DCM Launches Sustainability Fund


Darden Capital Management, the student-run organization at the Darden School of Business that prepares students for careers in asset management and investment management, is adding a new fund to its portfolio.

The Rotunda Fund will utilize a sustainability investment strategy to achieve long-term financial returns. The new fund was founded by Darden Second Year Students Summer Kassir Haltli and Tack Richardson. It was recently approved by the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees.

“The fundamental theory is companies that are best in class in sustainability will have a competitive advantage over their peers and will provide strong returns,” said Richardson.

He said the fund combines two elements of great importance to the Darden Community.

“It’s a new fund that marries investing and sustainability,” Richardson said. “Sustainability is important to Darden and to the current generation of students so the idea of creating this fund came naturally.”

DCM manages over $5 million in four funds, making it one of the largest programs of its kind. The Cavalier, Darden, Jefferson and Monticello Funds are managed independently and provide opportunities for students to develop skills in investment analysis and portfolio management.

The Rotunda Fund will launch in April 2010 with $250,000 in seed money reallocated from the four existing funds. If all goes well, the Fund will eventually total $1 million.

“The Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees has identified a number of various benchmarks as part of a phased-in approach,” Richardson said. “If we reach the goals, the Trustees have told us they will work to identify the remaining $750,000.”

With the $250,000 already in hand, the next step is selecting fund managers. An investment thesis will be generated and the investments will be fine tuned before the Fund’s launch.

“We’re very excited about the Rotunda Fund,” said Haltli. “We’ve received great support from the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees, Darden faculty, DCM members and everyone with whom we’ve talked. DCM sees this as, among other things, a potential way of attracting top students, interested in sustainability and investing, to Darden.”

Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business improves society by developing principled leaders in the world of practical affairs.

For information, contact communication@darden.virginia.edu.

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