It’s rare to find organizations that withstand the test of time; those that do have much to celebrate. Founded as an investing club in 1953 by a group of Chicago Booth Executive MBA alumni, Plymouth Court Associates marks its 65th anniversary this year, a testament to its continuing ties with Booth.
“It’s a very interesting group of people to be around,” said Richard Weiland, ’80 (XP-45), Plymouth Court’s current senior partner. “The social aspect of Plymouth Court is as important as its lessons on how to make good investments.” The club is one of the oldest of its kind in the country, and the professions and personalities of members run the gamut. Plymouth Court’s oldest member, George Russell, ’59 (XP-15), will turn 100 years old next January, and still provides stock input and recommendations.
Two standing committees form the core of the club. The Portfolio Committee regularly reviews the club’s current holding of securities and offers recommendations for rebalancing. The New Investment Committee offers suggestions for new investment opportunities to be considered by the partnership. Officers are elected annually, and investments are generally limited to equities. The club reports having had a stellar 2017, with a cumulative investment pool crossing the $1 million mark and returns exceeding 30 percent.
The club meets six times a year and currently boasts 35 members, most of whom live in the metropolitan Chicago area. Each gathering consists of a group dinner at Gleacher Center followed by a formal meeting to transact business. Partnership in the club was traditionally limited to alumni and faculty of Booth’s Executive MBA Program, but recently expanded to welcome alumni from across the business school. Membership requires sponsorship from an existing Plymouth Court partner.
Over its history, Plymouth Court’s goal has been getting its members interested in and educated about investing, while leveraging the experience and expertise of its diverse membership. In addition, the club consults financial planners and brokers, and offers its members a means to learn about stocks and financial markets and lessons about how to make a return on their money. All trades are executed by an outside securities firm, with a representative who also offers advice to the portfolio and investment committees.
“It’s a fun way to maintain and expand your network with Booth colleagues,” said former senior partner Judy Andringa, ’94 (XP-63), “and a great opportunity to stay connected to the university while earning a good return on your investment.”
More information on Plymouth Court can be found at plymouthcourtassociates.com.
—By Alex Verkhivker
May 3, 2018