Gathering name recognition across Wall Street, the Orange Value Fund (OVF) is one of Whitman School of Management’s most prestigious programs. Founded in 2006, OVF, and its managing director, Fernando Diz, carefully select a handful of students in their sophomore year to manage an investment portfolio of $4 million throughout their junior and senior years. In order to be a successful member of the Fund, undergraduate students must take specific finance courses for credit such as financial modeling, value investing, control investing, as well as a Maymester class in distress investing at Syracuse’s Lubin House in Manhattan. Additionally, students must conduct thorough research on potential investments, write professional reports, and ultimately, pitch their polished ideas to veterans of the field.
The Fund runs on the “safe and cheap” investment ideology of the School of Management’s namesake, Martin J. Whitman. This is done to find companies who are trading at a large discount in addition to a guaranteed safety of principle. Some names which the Fund is currently invested in are Agco (AGCO), Valero (VLO), and Hawaiian Airlines (HA). The Fund is recognized for consistently churning out a year-end profit, regardless of how the broader markets are performing.
OVF assists its analysts significantly outside of Whitman as well. “One of the hardest things coming out of Whitman is that if you are pursuing a front office career, you are competing with extraordinary students from the Ivy leagues and other top tier schools. The Orange Value Fund helps bridge that gap,” said Senior Analyst Giuseppe Castelli. When interviewing with large investment banks, Castelli added that when you mention OVF, recruiters notice that you “have grinded your teeth and that you’ve spent 30 or more hours a week conducting research and putting in work on top of your school credits.” Top firms acknowledge the work students are doing here at the Whitman School because OVF provides real experiential learning as opposed to theoretical finance which is difficult to translate to the real world.
Students get more than just respect in the field, they get special visits to private equity funds such as the Carlyle Group which was founded by Syracuse alumnus Daniel D’Aniello. Encouraged to develop their networks, students travel on road shows to Wall Street and Stamford, Connecticut where they get real feedback from professionals and view how things are done outside of the classroom. OVF students are also given access to the latest technology such as Bloomberg Terminals and the Capital IQ online database to help develop and formulate their investment theses.
Many Orange Value Fund alumni are now front office analysts in investment banking, asset management and trading, in addition to some pursuing careers in corporate finance and strategy.
Currently, you can catch most students of the Orange Value Fund in the Ballentine Investment Institute in the Whitman School of Management, Suite 110. Stop by and see what they are working on now!
This post does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy securities. Such offers or solicitations may be made only pursuant to a private placement memorandum, and securities will be sold only to investors who meet certain suitability requirements under applicable securities law.