College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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ILLINOIS Student Consultants Prove Themselves with Cozad International Portfolio Success


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For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Barlow LeVold, 217-244-8146,

ILLINOIS Student Consultants Prove Themselves with Cozad International Portfolio Success

Cozad’s International Equity Income Portfolio has been my best investment over the past three years. Knowing that Cozad uses well-researched financial data provided by the University of Illinois College of Business was a big plus for me. --Rainer Martens, President, Human Kinetics, Inc.

Now in its fifth year, the International Equity Income (IEI) Separately Managed Accounts Composite, an investment portfolio managed by Cozad Asset Management, Inc. is up nearly four times higher than the average return over the same time period. The portfolio is Global Investment Performance Standard (GIPS) compliant and audited, and it is actively managed with low fees.

The secret?

Illinois Business Consulting (IBC), a premier student consulting firm managed by the College of Business at ILLINOIS, was hired by Cozad to help research international markets and to inform investment decisions. The all-student consulting group recruits graduate and undergraduate student to execute 40-50 engagements each year, leveraging expertise from around campus. Select faculty members provide subject matter expertise to the teams.

Jay Dave, a student who worked on the IEI portfolio this year, says he was lucky to get such an opportunity. “The faculty and other student consultants took this project very seriously. With strong participation by the client we learned a lot about the realities of international investing and macroeconomic analysis. It was exciting to be involved in a long-term project with real consequences.”

When companies like Cozad approach IBC, they are presented with a wide array of expertise. “Cozad hired IBC to analyze and report on an enormous amount of performance data from 65 countries,” says Bryant Evans, portfolio manager for IEI. “The very high quality information they delivered would cost much more from a non-student firm.”

“As a business professor, I know it helps students to grapple with challenging tasks that have real consequences. It really makes a difference when teaching complex concepts to students if they feel the need to learn in the performance of a job for a living, breathing client,” says Dr. Paul Magelli, founder, and senior director, Illinois Business Consulting.

Evans is particularly satisfied with IBC’s performance now that the portfolio has reached the five year mark, an important mile marker for new stock portfolios. Investors often define success, and their willingness to invest, based on performance metrics accumulated in that time. With excellent performance figures in hand, Evans can market the portfolio with confidence.

“This five year benchmark is important because five years ago we started a real-money experiment in low-cost international investing,” said Evans. “Now its performance is proven.”


About Illinois Business Consulting:
Illinois Business Consulting conducts 40-50 business consulting projects each year for established organizations of varying sizes (Fortune 500 to small businesses, both for-profit and not-for-profit) and allows students to build problem solving, project management and client management skills that can be leveraged in their career of choice.

About Cozad Asset Management, Inc.:
Founded in 1972, Cozad Asset Management, Inc. provides the highest quality, personalized financial services and advice. Our approach is client-focused as we make every effort to satisfy the needs of our clients and to deliver superior results. Our objective is to build portfolios that meet the long-term financial goals of our clients.

About the College of Business:
Internationally recognized as one of the leading business schools, the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has outstanding programs in accountancy, business administration, and finance. The College enrolls approximately 2,800 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students in MBA, master’s, and doctoral programs.



UIUC College of Business