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BYU student investment fund’s first venture exceeds expectations

Cougar Capital, a student-run investment fund at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management, saw its first investment significantly outperform projections when the company’s stock closed on its opening day at 57 percent above its initial public offering.

Riverbed Technology, the company in which Cougar Capital invested, specializes in the production of Steelhead appliances, which address latency and bandwidth problems that computer network applications often experience. Riverbed’s version has received a variety of positive reviews and was named “Product of the Year” by InfoWorld in the networking category. When the company went public in early September, it quickly surpassed initial expectations, closing at $15.30. The stock has since jumped to above $30 a share.

“The growth and success of Riverbed is largely due to the quality and value that its technological solution provides its customers” said Marc Chenn, a second-year MBA student and director of external relations for Cougar Capital. The company’s exceptional stock performance is largely due to the expectation of investors that Riverbed Technology will continue to grow.”

Cougar Capital is a nonprofit investment fund created as part of a Marriott School course in fall 2005 to give Marriott School MBA students practical experience in the investment field. The group comprises 10 students who review and invest in private companies alongside larger public equity firms and venture capitalists. All earnings are deposited back into the organization’s fund to be used for future investments.

“Cougar Capital gives students the opportunity to engage in real investment analysis including due diligence, term sheet structure, management review and valuation analysis,” said class instructor Gary Williams. “By participating as a syndication partner and investing real money, students feel the intensity of the experience, which enhances the educational quality of the class.”

Writer: Todd Bluth

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