Contacts and Officers
Rodney Lake is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of The Benval Group LLC. provides consulting services to family offices, corporations, and institutions regarding asset allocation, investment manager research, due diligence, selection, and monitoring, as well as direct investing, research, and strategy. Mr. Lake utilizes value-oriented opportunistic investment approach that integrates global top-down endowment style research with intensive bottom-up investment and security analysis. He has more than 12 years of broad investment experience across multiple asset classes, geographies, strategies and market cycles. Investment manager/investment reviews: 100+ per year, 1,200+ in aggregate (and counting). He has performed comprehensive due diligence on 80+ opportunities and conducted on-the-ground due diligence in 23 countries globally. He has built, maintains, and continues to grow global network: North America, Latin America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Additionally, Mr. Lake reviews and evaluates 50+ single security company pitches per year from MBA and undergraduate students at The George Washington University (GW).
Prior to forming Benval in 2013, Mr. Lake worked as a Senior Investment Officer in The George Washington University Investment Office. The GW Investment Office is responsible for managing the University’s $1.4 billion endowment fund. Beginning in 2005, Mr. Lake researched opportunities, identified investments and recommended implementation strategies/managers.
Mr. Lake is a Professor, Lecturer in Finance at the GW School of Business, serving as an instructor for Applied Portfolio Management in the MBA program and Applied Security Analysis in the undergraduate program. Both courses are focused on student-managed funds within GW’s Endowment. The MBA course manages the $2.4 million Ramsey Student Investment Fund, and the undergraduate course manages the $1.4 million Phillips Student Investment Fund. Professor Lake also teaches Investment and Portfolio Management at GW.
Prior to the GW Investment Office, Mr. Lake was a Senior Financial Analyst in the Executive Vice President and Treasurer’s Office at GW, served as an internal consultant for projects ranging from financial and optimization modeling to developing spin-out strategies and valuations for internal businesses. Prior to joining GW, he was a Financial Analyst in portfolio management at a mortgage banking subsidiary of California Federal Bank.
Mr. Lake graduated cum laude, from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a B.S. degree in business. He received his MBA from The George Washington University.
Steve is a Senior Vice President at RBC Wealth Management. He began his career with Ferris, Baker, Watts (FBW), acquired by RBC Wealth Management in 2008, as a $3.65 an hour intern on September 19, 1979 and is proud to say he has never moved desks. Over his 33-year career, Steve has managed portfolios for a wide range of individuals and institutions striving to meet their investment and financial goals.
Steve graduated with honors from George Washington University in 1981 and he holds the Series 7, 63, and 66 securities licenses as well as the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® designation.
Steve was elected to George Washington University’s Board of Trustees in 2006 and also served as a Board Member for the Kennedy Institute in Washington, DC. Prior to FBW’s merger with RBC Wealth Management, Steve served on FBW’s Board of Directors and Chaired its Retail Advisory Board. Currently, Steve is a member of RBC Wealth Management’s Chairman’s Council, which recognizes the firm’s top 120 financial advisors, and serves on RBC Wealth Management’s Equity Leader Advisory Council.
Steve resides in Bethesda, MD, and is married with two children. His interests and hobbies include coaching baseball and basketball, participating in numerous sports, genealogy research, and providing free plumbing advice to friends, family and clients as he is a descendant of three generations of plumbing contractors.
Steven Keating, Director of Investments, St. John’s University
Steven Keating is the Director of Investments at St. John’s University in New York, where he oversees the University’s $650 million endowment under the direction of the Investment Committee.
Prior to joining St. Johns’s University, Steve was an Investment Officer in GW’s Investment Office where his responsibilities included identifying investment opportunities across all regions, sectors, and asset classes; recommending investment implementation strategies; new investment manager sourcing, selection, due diligence; ongoing investment manager monitoring and analysis; and in-depth, fundamental research.
Steve’s involvement with the Ramsey Student Investment Fund (RSIF) spans nearly 7 years. Steve is a RSIF alumnus and before becoming an Advisor, Steve was a co-instructor. Additionally, Steve is a co-chair of the annual Ramsey Student Investment Fund Conference.
Steve holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Investments and a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business and Marketing, both from GW. He was a Presidential Administrative Fellow where he worked in GW’s Office of the President and Office of the President Emeritus.
Vanshap Capital is a deep value, globally oriented investment management firm, minority owned by Markel Corporation. Vanshap employs a research-intensive process to identify businesses run by disciplined management teams trading at low multiples of tangible book value or cash earnings. Prior to launching Vanshap, Mr. Vanderveer was an analyst at deep value manager, Aegis Financial Corporation. Mr. Vanderveer is a graduate of The George Washington University, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in finance.
Johnny Chou is the teaching assistant for both the Ramsey and Phillips Student Investment Funds, and is an alumnus of the RSIF. He is expected to graduate in 2016 with an M.A. in International Trade and Investment Policy, a renowned program within GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Johnny is a lifelong student of value investing and hopes to be a value investor upon graduation. Prior to joining GW, Johnny worked for Siemens Industry as a Business Process Specialist to improve process efficiencies in manufacturing processes. In his spare time, Johnny hones his photography skills and likes to translate his creativity into photographs for people to enjoy.
Morgan Fourdrigniez is currently a portfolio manager for the Philips Student Investment Fund. He is a senior at GW, originally from Nice, France, majoring in Finance. Morgan first became interested in value investing after coming across The Intelligent Investor in his last year of high school, and has since become a lifelong student of value investing. Morgan has worked as a Business Development intern for Bolloré Africa Logistics in Beijing, China and also as an Asset Management intern for Bank of Andorra in. More recently, Morgan interned for Bank of Africa in Burkina Faso, where he successfully increased the company’s loan portfolio in its commercial banking department. In his spare time, Morgan likes to jam on his guitar. His favorite influential leaders are De Gaulle and Napoleon Bonaparte.
Ashley Alonso is currently a portfolio manager and student officer for the Phillips Student Investment Fund. She is a senior at GW, originally from Minnesota, double majoring in Finance and International Business. After studying for a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2013, she gained a strong interest for both Latin America and international investment. Upon graduating in May 2015, she will be working as an investment-banking analyst in Chicago.
Johnathan Fluitt is an alumnus of the Ramsey Student Investment Fund and graduated with an M.B.A. from the GW School of Business in 2014. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Johnathan hopes to further develop the investment program and facilitate the success of future RSIF and PSIF alumni. In his spare time, Jonathan likes traveling, photography, and cooking.