset Management

Worldwide, more than $24.7 trillion are now invested in mutual funds. There are more mutual funds listed in the United States than stocks trading on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

"Asset managers need to understand risk and return for an increasing number of complex securities across the full spectrum of asset classes, including equity, fixed income, cash, currency, real estate, infrastructure, hedge funds and private equity," said Darden Professor Ken Eades, faculty adviser for the initiative. "CAM will be active in research and teaching across the wide spectrum of asset management."

The Center for Asset Management will: 

  • Support and encourage a stream of high-quality research published in top journals such as Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics and Financial Analysts Journal
  • Host regular conferences, such as the highly regarded University of Virginia Investing Conference (see ad this page) and the International Finance Conference
  • Identify best practices in asset management through research focused on practicing managers
  • Champion the asset management curriculum at Darden
  • Enhance Darden Capital Management (DCM), the student investment fund program
  • Develop and market asset management cases and other educational materials

Next Steps

"Completion of the first phase of fundraising will allow us to formally launch CAM and initiate a host of activities. Once we reach the $12 million goal of the first phase, we will recruit a renowned faculty member in the field of asset management to lead CAM forward," said Eades. "We seek to hire a leading thinker and senior faculty chair to direct CAM’s array of activities and innovations."

Phase two, for which the School seeks an additional $8 million, will invest in research and bring top asset managers to Darden to serve as visiting CAM fellows.

New Opportunities for Students

CAM funds will also provide additional support for Darden Capital Management Club, Darden’s 120-student investment club, members of which oversee five funds with different investment objectives —value, small cap, global, long/short, and sustainable investment — with a total portfolio value of $6.7 million.

"DCM sets us apart from other business schools," said Professor Yiorgos Allayannis, who serves as DCM’s faculty adviser. "The students run a small-scale asset management shop. They pitch stocks, make real-time decisions about real money held by the School’s endowment and must defend their position, to each other and to the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees. No other school gives students such responsibility, accountability and opportunity, and the program is a tremendous draw for students interested in the asset management field."

Thirty percent of Darden graduates enter the financial services industry, and many rise to leadership in the industry.

"CAM will provide an array of new educational opportunities for our students," said Bruner. "The center will bring together Darden’s finance professors with executives from top financial services companies to develop new approaches that will inform and inspire the industry. Ultimately, we aspire to make a big mark on this broad and global field."

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