The David Eccles School of Business’s Student Investment Fund was honored Friday with the inaugural Fred Dickson Memorial Award from broker dealer D.A. Davidson Companies.

The award is given annually in recognition of excellence to the most outstanding university participating in the D.A. Davidson Student Investment Program. The Eccles School’s Student Investment Fund was selected largely due to its track record — the student-run fund was the only school of the 20 in D.A. Davidson’s program to outperform the S&P 500 over the past five years with an 18% annual growth rate.

“The students and faculty are incredibly engaged, and it’s been a privilege to see them bring their ‘A-game’ in presentations to local business leaders,” said Rex Thornton, D.A. Davidson financial adviser.

The award includes a $2,000 cash prize and all-expenses-paid trips for five Eccles School members to attend the Davidson Institute, a premier D.A. Davidson Companies event planned for April.

“It is an honor to be recognized by D.A. Davidson, which has been a wonderful partner,” said Elizabeth Tashjian, associate professor of finance and adviser to the Student Investment Fund. “The Student Investment Fund provides undergraduates with an exciting opportunity to invest real money, and the hands-on experience gives them a huge advantage as they begin their careers.”

Prior to the participation in the student investment program, one graduate every few years landed in equity research or investment banking jobs. However, that has grown so that over the past five years, 21% of SIF participants began their careers in equity research or investment banking.

One such student is Alex Wall, who graduated in 2014 and now works at Wasatch Advisors. Wall was able to engage with professionals in the finance field through public presentations where he and his fellow students analyzed the profitability of a company.

“The knowledge I gained participating in the Student Investment Fund opened countless doors for me,” Wall said. “It truly prepares students to work in the industry, and