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Baylor University Hosts Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium (TIPS)

Feb. 27, 2006

By Elizabeth Potter

Students, faculty, and investment professionals will join forces and use the real-life skills necessary in the investment world for a day of competition, hands-on experience, and intriguing lectures from some of the market's top investment professionals. The Third Annual Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium (TIPS) will take place on Saturday March 25, in the Cashion Academic Center on Baylor Campus.

This is the third year that the symposium has taken place, and the first time Baylor University will be hosting the event. Students and faculty from top universities in Texas and the Southwest United States will be attending.

TIPS is a fairly new program that encourages investment management students to participate in a learning forum that involves lectures and break-out sessions with some of America's top investment professionals.

Brian Bruce, chief investment officer of Equity Investments at Panagora Investments and visiting professor of Finance at Baylor, founded the TIPS symposiums. "TIPS gives students an opportunity to meet other students who have faced the same issues in managing live portfolios," said Bruce. "Each school manages their portfolio a little differently and it's very enlightening to see different ways that you can tackle the same problem."

TIPS provides investment management curriculum students a day of professional experience, not only to interact with professionals in the industry, but also the opportunity to meet other professors and students from different universities across the Southwest. Previously, Rice University has hosted the event, and attending universities from last years symposium include: Baylor, Houston Baptist, Prairie View A & M, Rice, Southern Methodist, Texas A&M, Texas Christian, Texas Southern, Texas Tech, Trinity, University of Houston, University of St. Thomas and the University of Texas. Out of state attendees included Tulane University from Louisiana.

William R. Reichenstein, professor of finance and the Pat and Thomas R. Powers Chair in Investment Management, was a panel moderator and keynote speaker at the TIPS symposium last year. Reichenstein was not only a key part of the symposium itself, but he also accompanied the Baylor students on the trip to Houston. Reichenstein believes that the experience is not only a great learning environment, but also a time for the students and faculty both to have a little fun. "TIPS is a fun experience, and also a time for students and professors to share meals while learning about money management from top professionals," Reichenstein said.

This year a new twist has been added to the symposium: a finals presentation competition that will encourage students from each school to compete and possibly win a trophy. The competition will be similar to a finals presentation that all investment firms make in order to compete for institutional business. The final round of the competition, which will take place in the afternoon on the day of the symposium, will consist of a ten-minute presentation by student teams representing each of the six finalist schools, followed by a question-and-answer period. The judges of the competition will be investment consultants, and the judging will be based on the same criteria used to judge a professional money manager. The winner of the competition will be awarded a trophy at the closing meeting of the symposium. All attending universities are encouraged to participate. Bruce believes that this competition is so important because the students are making their presentation in front of a real life investment consultant. "This experience will truly prepare them for a job in the investment field," Bruce stated.

The most important aspect of the TIPS program is the hands on experience that the students are given. Everyday classes and school work can not comprehensively prepare students for what it's really like out there in the investment world. Bruce believes, "that the experience of managing a live portfolio is one of the few things that the business school does to bridge the gap between theory and practice. It's like an internship, but better. What is missing from the typical student managed portfolio class is the marketing aspect of investment management. Investment management is a unique industry. TIPS this year finally bridges the gap between investments and marketing and gives students some experience in the other part of the money management business."

Saturday, March 25, 2006, Baylor University will not only bring together investment students, professionals and faculty for an extraordinary day of learning and competition, but it will also further enhance the foundation for the next generation of investment professionals.

For more information about TIPS, contact Susan Etheredge at 254.710.6148 or Susan_Etheredge@baylor.edu, or visit the TIPS Web site at

www.baylor.edu/business/financial_markets/TIPS

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