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Georgetown University Alumni Partner With Center for Financial Markets and Policy to Teach MBA Hedge Fund Investing Course

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Two Georgetown University alumni, Anne Dias (F'92) and Doug Dillard (B'93) have partnered with the Center for Financial Markets and Policy to teach the MBA course, “Hedge Fund Investing” at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

The course focuses on the history and philosophy underlying different types of hedge fund strategies. It highlights the investment philosophies and genealogy of different types of hedge fund investing rather than the mechanics of hedge funds. Also, students learn the rules of investing by putting themselves in the shoes of a hedge fund manager. They gather the facts, analyze financial data, and make decisions under pressure.

“As Anne and I put the curriculum together, it has evolved into more of a hedge fund strategy class,” said Dillard, adjunct professor. “There are plenty of basic investing classes, but teaching the students how to think about different strategies and how they have evolved seemed like a much more useful class in the current environment.  Not many of our students are going to go directly into the industry, but all of them need the tools to understand how different strategies can be used in a portfolio.” 

Students study real-life investment case studies and worked through them step-by-step in class. Guest speakers have come from the world’s top investment firms, including Elliott Associates, Tiger, Citadel, Monticello, Coatue, Paulson and Viking, among others. For example, in the class on international investing, students took apart an Irish homebuilder’s investment prospects as if they were pitching the case to a portfolio manager. 

“I love the idea of sharing the knowledge I have accumulated and working with students to teach them how to invest,” said Dias, adjunct professor. “I want to provide students with the opportunity to meet with leading hedge fund managers with whom I have had the pleasure of working. When we were putting the class together, there was this notion out there that hedge funds had under-performed for the past three years and would lose market share as an alternative asset class to private equity. However, we show them that some hedge fund strategies have performed well through thick and thin.”

This course contributes to the Leaders in Global Finance Speaker Series hosted by the Center for Financial Markets and Policy, which has included key industry participants and policymakers such as Kenneth Griffin, founder and chief executive office of Citadel and Rostin Behnam, commissioner, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“It's terrific when our alumni return to campus and contribute to the education of our current students,” said Reena Aggarwal, Robert E. McDonough professor of finance, vice provost for faculty, and director, Center for Financial Markets and Policy. “Not only do the students in the course benefit, but also the Leaders in Global Finance Speaker Series allowed members of the Georgetown University community to hear from key industry thought leaders.”

Both Dias and Dillard received their undergraduate degrees from Georgetown and earned their MBAs from Harvard Business School, ran hedge funds for over a decade, and now manage their funds as family offices respectively. Over the years, Dias and Dillard have shared hundreds of investment ideas with each other. They believe that teaching this course provides a unique opportunity for them to give back to the university and share their experiences with students.