University of Victoria Applied Portfolio Management Program
One of CFA Society Victoria’s most exciting endeavors over the last 2 years is the launch of the University of Victoria Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP). The inspiration for this initiative came through a recognized desire of UVic students to obtain the applicable skills and experience to pursue careers in finance, in addition to discussions with partner CFA Societies on the value student funds can provide to the Society and local investment community. Discussions began with the University in 2016 about how we could provide the foundation for them to host such a program and begin the path to the development of future CFA Charterholders.
The program is a 2-year portfolio management program, structured as a partnership with Gustavson School of Business, Department of Economics, Continuing Studies and CFASV to provide financially minded students with the opportunity to build tangible institutional investment management skills by managing $1.1 million of UVic assets. The Fund, launched in 2017 as an ESG-focused, 60/40 (equity/fixed income) portfolio is overseen by a volunteer Investment Advisory Committee whose members are responsible for approving the Investment Policy Statement and ensuring students are undergoing rigorous due diligence in their investment decisions. Students enter the program in their 3rd year by applying to take the Applied Investment Management Class where they dedicate extracurricular time throughout the year to complete a foundational course before they can apply to become a Portfolio Manager in their 4th year.
The inaugural cohort of nine 4th year students have been actively managing the fund since November while completing co-op terms or their academic studies, with several scheduled to write CFA level 1 this year. The student value proposition is supplemented through the recently launched mentor program where we were able to match each Portfolio Manager with an industry mentor to ensure they are receiving career and life advice in addition to investment management skills. Additionally, this program dovetails nicely with our women in finance initiatives as we seek to encourage women to pursue careers in finance by actively pursuing female participation in the program.
Our partnership has continued to push ahead on the fundraising side, successfully obtaining incremental capital for the investment fund, operational costs and to enhance value for the students – we hope to build on this over the next year and look forward to providing further updates.
All photos credit of Uvic Photo Services