Zach Kammeraad is a finance student who values the real-life experience he’s gotten outside of the classroom. Here’s what he has to say about his time in the Knight Investment Management (KIM) club, a student organization at Calvin:
What is Knight Investment Management (KIM)?
Knight Investment Management offers a space for real-life experience in investment. We engage in real-time analysis, asset allocation, and stock picking—and make impactful decisions with real money and real client expectations. KIM is a subadvisor to Calvin’s Investment Committee. We are responsible for managing the small cap portion of Calvin’s endowment.
Our goal is to learn about investing and create a return for our client, Calvin University. Our organization is made up of 9 different sectors which focus on different industries in our economy. Within each sector, there is a sector head and about 4-5 analysts. The sector head is responsible for overseeing the stock pitch. The analysts are responsible for pulling together the necessary information that helps our organization understand the stock, such as their current financial situation, and a compilation of growth thesis which defines how the sector believes a company will make money/grow. KIM also has a leadership team consisting of a faculty advisory, which is Leonard Van Drunen.
There is a Chief executive officer, chief investment officer, chief operations officer, chief financial officer, chief development officer, and a chief economist. We are currently in the process of adding another leadership position tentatively named the Chief of responsible investment, their responsibility will be making sure the companies we are pitching align with Calvin’s values, and our values as an org. We have about 60 members within our student org.
How did you get connected to KIM, and what’s your role now?
I got connected to KIM by a friend that recommended that I should join. I started out as analyst, and now I am currently serving as the Chief Development Officer. My primary roles are hiring qualified analysts, and forming sectors. I also take attendance, and make sure that our sector heads are getting the support they need from their analysts.
What does a typical meeting look like?
A typical meeting is an hour long, where we begin our time together with devotion and then get into the meeting agenda. We usually have two sectors pitch different stocks. After the description of the business is given, then we have the macroeconomics team come up and present where and how this company is positioned within their overall industry, and what the risks and growth opportunities are. Then the sectors complete the rest of the stock pitch, and after both stocks have been pitched, the sectors meet and then we vote on whether or not we should buy the stock.
How has KIM helped you professionally?
KIM has helped me to think critically and has developed my leadership skills. KIM is a great stepping stone into what the corporate finance world looks like. It has been a great talking point as I have been interviewing with different financial firms, and KIM is definitely unique to Calvin. KIM has also taught me a lot about investing by giving me real world experience with buying and selling stocks. KIM has also given me confidence when it comes to presenting in front of people.
What are some of the perks of being part of KIM?
The experience you get from being in KIM is incredible. You get to learn with some of the best students as well as faculty. Professor Van Drunen is super helpful, and asks some difficult questions for our members to think about when researching companies. You also get real time, real world investing experience. You get the opportunity to learn about investing as well as the opportunity to give back to our client by generating a return for them. It also looks great on a resume.