The goal of the Darden Fund management team is to deliver returns that exceed our benchmark while incurring a comparable level of risk. We believe that superior risk-adjusted returns will result from primary, value-added research that leverages our general management education at Darden.
Our equity investment strategy is focused on the small-cap segment; our equity portfolio benchmark is the S&P SmallCap 600. We believe that markets are least efficient in the small-cap arena, offering us the greatest opportunity for generating positive alpha. Furthermore, while we are focused on bottom-up research, we are optimistic about a reversal of the long bear market. Small-caps have historically outperformed in the initial stages of a bear market, offering additional upside potential to the Darden Fund.
Small companies typically carry more firm-specific risk than larger firms. As a result, the current management team will ensure adequate diversification by holding a larger number of equity positions (~40) than has been true historically (~25). In addition, careful attention will be paid to matching industry exposure to the benchmark.
We believe that the market is least efficient in small-cap segment offering the greatest opportunity for generating positive alpha. Small cap stocks have outperformed mid and large-cap stocks for six consecutive years, and continued this trend in 2004 outperforming the general market by 10%.
It will be difficult for small-cap stocks to continue these outsized returns particularly in an environment of rising interest rates, which has traditionally favored large-cap stocks. However, The Darden Fund managers aim to outperform our competitive benchmarks through a process of disciplined fundamental research and analysis. By leveraging our team’s diverse experiences and educational foundations, we hope to realize superior returns while remaining conscious of the inherent risk of our investments.
Portfolio Manager Bios
Scott Motejunas – Senior Portfolio Manager
Scott received his B.A. in Economics from Johns Hopkins University and is a CFA charter holder. Prior to attending Darden, he worked for Cambridge Associates, an investment consulting firm, and Camden Partners, a growth private equity firm, where he focused primarily on technology-enabled business services companies. Following his first year at Darden, Scott worked as an intern on the Corporate Strategy team at PowerPlan, a private-equity owned enterprise software company that provides financial and tax optimization solutions.
Bob Beasley – Portfolio Manager
Bob is a 2007 graduate of The College of William and Mary, where he earned a BBA in Finance and Government with a concentration in Accounting. Prior to Darden, Bob spent five years at Altius Associates, Ltd., a global private equity advisor and fund-of-fund managers, as a member of the global investment team. In this role, Bob completed primary capital commitments, secondary transactions, and direct co-investment transactions. Following his first year at Darden, Bob interned for the summer in Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Leveraged Finance Group.
Elizabeth Gotimer – Portfolio Manager
Lizzie graduated from Washington & Lee University in 2009 with a degree in journalism and mass communications and a concentration in art history. Prior to Darden, Lizzie spent three years in financial services working in the Human Capital Management division at Goldman Sachs and in a marketing role for the Consumer Services business at American Express. Following her first year at Darden, Lizzie interned at Credit Suisse in the Private Bank.
Dr. Chong Xu – Portfolio Manager
Dr. Chong Xu is currently pursuing a MBA degree at Darden School of Business. Before Darden, Chong most recently worked as Director at Massif Partners and associate of the Massif Healthcare Market Neutral Team, where he was in charge of research and was heavily involved in fundraising activities. Prior to that, he was a healthcare analyst at Affirmed Healthcare, a healthcare focused long/short equity hedge fund, where he managed business operations and fundraising on top of equity research responsibilities. Chong worked from 2001-2002 in Singapore at the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratories as an Assistant Research Officer, where he conducted independent research on the molecular complexity of the central nervous system.
Chong received his Ph.D in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Virginia in 2009. Prior to receiving an advanced degree in the United States, Chong attended China’s Zhejiang University and graduated in 2001 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Technology.