New Global Equity Fund for USC Marshall MBA Students

March 30, 2011

USC Marshall MBA alumnus David Iben and his wife, Nancy Iben, have generously donated the initial funding of $750,000 for a new graduate student-managed Global Equity Fund.

"This is obviously a very significant and transformative gift and allows our Student Investment Funds (SIF) program to be very relevant in the international aspirations of USC and the Marshall School," said Randolph Westerfield, Charles B. Thornton Professor of Finance and the interim director for the Center for Investment Studies (CIS).

The new Global Equity Fund will launch on March 31, 2011, and new student managers have been interviewed and chosen.

"We are blessed by Dave and Nancy's generosity and resolved in our commitment to make their investment in our SIF program achieve great current and future value for our students." said Suh-Pyng Ku, professor of clinical finance and instructor for the funds.

The CIS originated in 2001 with a gift from Larry and Karen Tashjian. The CIS is a forum for students to acquire experiential learning, faculty to conduct research and industry practitioners to share valuable insights.

The Student Investment Funds are administered entirely by student managers within the year-long seminar on applied portfolio management. The funds are a part of USC's endowment and the investment gains are used to support the SIF. The original SIF was established in 1986 when Provident Investment Counsel provided initial funding for the Trojan Equity Fund for MBA students. Since then, the Provident Growth Fund, the California Small Cap Fund and the Marshall Fixed Income Fund have been added. USC Marshall also has an Undergraduate Student Investment Fund (USIF).

"USC Marshall is committed to exposing students to an array of enduring global experiences. Thanks to the generosity and support of David and Nancy Iben, the Global Equity Fund will provide the perfect complement to existing funds by affording students a strong understanding of global investing," said USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis.

"Global markets continue to evolve and require in-depth research to find investment opportunities. We utilize global sector research, independent thought and valuation expertise to invest in what we believe are high-quality and undervalued companies for our clients’ portfolios," said David Iben.

Iben is a significant investor in the global capital market. He is currently co-president of Tradewinds Global Investors, which manages more than $35 billion for a diverse set of clients. Prior to joining NWQ in 2000, and forming the affiliate Tradewinds, Iben was lead portfolio manager, CEO, and a founding member of Palladian Capital Management. Before launching Palladian, he worked at Cramblit & Carney, Inc., managing large institutional accounts. Formerly, he was acting CIO at the Farmers Group, responsible for $16 billion of investable assets before his departure in 1996. During his fourteen years at Farmers Group, Mr. Iben analyzed fixed income and equity securities and managed various insurance and ERISA portfolios.

Mr. Iben received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Davis and an M.B.A. from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. In addition, he received his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1984 and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Los Angeles, Inc.