Skip to Content

Darla Moore School of Business

  • Image of Jordan Fowler and Carter Burns

    Jordan Fowler and Carter Burns

Where learning meets earning

Finance student-run hedge fund exceeds expectations

A group of Moore School finance students hope to raise as much as $5 million with their Shaw Circle Management hedge fund initially developed by one of their classmates as a freshman three years ago.

In 2022, Shaw Circle Management ran a pilot fund and saw returns of more than 3.5 percent, outpacing the returns for the S&P 500 stock market index, which was down by -18 percent.

Shaw Circle Management is the brainchild of Jordan Fowler, ’24 expected graduation in finance and computer science, who has known since an early age that he wanted to work in the finance industry.

“My passion for finance began in the fifth grade as a way of bonding with my grandfather,” he said. “It wasn’t until later in middle school that I began studying the nuances of fundamental company analysis, drawing inspiration from the minds of [prominent financiers] Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett.”

Later during high school, Fowler’s parents and sister moved to Atlanta from Charleston, South Carolina, for better access to a hospital that could treat his sister’s paralysis. While they were away, Fowler began financial trading more frequently to bring in additional income to ease the financial burden on his family.

Prior to his freshman year at USC, Fowler said he passed his Series 65 and SIE financial licensing exams to develop credibility and better understand the rules and regulations within the financial services sector.

“However, to build out my vision I needed to assemble a team,” Fowler said. “When I joined the Carolina Finance Scholars program at the Moore School, I met my other highly intelligent and driven co-founders, and together we created what is now Shaw Circle.”

“The University of South Carolina, the Darla Moore School of Business, and the Carolina Finance Scholars Program breeds dreamers, scholars and citizens of the global community of the highest order and distinction,” reads the Shaw Circle introduction. “At Shaw Circle, we are a product of this environment and are eager to establish ourselves and further establish the university and programs that made this possible.”

After a highly successful “pilot year,” co-founder Carter Burns, ’24 expected graduation finance, said Shaw Circle Management is “positioned to make a competitive run in the industry” as they prepare to increase fundraising significantly. They hope their efforts lead to a more attractive and safer investment for their investors.

“I believe we are in a position to raise significant capital, generate high-quality returns for our investors and develop a deep community of investors that are involved and well cared for,” Burns said. “We would love to get in the door with anybody interested in what we are doing.”

Moving forward, Shaw Circle is opening its second fund, which will offer its innovative strategy to a wider breadth of investors, providing the highest quality returns through the continued development of its models and technology, Fowler said. Shaw Circle also aims to continue a level of personalized care for each investor that exceeds industry standards.

“The Shaw Circle story is and always will be one of growth,” Fowler said. “Whether it be the growth of our investor base or the continual development of our technology, we pride ourselves on the quality of our strategy and the attention to detail we provide to each of our investors.”

Finance professor Gregory Niehaus and associate professor Eric Powers have provided guidance to the students as they develop and grow Shaw Circle. They both said they’ve been impressed by what the students have accomplished.

“They have goals and are willing to work extremely hard to achieve them,” Niehaus said. “They have invested an incredible amount of time already. Also, they listen to others and adjust their plans in response to advice and experience.”

Powers said full-time students having such success with a new hedge fund is “improbable,” but Fowler, Burns and their team’s talent, drive and dedication have pushed them to early success.

Shaw Circle Management team

Jordan Fowler*, ’24 finance and USC computer science, CEO

Carter Burns*, ’24 finance, CIO

Matt DiGregorio, ’24 finance and international business, COO

Andrew Nye*, ’25 finance, CFO

Ryan Henry*, ’25 finance, director of business development

Alexa Zunich*, ’24 finance and risk management and insurance, director of investor relations

Christian Welch*, ’24 finance, director of fund development

* Shaw Circle staff members who are part of the Moore School’s Finance Scholars program.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.