May 1, 2008

SMU’s Cox School of Business is joining a handful of universities worldwide to offer programs addressing the growing need for professionals who handle alternative asset investments, made possible by a new $3 million gift.

EnCap Investments and LCM Group each contributed $1.5 million to fund the EnCap Investments & LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center and its director. In addition, the gift will support the development of new courses for a specialization within the undergraduate finance major and within the graduate finance concentration. The courses also will prepare students for the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) professional designation.

The faces behind the gift are SMU alumni David B. Miller (’72, ’73), partner and co-founder of EnCap, Dallas, and D. Scott Luttrell (’77), founder and CEO of LCM, Tampa, Florida.

In the past five years, investments in alternative assets – including hedge funds, venture capital, private equity, real estate, and oil and gas – have increased dramatically. For example, capital committed to an estimated 9,000 U.S. hedge funds grew more than 17 percent per year from 2002 to 2006, with more than $1 trillion invested at the end of 2006, according to global investment firm CRA Rogerscasey.

Because of its location, SMU provides students with opportunities for extensive interaction with local professionals. Texas has the third-largest concentration of hedge funds outside of New York and California. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is home to more than 140 firms managing 175 hedge funds with assets in excess of $40 billion.