Investment Research at Cornell
by Elizabeth Nelson
The overarching mission of the Parker Center for Investment Research is to provide a world-class education for students interested in pursuing a career in asset management. The Cayuga MBA Fund, a center-run hedge fund out of the Cornell College of Business, gives students the opportunity to serve as portfolio managers and learn investment management with real money. The Parker Center facility gives students access to the best-in-class software tools used by professionals. Beyond researching investment options, students meet with the Cornell University Endowment at the end of each year to present the performance of their investment choices.
The center holds several conferences each year. The MBA Stock Pitch Challenge and the Undergraduate Stock Pitch Challenge bring together student teams from different schools to research and present investment ideas in front of sponsors and compete for top honors and cash prizes. The Women in Investing conference is the center’s flagship event. It has become the go-to event for asset management firms interested in diversifying their talent pipelines and has helped promote this desirable career option for women. An undergraduate version of this conference was initiated in 2016, with grant support from the President’s Council of Cornell Women and other corporate sponsors.
“The educational experience that the Parker Center offers is unique. Students are given the chance to manage a real hedge fund and gain real-world experience. The center’s resources are first-class—sponsoring representatives are always surprised to hear that our students are able to research their picks, using best-in-class software,” says Lakshmi Bhojraj, the Breazzano Family executive director of the Parker Center. “The alumni and corporate connections that we have built over the years are also extremely valuable, from a recruiting, networking, and resource standpoint.” The Parker Center began in 1998.