Darden Capital Management

Jefferson Fund


The objective of the Jefferson Fund is to maximize investment returns, while at the same time minimize systematic risk. Diversification is not only achieved at the sector/industry level, but also through asset allocation. As part of Darden Capital Management, the Fund’s other objective is to provide students with an opportunity to enhance their understanding of security valuation and portfolio valuation techniques, with the expectation of furthering their pursuit of careers in the asset management industry.

The Jefferson Fund seeks to generate excess returns through a value-based strategy, whereby out of favor or undervalued investment opportunities are identified primarily through a bottom-up process. We believe that this style of investment, which emphasizes the importance of a company’s valuation and invests only in those companies which are believed to be trading at a discount to their intrinsic value, will lead to consistent long-term outperformance. Furthermore, by concentrating on companies with market capitalizations of $200 million to $5 billion and with little analyst coverage, which we believe to be less efficient, the Fund is positioned to capture above average investment returns. From time to time, the managers may identify and invest in undervalued companies with larger capitalizations. At any given time, the Fund will hold between 20-25 positions. Individual holdings will be limited to a maximum of 6% at time of investment.

According to the Fund’s mandate, it will hold at all times a minimum of 20% invested in a combination of cash and fixed income instruments. The managers expect to invest the fixed income portion of the portfolio primarily in U.S. Government securities. From time to time, the Fund may invest opportunistically in corporate bonds. The managers intend to minimize the cash allocation.

The Fund will be managed against a blended benchmark comprised of 80% Russell 1000 Index and 20% Lehman Brothers 7-10 Year Treasury Index.

Investment Thesis

The Jefferson Fund seeks out of favor or undervalued investment opportunities. At any one time, we intend to hold between 20-25 equity positions.

The managers will have no industry bias and will invest opportunistically in any and all sectors.

The Fund will purchase companies with a minimum market capitalization of $100 million, with no maximum capitalization. Because of the managers’ bias towards undervalued companies and out of favor industries, the managers expect to concentrate on companies with market capitalizations of $100 million to $5 billion that have lower analyst coverage. From time to time, the managers may identify and invest in undervalued companies with larger capitalization.

Managers intend to minimize the cash allocation.

Portfolio Manager Bios

Margot Sakoian – Senior Portfolio Manager

Margot graduated from Bates College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. Then for three years prior to Darden, she worked at Wilkinson O’Grady, an investment advisory firm in New York City. There Margot served as an equities analyst, where she identified, valued and presented new equity ideas for client portfolios.  In addition to generating ideas, she also followed 10-15 companies, keeping the Investment Committee informed on earnings reports as well as updating forecasting models. After her first year at Darden, Margot worked at JP Morgan's Private Bank in New York City.

Tripp Cone – Portfolio Manager

Prior to attending Darden, Tripp was an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton where he consulted the Department of Defense in two capacities.  In his first role he advised his client on methods to transition a biotech endeavor to FDA-approved production of prophylactics.  Most recently he led a team responsible for preparing the Department of the Army for an external audit.  Prior to his private sector career, Tripp served as an officer in the U.S. Army for more than three years, including a deployment in support Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Tripp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Citadel. Following his first year at Darden, Tripp worked for Barclays Capital’s Investment Banking Division.

Madeline Mayer - Portfolio Manager

Madeline graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. After graduating from W&L, she joined Teach For America where she taught Middle School English and Math. She subsequently spent two years working on TFA’s Alumni Affairs team. Following her first year at Darden, Madeline interned at Goldman Sachs in the Private Wealth Management division.

Jonathan Payne – Portfolio Manager

Prior to Darden, Jonathan spent 3 years working for Stanley Black & Decker in Indianapolis.  At SBD, Jonathan was a Senior Business Process Analyst working on post-merger integration of financial services.  In addition, Jonathan has over 4 years of financial controls experience for Ford Motor Company and Brunswick Corporation. Jonathan graduated from Purdue University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Honors Economics.

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