A groundbreaking educational program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte recently closed their first investment on behalf of a university investment fund.

In February 2019, Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) students in the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte turned classroom instruction into real-world experience by locating and analyzing commercial real estate investments, then securing fund committee approval to invest money held in a university fund.

The investment was made with national real estate owner/operator Investors Management Group (IMG), who recently sponsored an offering in a 324-unit apartment community in Charlotte, North Carolina. The students directed a UNCC real estate investment into a partnership with IMG through an “SMREIF” — a new concept that applies classroom instruction to real-world experience by analyzing and closing commercial real estate investments.

Q: What is a SMREIF?

A: The SMREIF — a Student Managed Real Estate Investment Fund — allows Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) students in the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte to invest funds from an established endowment into commercial real estate private equity securities and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

Q: How do students operate the fund?

A: Students conducted full due diligence on the acquisition, including touring the site and interviewing IMG and property staff. The students presented their analysis and recommendation to a panel of real estate and business experts who sit on the fund committee. The committee supported the students’ proposal and the fund’s first investment was made – setting a model for additional investments and establishing a portfolio for future students to manage. As the fund acquires investments in its portfolio, students manage and evaluate performance through investment life cycles.

The UNCC student-managed fund concept is pioneering a new standard for blending education with business application. 

“Investing on behalf of the university demonstrates UNCC’s confidence in IMG as a sponsor and trust in our transparent reporting through our accredited investor virtual deal room.”
Neil Schimmel, CEO, Investors Management Group


The UNC Charlotte Foundation is an accredited investor. To learn more about the SMREIF program, visit the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte website. For information on IMG’s current investment offerings, contact Dave Mikkelsen at (971) 888-4010 ext. 108 or investor.relations@imgre.com.