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DePaul students sweep hedge funding competition

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Five DePaul students have been invited to the next round of Battle Fin, a hedge funding competition that pits potential hedge fund managers against each other in a real-time competition with real money.

Competitors must come up with a viable strategy for working with the hedge funds which are judged by experts. Teams with the most effective strategies make it to higher and higher levels in the competition and ultimately create solid careers for themselves.

Tim Harrington, president of BattleFin, said the idea for this program arose from a very common problem, namely that “emerging managers can’t get access to capital.” Essentially, Battle Fin has provided a ranking system for new hedge fund managers as well as exposure that can ultimately lead to promotions for them.

Five DePaul students entered the competition, made it all the way through and were consequently invited to partake in the next competition. They were able to put up a return of 50 percent and beat out students from schools such as MIT, UC Berkeley, Yale and Harvard. At the end of this round they will be funded between $1 million and $4 million.

If they win the next round, they will be funded between $5 million and $10 million. George Wojciechowski, a member of the team of DePaul students said that they “will utilize the prize money to expand (their) current fund and grow (their) company, Hegemon Capital Partners,” if they win the next phase.

Tim Fligg, another member of the team, has been a trader for 13 years. He returned to DePaul in 2009 to take some portfolio management courses. In Fligg’s applied portfolio management course taught by Jim Booth and Diane Swonk, he was the portfolio manager of the Kelley Asset Management Fund.

“Through this process, he was introduced to several hedge fund and portfolio managers” and he “learned from these meetings and lectures and applied it to what he was doing professionally,” said his teammate Wojciechowski. Wojciechowski met Fligg during his junior year at DePaul after he was hired at NASDAQ Market Maker.

In Jaime Goodfriend’s course in hedge funds, Fligg met Brian Thompson who became the analyst for the portfolio. Thompson is a principal consultant at Black & Essington Solutions, LLC. He is working towards achieving his MBA at DePaul for business strategy and decision-making and finance, expecting to graduate in 2013. These current and former DePaul students attribute much of their success to DePaul University’s finance program.

“I have 13 years of real world professional experience… but if it wasn’t for what I learned in Jim Booth and Diane Swonk’s class, I wouldn’t have been able to develop this strategy,” said Fligg. Booth and Swonk are both finance professors at DePaul.
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DePaul students sweep hedge funding competition