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Richard A. Mayo Center for Asset Management

Mayo Center - Darden Capital Management

Darden Capital Management

Hands-On Investing Opportunities

Darden Capital Management consists of 28 second-year students chosen to actively manage six investment portfolios for the Darden School Foundation. The newest fund, focused on REITs, launched on 1 April 2022. Click here to learn more about it. 

In 1990, The Darden School Foundation recognized that the best preparation for careers in these industries is hands-on investment management experience. Accordingly, the Trustees earmarked $250,000 from the Foundation's overall endowment for active management by Darden students.

As of August 2022, Darden Capital Management's assets under management have grown to over ~$26 million held across the six funds, making it one of the largest programs of its kind. The Cavalier, Colonnade, Darden, Jefferson, Monticello and Rotunda funds are managed independently and provide the opportunity for Darden students to develop skills in investment analysis and portfolio management. Each team formally meets on a weekly basis to discuss any updates, examine new ideas, and adjust the portfolio accordingly.

Additionally, Darden Capital Management serves as the school's investment management club, open for all students to join. The Darden Capital Management Club sponsors presentations from leading professionals in the investment management, research and larger financial communities to enhance Darden students' learning experience in the classroom and as participants in managing the funds. The Club also seeks to assist current Darden students in beginning their careers by maintaining strong contact with the school's alumni currently working in the industry. To this end, the club publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Advisor, which is distributed to alumni and contains the holdings, activity and performance of the five funds as well as selected investment pitches being considered by the funds.

View the funds and other club activity.

Leadership Team

Pablo FleitasPablo Fleitas — Chief Executive Officer

Prior to Darden, Pablo was an Associate at Mizuho Securities within the Latin America group focused on debt capital markets and direct financing for large corporates and governments in the region. He also held roles within AB InBev’s Global Treasury and Cadiem's asset management division. Pablo graduated from the National University of Asuncion with a B.A. in Economics and from the KU Leuven with an MSc. in Economics. This summer he interned at Citigroup in the Media and Telecommunications group.
 

June SunJune Sun — Chief Investment Officer

Prior to Darden, June was an Investment Associate at Sequoia Heritage and managed a $10Bn global portfolio as a member of a 6-person investment team. She also spent two years as a Private Equity Associate at Basalt Infrastructure Partners leading and executing all phases of M&A transactions for North American Infrastructure assets. June started her career as a Leveraged Finance Investment Banking Analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. June graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Finance. She has completed Levels 1 and 2 of the CFA program. This summer, June interned with Oaktree Capital Management in their Infrastructure Investing strategy in New York City.
 

Julia HylandJulia Hyland — Chief Financial Officer

Prior to Darden, Julia was an Associate at Lord, Abbett & Co., a mid-sized, privately held, asset manager based in Jersey City, NJ. She was responsible for managing research relationships and strategic efforts with key distribution partners related to business development, asset retention, platform placement, and sales. Julia graduated from Colgate University with Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. This summer she interned at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in New York City.
 


Nishit ShahNishit Shah — Chief Operations Officer

Prior to Darden, Nishit was an Equity Investment Analyst at Nepean Capital, a boutique investment management firm based out of Mumbai where he was the lead analyst for 7 sectors. Nishit also spent more than 2 years as an Equity Associate at Edelweiss Asset management, one of the biggest asset managers in India. He started his career as a Wealth Advisor at Viscorp Investment, a wealth management firm which is a part of his family business. Nishit is a qualified Chartered Accountant (Indian CPA), CFA Level 2 candidate with a Bachelor’s in Commerce from the Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics (University of Mumbai). He interned at The London Company over the summer as part of the public equities investing team. Nishit is an avid traveler and enjoys penning his experiences in travelogues.
 

Jim BraunJim Braun — Senior Portfolio Manager: Cavalier Fund

Prior to Darden, Jim was a Senior Equity Research Analyst at Cleveland Research Company (CRC), a boutique sell-side research firm focused on channel based research for large institutional investors. In his time at CRC, Jim covered a variety of sectors including Oilfield Services, Environmental Services, Transportation, and Agriculture, as well as spending some time in Market Research for eCommerce. In addition to his work at CRC, Jim is a CFA Charterholder and worked part-time teaching financial modeling to undergraduates for Adventis CG.
 

Lins AgokengLins Agokeng — Senior Portfolio Manager: Colonnade Fund

Prior to Darden, Lins Agokeng served as a Director of Commerical Sales for a commercial real estate boutique firm in New York City. He has closed over $40M in commercial real estate transactions. Prior to XRE NY, Lins worked at Bank of America as a senior treasury analyst on the restaurant finance team. This summer, Lins interned at Goldman Sachs on the Investment Banking Real Estate team.

Christophe DrapanasChristophe Drapanas  — Senior Portfolio Manager: Darden Fund

Prior to Darden, Christophe was an associate at DW Healthcare Partners, a lower middle-market, healthcare-focused, private equity firm. He began his career as an investment consultant at Cambridge Associates. Christophe graduated from Bucknell University with a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy. This summer he interned at DW Healthcare Partners in their Park City, Utah office.
 

Emily GreeneEmily Greene — Senior Portfolio Manager: Jefferson Fund

Prior to Darden, Emily was a Vice President at Citigroup Global Markets Inc, in the Public Finance Department. She specialized in municipal financings for US Airports and Airlines. Emily graduated from Villanova University with a B.A. in Economics and minor in Mathematics. This summer she interned at Vanguard in their Investment Management Summer MBA Program.
 

Roberta PeriquetRoberta Periquet — Senior Portfolio Manager: Monticello Fund

Prior to Darden, Roberta worked at the Corporate Strategy and Develpment office at Ayala Corporation, the Philippines' oldest conglomerate. She has also worked as an investment analyst at Campden Hill Group, a private client fund manager; and as a brand manager for Globe Telecom, the country's second-largest telco. Roberta graduated with a Master of Arts (Honours) in Classics from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2016. This summer she interned at Bank of America's Investment Banking Division in New York.
 

Jacob LondonJacob London — Senior Portfolio Manager: Rotunda Fund

Prior to Darden, Jacob was a Manager of Investor Engagement on Water Risk at Ceres, a non-profit focused on sustainability and capital markets. In this role he educated and collaborated with institutional investors integrating risks associated with climate change, water scarcity, and water pollution into portfolio management and stewardship. Jacob also worked as an analyst for the Energy & Utilities practice of The Brattle Group, an economic consulting firm. Jacob holds a B.S. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This summer he interned with BlackRock on the BlackRock Sustainable Investing team in New York.
 

Funds

Darden Capital Management manages six funds. Learn more about each fund below.

  • Cavalier Fund

    Fund Overview

    The Cavalier Fund is a long/short equity fund investing predominately in domestic equities across the investable market capitalization range and targeting net long exposure of 80%. The fund aims to generate positive risk-adjusted returns by utilizing a bottom-up strategy to identify undervalued companies with defensible competitive advantages and long-term earnings potential. Additionally, the ability to short stocks and indices that are expected to decrease in value allows the fund to lower volatility of returns and enhance alpha. Over a medium- to long-term horizon, the fund seeks to outperform the S&P 500 Index through prudent stock selection and portfolio management.

    The Cavalier Fund in alignment with the broader goals of Darden Capital Management aims to provide students with a unique learning opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience and enhance their understanding of security valuation and portfolio management with the expectation of furthering their pursuit of careers in the investment management industry.

    Portfolio Leadership

    Jim BraunJim Braun — Senior Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Jim was a Senior Equity Research Analyst at Cleveland Research Company (CRC), a boutique sell-side research firm focused on channel based research for large institutional investors. In his time at CRC, Jim covered a variety of sectors including Oilfield Services, Environmental Services, Transportation, and Agriculture, as well as spending some time in Market Research for eCommerce. In addition to his work at CRC, Jim is a CFA Charterholder and worked part-time teaching financial modeling to undergraduates for Adventis CG.

    Kehinde AbiodumKehinde Abiodun — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Kehinde was a Credit associate at First Derivatives , a boutique consulting firm in London that served hedge fund, brokers, banks and insurance firms. As a Credit Associate, Kehinde Covered both Banks and Non- Bank Financial Institutions. Prior to First Derivatives, Kehinde graduated with a Degree in Finance and Investment at Durham University and also holds an Accounting Degree from Covenant University.

    Rachel HurstRachel Hurst — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Rachel was an analyst at United Airlines within Loyalty (MileagePlus) and Digital Technology. Rachel graduated in the top 5% of her class from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Economics. This summer she interned at Citigroup in the Financial Sponsors group.

    Raghav MathurRaghav Mathur — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Raghav was a Vice President and Head of Investments for J.P. Morgan's Multifamily Office franchise in Asia. Based out of Singapore, Raghav spent 8 years at J.P. Morgan and provided strategic advice and execution on cross-asset cash and derivative instruments for clients in the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia and Australia. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Raghav was a Financial Analyst in Washington, D.C. providing valuation and consulting services to the aviation sector. He completed his undergraduate studies from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce where he was a Davis Scholar. This summer he interned in M&A with Moelis & Company in New York.


    Cavalier Fund Investment Thesis

    The Cavalier Fund strategy focuses on long-term performance through prudent security selection, portfolio diversification techniques, and the benefits of enhanced returns and lower volatility generated through short positions. The fund intends to minimize cash allocation and portfolio managers may invest opportunistically across sectors.

    For long positions, the fund employs a bottom-up investment approach focused on identifying undervalued investment opportunities relative to long-term earnings potential using fundamental analysis. For short positions, the fund seeks to identify companies with flawed business models, unsustainable performances or financial positions, overly optimistic analyst expectations, and/or signs of potential earnings manipulation and may also consider event/catalyst-driven opportunities.

    Our fund will hold approximately 15-25 long positions at all times. As well, the value of our short positions will not exceed 20% of our total assets. The Cavalier Fund is able to invest in all capitalizations and sectors, excluding the microcap designation.

     

  • Colonnade Fund

    Fund Overview

    The Colonnade Fund is a Real Estate Fund investing in primarily publicly traded real estate securities, including REITs and other real estate related stocks. The portfolio can also hold bonds, cash, and ETFs related to the real estate industry. The Fund will seek to invest in single name positions in equity REITs, mortgage REITs, and infrastructure securities. In terms of allocation, the fund will strive to hold 65% of the portfolio in publicly traded REITs and the remaining 35% in real estate adjacent securities. Over the medium to long term, the fund will seek to outperform the FTSE NAREIT US Real Estate Index.

    Additionally, the Colonnade Fund, in alignment with the broader goals of Darden Capital Management, aims to provide students with a unique learning opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience investing in real estate securities. Students interested in a career in real estate or the broader investment management industry would find this opportunity extremely useful.

     

    Lins AgokengLins Agokeng — Senior Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Lins Agokeng served as a Director of Commerical Sales for a commercial real estate boutique firm in New York City. He has closed over $40M in commercial real estate transactions. Prior to XRE NY, Lins worked at Bank of America as a senior treasury analyst on the restaurant finance team. This summer, Lins interned at Goldman Sachs on the Investment Banking Real Estate team.

    Jay BardenJay Barden — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Jay spent a year as the finance lead at a healthcare tech startup called Naborforce where he led the company through a $2M Series Seed Capital Raise working alongside lead investor Claritas Capital. Prior to Naborforce, Jay spent three years at Ernst & Young across the personal property valuation and working capital groups working on M&A deals in the Mining & Metals, Chemical, and Healthcare Industries. Jay graduated from The University of Georgia with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering. This summer he interned at Evercore Partners as an Investment Banking Associate.

    Mercedes LeeMercedes Lee — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Mercedes was a consultant at Accenture Federal specialized in SaaS and Salesforce implementation. She worked mostly with the Department of State’s Digital and Public Diplomacy offices. Mercedes graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in English Language and Literature. Over the summer, Mercedes interned as an Investment Banking Associate in the Technology Group at Credit Suisse.

    Troy ZiemanTroy Zieman — Senior Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Troy Zieman worked as senior financial analyst and associate in commercial real estate capital markets in Washington D.C. In his first position as a financial analyst with Colliers International, he focused on the underwriting and disposition of office assets in the D.C. metro area.  He also worked as a financial analyst on Cushman & Wakefield’s national loan sales team, a multi-disciplinary debt and structured finance team focused on selling debt collateralized by commercial real estate assets on the secondary market. Troy graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Environmental Sciences and has a master’s degree in real estate finance from Georgetown University.  Over the summer, Troy interned for Apex Clean Energy on their Project Finance team.

  • Darden Fund

    Fund Overview

    The goal of the Darden Fund management team is to deliver returns that exceed our benchmark while incurring a comparable level of risk. We believe that superior risk-adjusted returns will result from primary, value-added research that leverages our general management education at Darden.

    Our equity investment strategy is focused on the small-cap segment; our equity portfolio benchmark is the S&P SmallCap 600. We believe that markets are least efficient in the small-cap arena, offering us the greatest opportunity for generating positive alpha. Furthermore, while we are focused on bottom-up research, we are optimistic about a reversal of the long bear market. Small-caps have historically outperformed in the initial stages of a bear market, offering additional upside potential to the Darden Fund.

    Small companies typically carry more firm-specific risk than larger firms. As a result, the current management team will ensure adequate diversification by holding a larger number of equity positions (~40) than has been true historically (~25). In addition, careful attention will be paid to matching industry exposure to the benchmark. 

    Portfolio Leadership

    Christophe DrapanasChristophe Drapanas  — Senior Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Christophe was an associate at DW Healthcare Partners, a lower middle-market, healthcare-focused, private equity firm. He began his career as an investment consultant at Cambridge Associates. Christophe graduated from Bucknell University with a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy. This summer he interned at DW Healthcare Partners in their Park City, Utah office.

    Sukari BrownSukari Brown — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Sukari was a member of the Investment team at Camden Partners, a lower middle-market Private Equity firm in Baltimore, MD. Before joining Camden, Sukari spent approximately four years working in Deloitte's Infrastructure and Capital Projects practice and one year as an engineer for Clark Construction Group in the Washington, DC Metro area. Sukari graduated from New York University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. This summer she interned with Sands Capital in Arlington, VA.

    Brian HorneBrian Horne — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Brian spent eight years as an intelligence officer in the Marine Corps. He deployed overseas three times, and spent the majority of his career working in amphibious reconnaissance and special operations. Brian graduated with distinction from Villanova University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts. This summer Brian interned in the Dallas office of J. P. Morgan's Private Bank.

    Patrick NilsenPatrick Nilsen — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Patrick was a Director in Ankura Consulting Group’s Turnaround and Restructuring practice where he worked with distressed and stressed companies, governments, and lenders. He assisted clients in two of the largest bankruptcies, The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and Hertz Rent a Car. He began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers providing valuation and accounting services to financial sponsors. He graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Accounting from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. This summer he interned in Syndicated and Leveraged Finance at JP Morgan.

     


    Darden Fund Investment Thesis

    We believe that the market is least efficient in small-cap segment offering the greatest opportunity for generating positive alpha. Small cap stocks have outperformed mid and large-cap stocks for six consecutive years, and continued this trend in 2004 outperforming the general market by 10%.

    It will be difficult for small-cap stocks to continue these outsized returns particularly in an environment of rising interest rates, which has traditionally favored large-cap stocks. However, The Darden Fund managers aim to outperform our competitive benchmarks through a process of disciplined fundamental research and analysis. By leveraging our team’s diverse experiences and educational foundations, we hope to realize superior returns while remaining conscious of the inherent risk of our investments.

     

  • Jefferson Fund

    Fund Overview

    The objective of the Jefferson Fund is to maximize investment returns, while at the same time minimize systematic risk. Diversification is not only achieved at the sector/industry level, but also through asset allocation. As part of Darden Capital Management, the Fund’s other objective is to provide students with an opportunity to enhance their understanding of security valuation and portfolio valuation techniques, with the expectation of furthering their pursuit of careers in the asset management industry.

    The Jefferson Fund seeks to generate excess returns through a value-based strategy, whereby out of favor or undervalued investment opportunities are identified primarily through a bottom-up process. We believe that this style of investment, which emphasizes the importance of valuation and seeks to identify companies trading at a discount to their intrinsic value, will lead to consistent long-term outperformance. The Jefferson fund concentrates on companies with market capitalizations in excess of $1 billion and with deep and sustainable competitive moats, which we believe positions the fund to capture above average investment returns. At any given time, the Fund will hold between 15-30 positions. Individual holdings will be limited to a maximum of 6% at time of investment.

    According to the Fund’s mandate, it will hold a maximum of 30% of market value in international stocks, 20% in ETFs, and 30% in gross short exposure. From time to time, the Fund may invest opportunistically in corporate bonds or US Government issued securities. The managers intend to minimize the cash allocation.

    The Fund is managed against the Russell 1000 Value Index.

    Portfolio Leadership

    Emily GreeneEmily Greene — Senior Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Emily was a Vice President at Citigroup Global Markets Inc, in the Public Finance Department. She specialized in municipal financings for US Airports and Airlines. Emily graduated from Villanova University with a B.A. in Economics and minor in Mathematics. This summer she interned at Vanguard in their Investment Management Summer MBA Program.

    Yash GorayYash Goray — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Yash was an Analyst at J.P. Morgan focused on debt capital markets and equity private placements. He also did a stint at an insurance-tech startup called Renegade Insurance helping the business grow inorganically through M&A. He holds a Bachelors in Computer Engineering from University of Mumbai and has completed 2 levels of the CFA program. This summer he interned at Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking Division in San Francisco. 

    Alex KingAlex King — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Alex served for 9 years in the United States Marine Corps as an AH-1Z Attack Helicopter Instructor Pilot. He joined the armed services after graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelors in Business Administration studying Economics with a minor in Spanish. During his service in the Marines, Alex led operations for a ground reconnaissance battalion and the maintenance department for an attack helicopter squadron. Alex interned at Goldman Sachs in their Private Wealth Management Division out of the Miami, Florida office this past summer.

    Jamahn LeeJamahn Lee — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Jamahn worked at SC&H Group, a consulting firm in Baltimore in the valuations group. Prior to that, he worked at Stifel as an equity research analyst. Jamahn graduated from Loyola University in 2016 majoring in Business Administration. He interned at Wells Fargo in investment banking over the summer.

     

    Jefferson Fund Investment Thesis

    The Jefferson Fund seeks out of favor or undervalued investment opportunities. At any one time, we intend to hold between 15-30 equity positions. The managers will have no industry bias and will invest opportunistically in any and all sectors. The Fund will purchase companies with a minimum market capitalization of $1 billion, with no maximum capitalization. Because of the managers’ bias towards undervalued companies and businesses that demonstrate high returns on invested capital, the managers expect new investments to concentrate on companies with market capitalizations on the lower end of the Fund’s mandate. From time to time, the managers may identify and invest in undervalued companies with larger capitalization.

    Managers intend to minimize the cash allocation.

  • Monticello Fund

    Fund Overview

    The Monticello Fund’s philosophy begins with the premise that superior returns over time can best be achieved through investment in undervalued companies with superior and sustainable growth prospects while integrating macroeconomic and local market factors into stock selection decisions. As a result, the Fund will consist of a blend of companies domiciled around the globe.  By employing a bottom-up approach with intensive research focused on company fundamentals and macroeconomic and local market factors, the Fund’s managers are able to identify undervalued, financially strong, and well-managed domestic and international companies in a global sector context.  Further, the managers each strive to continuously educate ourselves with regards to investment analysis and portfolio management theory. The Fund's benchmark is MSCI All Country World Index.

    Portfolio Leadership

    Roberta PeriquetRoberta Periquet — Senior Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Roberta worked at the Corporate Strategy and Development office at Ayala Corporation, the Philippines' first and largest conglomerate. She has also worked as an investment analyst at Campden Hill Group, a private client fund manager in the Philippines; and as a brand manager for Globe Telecom, the country's second-largest telco. Roberta graduated with a Master of Arts (Honours) in Classics from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2016. This summer she interned at Bank of America's Investment Banking Division in New York.

    Vanisha GoyalVanisha Goyal — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Vanisha was an Investment Associate at a venture capital in India - Inflection Point Ventures, investing in early stage startups across industries. She has led strategy and operations at a startup in the electric vehicles industry and before that was a management consultant at boutique consulting firms in India. She graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai (IIT Bombay) in 2016 and interned at Bank of America the past summer.

    Paulina NunezPaulina Nunez — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Paulina was an Investment Associate at CDPQ, a Canadian pension fund manager, in the Latin America Infrastructure group where she focused on direct equity transactions. She also held investment roles at the IFC, part of the World Bank, and mid-size private equity managers. Paulina graduated with honors from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) with a B.A. in Financial Management and she is a CFA Charter holder since 2018. This summer she interned at Morgan Stanley's Investment Banking Division.

    Jigar ShahJigar Shah — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Jigar was a Senior Manager at one of India’s largest automotive companies, Tata Motors Limited. Graduating with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jigar joined Tata Motors, where he worked in different roles such as Program Management, Operations and Strategy. This summer, Jigar interned at Credit Suisse’s New York Office in their Mergers and Acquisitions group as an Investment Banking Associate.

    Monticello Fund Investment Thesis

    Buy decisions are based on a rigorous research process that pays special attention to relative valuation on a local market and broad sector basis, profitability, management strength and competitive advantage while taking into consideration both global market and business risk.  As a result, the Fund will be comprised of approximately 20-40 individual equity holdings with differing market capitalizations from a variety of countries and sectors.

  • Rotunda Fund

    Fund Overview

    The Rotunda Fund integrates sustainability research with fundamental analysis to select investments that are likely to outperform the market due to the improved long-term financial performance and lower risk features that accompany sustainable practices.  Sustainability research provides unique and valuable insights into management and internal operations of an organization.  Companies with sound environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) practices have competitive advantages over their peer institutions; these competitive advantages can include lower costs due to efficiency, reduced risk of litigation/environmental liabilities, and lower volatility of raw material costs.  Therefore, sustainability practices are expected to yield market-outperforming risk-adjusted returns.  The Rotunda Fund integrates sustainability research with fundamental analysis to purchase “best in class” companies at attractive valuations. 

    Portfolio Leadership

    Jacob LondonJacob London — Senior Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Jacob was a Manager of Investor Engagement on Water Risk at Ceres, a non-profit focused on sustainability and capital markets. In this role he educated and collaborated with institutional investors integrating risks associated with climate change, water scarcity, and water pollution into portfolio management and stewardship. Jacob also worked as an analyst for the Energy & Utilities practice of The Brattle Group, an economic consulting firm. Jacob holds a B.S. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This summer he interned with BlackRock on the BlackRock Sustainable Investing team in New York.

    Pilar BennettPilar Bennett — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Pilar was a Global Supply Manager on the Raw Materials team at Tesla. Before that, she worked with CDP, an environmental non-profit platform for corporations to disclose carbon emissions.  Prior, she was an analyst at NewWorld Capital, an environmental private equity firm in New York City.  Pilar graduated from Princeton University in 2017 with a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

    Nirali KansaraNirali Kansala — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Nirali was an Associate in the Equity Derivatives Structuring division at JP Morgan. She has also experience in leading product and operations at an early stage healthtech startup in India. Nirali graduated with a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering and a Master in Finance degree from BITS Pilani, India. This past summer, she interned with the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Credit Suisse.

    Rachel SorrellsRachel Sorrells — Portfolio Manager

    Prior to Darden, Rachel led a team of consultants in the Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure sector at Guidehouse, a global management consulting firm. In her role, she provided financial modeling, cost management, and business strategy solutions to federal agencies. Rachel also spent two years as an analyst for The Kenrich Group, an economic and financial litigation firm. Rachel holds a B.A. in Economics from Georgetown University. This summer she interned at ScottMadden, a firm focused on advising companies in the energy sector.  

    Rotunda Fund Investment Thesis

    The Rotunda Fund employs a two-step process to select and evaluate opportunities: a threshold step (size and information availability) and an investment evaluation step (ESG, industry, and financial evaluation). 

    The threshold step requires (i) market capitalization of $500 million and above and (ii) sufficient disclosure of relevant sustainability-related data.  It is expected that companies reporting under the Carbon Disclosure Project, or a similar industry-standard report, will fulfill this threshold of required disclosure.  Alternatively, companies that publish a corporate sustainability report and/or are required to report data to the US Environmental Protection Agency, such as the chemical and utility industries, will also meet the threshold criteria. 

    The companies that meet the requirements in the threshold step will then be analyzed in a three-part investment evaluation step.  This investment evaluation step seeks companies with:

    1. Best-in-class ESG metrics relative to peer companies and industry best practices.
    2. Industry or industries served, and position within those industries, that is conducive to long-term financial strength.
    3. Superior fundamentals, both qualitative and quantitative/valuation, which indicate the potential for favorable risk-adjusted returns.

The DCM team seeks to further enhance student educational experience with pitch competitions, research, and other activities.

  • Darden at Virginia Investing Challenge

    The 11th annual Darden at Virginia Investing Challenge (DVIC) will take place at the Darden School of Business in Charlottesville, VA on Friday, October 27th, 2022.

    If you are interested in participating in DVIC or recruiting participants at DVIC, please contact DCM Chief Financial Officer, Julia Hyland (HylandJ23@darden.virginia.edu).

    Our stock pitch competition is held in conjunction with the University of Virginia Investing Conference (UVIC). DVIC brings to Charlottesville teams of students from top MBA programs to compete for cash prizes. 

    The challenge selects a different theme each year to frame each school's stock pitch. Competing teams have the opportunity to present their pitches in front of judges from the investment management industry in a two-round format. 

    The competition provides an ideal training ground for MBA students interested in the investment management profession as it gives students the opportunity to practice their stock pitching skills. Additionally, the challenge leverages UVIC which provides a forum for recruitment and knowledge sharing, as UVIC brings together nearly 500 investment professionals, recruiters, and students each year.  

    Listen to a WSJ podcast featuring an interview with the 2016 winning team, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Research

    DCM Resources

    Darden Capital Management (DCM) provides a variety of resources for helping students manage portfolios and learn about the markets. Each year, Darden Capital Management leads a series of trainings that follow the structure below:

    • Utilizing available resources to monitor investment holdings
    • Introduction to pitching a stock
    • Comparing companies across sectors
    • Portfolio theory
    • Managing through market cycles

    These trainings are led by both the DCM leadership team and University of Virginia alumni who have expertise in these areas. In addition to formal training, members of DCM have access to databases, research and speaker events. These resources include:

    • FactSet, Bloomberg, S&P Capital IQ, Investext, Morningstar, PitchBook, and others
    • Written guides and presentations from the trainings
    • Access to the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s
    • Guest speakers and lunch & learn events

    For any questions about Darden Capital Management research and training, please contact Nishit Shah.

    The Advisor

    Current Issue: Spring 2022

    The Advisor is a newsletter dedicated to highlighting the activities of Darden Capital Management, a student run club responsible for managing approximately $26 million of Darden’s endowment. Each edition features a Q&A session with an asset manager, a review of the funds’ activities and holdings as well as several stock pitches from our classmates.

    This newsletter has two objectives: to raise awareness of Darden Capital Management and to contribute to Darden’s recognition as a high-caliber finance and asset management school. The publication will be distributed electronically four times a year, positioned so that we can reflect on the prior quarter’s activity.

    The newsletter is distributed electronically to the current Darden community, members of the Darden Foundation investment committee, Darden and UVA alumni working in the asset management industry, prior Darden Capital Management Portfolio Managers and contacts of Darden Capital Management members.

    We look forward to sharing the activities of Darden Capital Management.

    To be added to the electronic distribution list send an email to Pablo A. Fleitas.

    The Advisor Archive

    Berkshire Hathaway

    Each year eight students from both first and second year are invited to travel to Omaha, Nebraska, to attend the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting thanks to the generous donation of a Darden alumnus.

    If you are interested in learning more about the shareholder meeting please visit http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/.

    DCM Partners


  • Membership

    Fund Managers

    Each of the five funds is managed for a full year by a team of Second Year students at the Darden School. Each team consists of one senior portfolio manager and three portfolio managers. In addition to the hands-on experience of managing a significant amount of capital and the opportunity to meet with and present to the Darden School Foundation’s Board of Trustees, the managers receive 4.5 class credits toward their MBA. Managers are selected in February of their First Year on the following criteria:

    • Overall commitment to the club as a First Year.
    • Commitment to stock selection and asset management in general.
    • Recommendations from the previous year’s portfolio managers and analysts.
    • The quality of investment ideas presented to the funds during the first year — both on “Super Sunday” events and in individual fund meetings.
    • An interview with the Darden Capital Management faculty advisor, Pedro Matos.
    • A one-page letter outlining the improvements the applicant would like to make to the club in the coming year and how they would benefit from being involved with the management of the funds.

      Members

      All members of Darden Capital Management are encouraged to take advantage of every aspect of the club. Monthly meetings of the club will often feature presentations by industry professionals, résumé and interviewing workshops, and reviews of the funds’ activities (see the Calendar for details). Additionally, each of the five funds welcomes members to attend any of the weekly, individual fund meetings, and the funds strongly encourage students to present investment ideas for consideration. All members will find that attending fund meetings are a valuable way to prepare for the interviewing process. Please feel free to contact any of the DCM fund managers with any additional questions.