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Anne Auer
Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Monday, August 30, 2010

David Knall and Jeff Cohen donate $100,000 to IU's Kelley School to create student investment fund

Aug. 30, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new experiential learning program created through a $100,000 donation will give undergraduate students enrolled in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business the opportunity to invest real money in an asset portfolio management class.

The Knall-Cohen Investment Fund is being established through a donation from IU alumni David Knall and Jeff Cohen, managing directors of Stifel Nicolaus' Indianapolis office. Stifel Nicolaus is a full-service investment advisory, banking and brokerage firm. This program is the first at the Kelley School to enable undergraduate students to invest real money.

Cohen and Knall

Photo by Ann Schertz

Jeff Cohen and David Knall

Print-Quality Photo

The fund will be an important addition to the Investment Management Workshop, which has been helping students prepare for jobs in the financial services industry, including positions in financial advisory, private wealth and trading, for the past five years.

Kelley School Dean Dan Smith noted his school's longstanding and mutually beneficial relationships with alumni.

"This program is a great example of how bringing alumni and students together can enhance the learning experience," said Smith. "David and Jeff's gift will create a hands-on learning opportunity for our students. This is exactly the type of experience that top students look for in making a choice of which school to attend. David and Jeff's commitment represents yet another example of how IU alumni are helping to keep the Kelley School among the nation's elite."

Students in their junior year at IU will be eligible to apply to be analysts in the fund, and those selected to participate will be tasked with effectively managing and investing the $100,000 fund. The program will span six months in which students utilize the research resources of the Kelley School of Business as a complement to their classroom instruction.

"There is a great need in our country to educate young people on how to manage money," said Knall. "As we've learned over the last several years, there is a significant need for more financial education. The fund will give students real-world experience that will help them to develop the skills necessary to be competitive in the global economy."

Following value-based principles, students will obtain asset management experience conducting equity research and fundamental security analysis while developing a structured financial decision process. A workshop review board comprised of industry professionals, faculty, and alumni of the school will remain involved in questioning the students on their decision process; however, the investment decisions will be left largely in the hands of the students participating in the workshop.

"The top talent in the financial field is looking for candidates who have had exposure to the real world," said Robert T. Jennings, the Gregg T. and Judith A. Summerville Professor of Finance. "Our goal is to give students the guidance and experience they need to secure competitive internship positions that will make them attractive job candidates upon graduation."

About David Knall and Jeff Cohen:

Cohen and Knall are managing directors of Stifel Nicolaus' Indianapolis office. Formed in 1969 and located in Indianapolis, the office's 10-person team, The Knall/Cohen Group, provides investment management and advisory services to a national client base including affluent families, foundations and endowments. The Knall/Cohen Group has more than $6 billion in assets under management and offers a wide breadth of services, including investment management for equities, hedge funds, taxable fixed income, municipal bonds and cash management strategies. In addition, the team provides investment consulting services through Stifel Nicolaus, which includes investment research on investment managers, asset allocation, and performance reporting for clients.

About the Kelley School of Business:

The Kelley School of Business' educational programs have been among the finest available for more than 90 years. Its undergraduate business degree program has been a fixture in national rankings, including U.S. News and World Report, which ranks it 10th overall and second in the Big Ten.