Jeff Masse
Jeff Masse finished in the top 25 among undergraduates from U.S. public business schools in Institutional Investor’s inaugural All-America Student Analyst Competition.

MSF student records impressive finish in national finance competition

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jeff Masse, a student in the Master of Science in Finance Program (The William R. Hough Program) at the Hough Graduate School of Business, finished in the top 100 of Institutional Investor’s inaugural All-America Student Analyst Competition.

Masse, who was competing against undergraduate and MBA students, finished 63rd out of approximately 700 students in the nationwide competition. Masse was 24th nationally among undergraduates from U.S. public business schools.

The All-America Student Analyst Competition, which ran from September 2012 through January 2013, tested students in developing and maintaining stock portfolios. The rankings measured success across seven industry sectors including Capital Goods/Industrials, Energy and Healthcare and Technology among others, and a general category considering net benchmark outperformance, volatility, net exposure impact and gross exposure impact among other factors. The students’ portfolios were installed in Mark My Media’s ALPHASEAL® investing platform that tracked each portfolio’s equity value, net asset value, and profits and losses on a daily basis similar to how Wall Street professionals are evaluated.

“The duration of the competition was challenging,” said Masse, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Finance) with a minor in Accounting as well the MSF degree. “Maintaining a portfolio over a four-month period while balancing school, work and an internship can be demanding. Trade ideas eventually go stale so you always have to stay up to date on trends in the market and seek out opportunity.”

Masse, who completed an internship as an Investment Analyst at the University of Florida Investment Corporation (UFICO) in December, said he employed a two-pronged strategy to generate returns on his investments. First, he evaluated companies in the industrial sector and determined how they would perform in relation to their peers. Then, Masse engaged in long-short trades where he would buy an individual company’s stock and short its sector Exchange-traded fund (ETF) if he believed the company would outperform its peers. He would do the opposite if he believed the company would underperform. Second, he limited exposure to market returns by focusing on trade structure. He structured individual trades so that his long positions had a beta adjusted market value that was approximately 10 percent greater than his short positions. Masse organized his trades in this manner because he said he was concerned of a pull back in the market due to worries regarding the fiscal cliff.

“The competition was great in that I was able to use many of the skills that I had learned in my coursework as well as my internship at UFICO,” Masse said. “At UFICO, I had the opportunity to meet with equity and hedge fund managers who employ strategies identical to the one I utilized in the competition. The opportunity to test classroom knowledge in practice is invaluable.”

In addition to his studies and duties at UFICO, Masse is the Portfolio Manager for the Gator Student Investment Fund, where he previously served as an Industrial Sector Leader. He has also served as Secretary of Finance and Fees for UF’s Student Body President’s Cabinet, Director of State Affairs for UF Student Government and Community Service Chairman for Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity (Alpha Omega Chapter). Masse was awarded the SAVANT Outstanding Freshman Leadership Award, given to UF freshmen who have gone above and beyond to make an impact on the UF campus and the Gainesville community, and was a member of UF’s first-place team in the PricewaterhouseCoopers xTAX Case Competition.