Members of the University’s student-led Marshal L. Salant Investment Team spoke about the real-world experiences they gained as part of the team.
The team was founded upon a donation by alum Marshal L. Salant, a student in the first graduating class from the Whiting School of Engineering in 1980. The fund began with an initial $100,000 portfolio and has grown at an annual rate of 13.4%. The team now manages over $400,000 in assets.
In an interview with The News-Letter, Nick Charanjiva, Salant’s vice president of operations, explained the core principles and goals of the organization.
“Obviously, we want to get returns on investment, but I'd say that takes a backseat to learning and mentorship,” he said. “The recruiting process for a lot of jobs in finance these days starts earlier and earlier, so [mentorship helps members] get context for how these jobs work and the things that you can start to do to prepare yourself early on in your college career to set yourself up for a fulfilling career in finance.”
Charanjiva specified that underclassmen are paired with juniors or seniors as mentors and club members are paired with alumni in the careers they’re interested in.
In an interview with The News-Letter, Co-President Gavin McElhennon mentioned that the team’s portfolio serves as part of the University endowment and provides scholarship revenue for undergraduate students.
“Each year, 5-10% of the funds are taken out toward sports, financial aid and scholarship,” he said.
Charanjiva elaborated on the opportunities and resources available for Salant members. With the investment strategy centered around value investing, new members have the chance to analyze the investments previous members have made before proposing a new stock after a thorough research process. Additionally, he shared that the organization runs an investment banking workshop for all members of the student body with the goal to help all students learn more about investment banking and careers within finance.
Salant alumni are provided with a wide variety of resources, including visits to various firms and internships in areas such as investment banking, capital markets and asset management.
McElhennon noted the members’ career paths are not necessarily going to be in finance industries, but the knowledge of business models and stock pictures they receive from Salant will enable them to foster a deeper understanding of finance and pursue related career pathways, such as those in healthcare industries.
According to alumni data, approximately 65% of Salant alumni work in finance with other members scattered across other fields, including consulting and law. Alumni have worked in investment banking companies — such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan — while others have taken positions in distinguished private equity and hedge funds like Blackstone and TPG Global.
Majoring in Economics and Philosophy, McElhennon spoke about the organization’s member composition, with majors ranging from STEM to humanities.
“The team is about half Economics majors or minors with another half being Computer Science, pre-med and other STEM or humanities majors,” he said.
McElhennon described how returning to in-person activities has helped the club grow socially and professionally.
“Over the past year and a half, we have been able to hold in-person meetings again and actually interact with other members of the team, which has been really beneficial in terms of not only building team culture but also professionally, [including] organizing New York trips for the past three semesters,” he said. “It has been really helpful in terms of campus recruiting, networking and meeting with alumni.”
In an interview with The News-Letter, professor Annette Leps, faculty advisor of Salant, said she is proud of the team and their contribution to the University.
“They have structured themselves in such a way that they can truly benefit the Hopkins campus,” she said. “They are adding value that otherwise would be absent: things like the investment banking workshops, financial aid scholarships and their leadership potential in terms of mentoring.”