Ithaca College Teams Up for the Adirondack CupIthaca College Teams Up for the Adirondack Cup
A team of Ithaca College investors will be among nearly 20 colleges and universities competing in the inaugural Adirondack Cup.

Call it an intercollegiate investing event, with alumni rooting for their schools.

A team of Ithaca College investors will be among nearly 20 colleges and universities competing in the inaugural Adirondack Cup. Students will create hypothetical small cap portfolios and aim for the best return over six months.

The competition began with the opening of trading Oct. 17. Adirondack Research and Management Inc., which runs the Adirondack Small Cap Fund (ADKSX), is overseeing the Adirondack Cup.

Ithaca graduate Steve Gonick ’85, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of ARMI, explains the company has a strong commitment to college interns and views the Adirondack Cup as a logical next step in its involvement with business students.

"Many of our clients need interns and have expressed an interest in reconnecting with their schools," Gonick said. "So we offer our clients an opportunity to 'hook up' with their old school and their team, perhaps offering advice from their vantage point in the financial world and, hopefully, opening up their contact lists to the students as well."

Each team must have between three and 10 members.

Teams will create a hypothetical $1 million portfolio invested in five small cap stocks traded on one of the two major U.S. exchanges. Each stock selected must be from a different sector (technology, healthcare, consumer goods, conglomerates, industrial goods, basic materials, services, financial or utilities).

At the time of investment, each holding must be at least 5 percent of the portfolio but cannot exceed 50 percent. Teams can make changes in the portfolio twice during the six months.

The Adirondack Cup project manager is Ithaca graduate Matt Dibble ’11, serving as a consultant to Gonick. He’s working with deans and professors at the participating schools.

"The purpose of the competition is to provide students with real-world experience that will enable them to apply knowledge learned in the classroom, such as fundamental and technical research techniques and portfolio management," said Dibble, a business administration major who concentrated in finance and marketing.

Each team will choose a leader to run team meetings and communicate with ARMI. Alex Gifford ’12 helped set up IC’s team and Mike Severo ’12 is IC team leader.

"The Adirondack Cup aims to help the students build a strong network of contacts among participants, alumni and the Adirondack Small Cap Fund managers," Dibble continued. Students will showcase their equity allocation skills during the competition and will attend a networking night at the Adirondack office in Guilderland when the competition concludes.

The winning team will receive the Adirondack Cup.

Gonick points to three characteristics of the competition that reflect ARMI’s core beliefs:

  • It focuses on smaller companies.
  • It encourages a buy-and-hold strategy that requires students to research each equity.
  • It requires a portfolio diversified among economic sectors. Students will have to acquaint themselves with the entire economy, not just one piece.

"We hope this provides a better learning opportunity," said Gonick, who joined ARMI in 2009 after 12 years as an executive sales representative at Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He received his degree from IC in personnel and industrial relations.

ARMI’s interns each year include students from many colleges, including Ithaca. ARMI matches the interns’ tasks to what they are doing in school so they can use the outcome to further their careers, said Gonick.

After Gifford was offered an ARMI internship last summer, Gonick redirected him to a colleague at Empire Asset Management Group. His project there analyzed high dividend yielding stocks and drew conclusions on future dividends and stock price movements.

"I was able to learn about this longer-term style of passive investing that has changed my ways of thinking about my own investing strategies and about the market as a whole," said Gifford, a business administration major concentrating in finance and management with a minor in economics.

ARMI is "committed to helping our interns find jobs in this challenging economy, and we open up our contact lists and teach them how to network," Gonick said. "We feel it is good business and the least we can do in this tough economy."

Dibble appreciates the value of networking, as he leaned of ARMI at a networking night at its office and met Gonick. That encounter led to his consulting role.

"I’m confident that the experience will make me much more visible and marketable to other employers once this job is completed," Dibble said. "t’s Adirondack's hope that other students will have a similar experience and success."

ARMI will update Adirondack Cup results weekly on its website,

School of Business  ·  305 Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3940  ·  Full Directory Listing