Dreyfuss family gives $1M gift to create student-led bond investment fund

Photo of Evan and Elizabeth Dreyfuss

Evan and Elizabeth Dreyfuss's gift to Pacific will create a unique opportunity for students to get hands-on experience investing in the bond market. 

University of the Pacific Regent Evan Dreyfuss, a highly-regarded portfolio manager, and his wife Elizabeth are creating a rare opportunity for students in the Eberhardt School of Business with a $1 million gift to establish a student-run investment fund focused on bonds.

The Dreyfuss Family Fixed Income Fund will allow students to manage and invest real money in bonds. It will complement the high-performing Eberhardt Student Investment Fund established in 2007, which focuses primarily on stocks. 

The donation qualifies for the Powell Match program at Pacific, which matches new endowments, putting the total fund at $2 million once fully vested.

Dreyfuss, who has decades of experience investing in bonds, calls the new fund a “game-changer.” 

“It’ll make a huge impact in students’ lives,” the 1986 alumnus said. “It'll give them a leg up when they go for an interview out of college to have some real-world experience. You get to learn how to figure out which bond to buy, how to buy it and put it in the portfolio.”

Fewer than 2% of business schools worldwide operate a student investment fund for stocks. With the Dreyfuss Family Fixed Income Fund, Pacific stands out as one of very few schools in the nation offering undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to also manage a fixed-income fund.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students,” said President Christopher Callahan. “We are enormously grateful to Regent Dreyfuss for making it happen. Our students will be getting experience that is hard to come by anywhere else.”

The fund will include U.S. Treasury bonds, U.S. corporate bonds, emerging market bonds, high-yield bonds and more. According to Dreyfuss, the global bond market is valued at $124 trillion compared to $106 trillion for the global stock market.

“People don't realize the bond market is bigger than the equity market,” Dreyfuss said.

“It would surprise many people to know how influential those instruments are,” adds Lewis Gale, interim dean of the Eberhardt School of Business. “When it comes to a large infrastructure project, those are financed with bonds,” he said, listing the park where the San Francisco Giants play as one example.

The fund will be modeled after the Eberhardt Student Investment Fund, currently valued at more than $4 million, in which students manage the money as part of a class, learning how to invest in the stock market. 

Nathan Auyoung ’21, a finance and biochemistry double manager, was a technology sector analyst and healthcare sector analyst for the fund in 2021. 

“It really gives you a hands-on experience that no other class can match,” said Auyoung, who credits the experience with helping him land a summer internship. “It gave me an opportunity to talk about my experience and how being able to manage a $4.2 million fund is really quite unique.”

The Dreyfuss Family Fixed Income Fund is being established in conjunction with a new finance program, which will include fixed-income investments as part of the curriculum offered to undergraduate and graduate students.

Students will research and evaluate where to invest the fund’s money and will be accountable to a board consisting of the dean and four investment professionals, including Dreyfuss.

Earnings from the Dreyfuss Family Fixed Income fund will be used to support students. Half will stay in the fund to help it grow and the other half will go to scholarships for students in the business school.

Dreyfuss graduated from the Eberhardt School of Business in 1986, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance.

For the past 34 years he’s managed high-yield bonds. He currently works as a chartered financial analyst and portfolio manager for Twin Lake Total Return Partners, a fixed income hedge fund he established in 2002. He became a regent in 2015.

Elizabeth Dreyfuss also has a background in finance. She earned her master of business administration from Simmons University in Boston and was an investment banker in the commercial real estate division of BankBoston. 

The couple is committed to supporting Pacific and its students. In 2016 they created the Dreyfuss Fellowship Endowment, which sponsors a trip to New York City every year for students in the investment fund, giving them an immersive experience on Wall Street. 

Pacific is extremely grateful to Evan and Elizabeth Dreyfuss for being “active investors” in students, the dean said.

“It's just tremendous that we have one of our own alums, who is actually a regent, seeking out ways to provide opportunities for students in the curriculum and also in experiential learning,” Gale said.

Dreyfuss Family Fixed Income Fund creates unique opportunity for students