An interview with CEO Xiangyu (Sean) Liu
1. What are the goals of GUSIF and can you tell me how the organization got started?
The goal of GUSIF is education, network and effective management of two accounts on behalf of Georgetown University’s Endowment and the Alumni Association. A large part of our fund’s weekly activities involve teaching interested undergraduates about basic finance, market activities, economics, as well as the application of classroom knowledge to real world news/analysis.
The organization started managing the school’s endowment in 1997 with the help of Dr. Jim Angel, a professor in the finance department, and the leadership of Mike Salemi and Seong Kim. In 2000, the Georgetown University Alumni Association donated $100,000 for GUSIF to manage. Finally in 2007, the club received an anonymous donation of $100,000 to found a portfolio dedicated to real estate investing.
2. How is GUSIF organized?
The organization is all student run and is divided up between board members and industry heads. In terms of macro structures, the board members answer to the school endowment and the alumni association; they are also responsible for managing the daily functions of the fund that ranges from planning for activities/publications to carrying out trades within our portfolios. As for our industry heads, they are selected by the board members through extensive interviews and they have the responsibilities to manage a whole industry portfolio and are responsible for pitching stock ideas with their members.
Currently, GUSIF is divided into 7 different industries: Retail&Media, Industrials, Healthcare, Financials, REITs, Energy& Utility and Tech&Telecom.
We meet 2-3 times a week; we have one general body meeting where we make our Buy/Sell presentations, one education session, and one industry specific meetings where news pertaining to the industry is analyzed and ideas are formed.
3. Sean, can you tell me about yourself?
Well, that’s a great question. I was originally from China and I entered college thinking of becoming a diplomat one day. I really got interested in finance after taking several international economic/finance classes centered around the growth of emerging markets, in particular, China and India, and decided to pursuit economics instead.
I got involved with GUSIF at the beginning of my sophomore year and I benefited greatly from GUSIF’s education materials. I became more involved with the organization during my junior year and is now GUSIF’s CEO.
Aide from GUSIF, I am a varsity Coxswain for Georgetown’s Varisty Heavy Weight Crew and the community service chair for the Chinese Student Alliance.
4. What do the holdings of GUSIF currently include?
Many apologies but we cannot disclose this information since we manage money on behalf of the school and there are strict policies regarding our portfolio allocation decisions.
5. What advice do you have for students who are looking to run an effective student fund?
I believe the key to running an effective fund is engagement. Since Georgetown is made up of essentially 4 different schools, most of GUSIF’s members come from the business school. However, the investment fund has always actively reached out to all interested students in the other schools (foreign service, nursing, and the college).
While a main part of GUSIF is to manage the school’s money, GUSIF, particularly for the past couple years always prioritized education and updating our members on interesting market news.
Lastly, the ideas and daily functions of the fund comes from the bottom up, it’s our members that pick the stocks they like and pitch them. As a result, all members are not just sitting in for extra lectures but are actually participating a key role in the fund.
6. Where can students go to get more information about GUSIF or to reach out to you?
We have our website at http://Gusif.com