Young Croat Creates Investment Fund Managed by Students

Lauren Simmonds

As Lucija Spiljak/Ivan Tominac/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of January, 2020, this year, for the first time, students in Croatia have competed in a new category – as financiers – with the aim of raising financial literacy among young people, and the winner was Dorian Antesic, a young Croat and a first year graduate student at the Faculty of Economics in Rijeka who was awarded 10,000 kuna.

The main sponsor of the financiers category is the well known AZ pension funds.

“If we want our young educated people to stay in Croatia then besides messages and wishes aimed at them, we must provide them with opportunities, projects and jobs that will really keep them here. In addition, it is crucial for young people to gain study experience so that they’re more ready to engage in work processes as soon as they graduate and gain their first jobs,” said Natasa Hrabar Kaštelan, Head of Marketing and Public Relations at AZ Pension Funds.

Dorian, the young Croat who created the platform, revealed that during his studies he was ambitious and had a curious and restless spirit, so in his fresh CV there are various things listed – from conference organisation to project management and teams within the AIESEC youth organisation in Rijeka, as well as having done a semiannual student exchange in Prague.

He learned about the Hrvatska pamet Hrvatskoj (Croatian talent for Croatia) project through the internet and when he read all the categories, he realised that he had the ideal project for the latest category – Financier.

“At the time, I was just writing a final paper on the topic of a Student Investment Fund and thinking that it would be great to launch something like that in Croatia. I’d already briefly made a plan for establishing such a fund in Croatia when I saw an advertisement for Hrvatska pamet Hrvatskoj and I immediately decided that I’d elaborate on this plan a little better and send it to the tender,” explained the innovative young Croat.

The Stoik Student Investment Fund is a student-managed investment fund. It is designed as an organisation where students learn about investing and then invest real money in the financial market. Within the organisation, numerous workshops, lectures and courses on investing in the financial market will be set up, and the students, imitating the work of a real investment fund, will invest real money that they collect from sponsors.

This will give the students the knowledge of investing, but most importantly, they will have the confidence to start investing on their own with their own money. Dorian got the idea while researching the topic for his final paper.

“I came across a concept of learning through student investment funds that was started in the US, and I became interested immediately. An additional motive was that there is no literature on such funds in the Croatian language, so my final work under the name Student Investment Funds is the only one in our language so far,” the student notes.

The categories have been refreshed with one new one, explained Hrabar Kaštelan. The Financier category is intended for students who share interests such as Dorian’s, and through their engagement, they can become partners and advisors in the development of new business ideas.

“It seemed like a good idea to encourage students to think of ways to get their own population interested in topics in the areas of finance and the work of pension and other funds. We’re pleased to see how young people think and how they can be partners and advisors in projects like this. I think, both in business and in working on new projects, it’s a winning combination of experience on the one hand and ideas and freshness on the other. It would be great if some good ideas really came to fruition,” added Hrabar Kaštelan.

Hrvatska pamet Hrvatskoj ended only a week ago, but this talented young Croat is already launching a larger project – Dorean Finance.

“The project will bring together students interested in finance and economics from around the world. I plan to incorporate Stoik within the project as well,” announced the student, who has a lot of work to do, but at the same time, he is accompanied by enthusiasm and excitement.

“Since I needed to write a project plan to go to the second round, I’ve learned a lot; from strategic thinking, analysis and planning to rationality and ‘going back down to earth’ regarding some goals. Hrvatska pamet Hrvatskoj gives students a longer application period, which actually makes it easier for students to write in, in addition to their student responsibilities. I hope that more people will follow my example, especially my colleagues from the University of Rijeka,” said Dorian Antesic.

This ambitious young Croat is interested in business, finance and investment, hopes to someday travel the world and work, but ultimately, he wants Croatia to be his home in which to grow his community.

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