The UBC Portfolio Management Foundation (PMF)
The Dean of Commerce (UBC) Portfolio Management Foundation (PMF) is a two-year extra-curricular program for BCOM students that begins at the end of their second year of university. It consists of two summers of internships, an academic year as a “Research Associate” (assisting the students one year ahead in the program) and an academic year as a “Fund Manager.” The FMs’ and RAs’ task is to add value to a real portfolio of stocks and bonds, currently valued at about $4.5 million.
In addition, PMF students must meet with the PMF Client Committee six times per year to report their performance, explain their current portfolio structure, forecast the capital markets and provide a strategy for the near future. To help them run the portfolio and get career guidance, the PMF students have access to 17 PMF Counselors, investment professionals in Vancouver who give their time to the PMF students as needed. The total time commitment to the program during the academic year is easily 20 or more hours a week.
The summer internships provide tremendous learning opportunities. Employers in 2012 in Toronto are: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, CIBC World Markets, Guardian Capital LP., Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Marret Asset Management, PCJ Investment Counsel, RBC Capital Markets and West Face Capital. In Vancouver, the employers are Odlum Brown Ltd. and Connor Clark & Lunn Financial Group. The other employer is Goldman Sachs Group in Calgary and New York.
The PMF portfolio is a balanced portfolio with suggested weights of 30% bonds and 70% stocks, although the Fund Managers may vary the asset mix based upon their beliefs about stock and bond markets. Of the 70% in stocks, about 25% of that is invested in US securities. The Fund Managers are free to trade the portfolio within broad guidelines set by the Client Committee. Performance is measured both against a benchmark portfolio return and against the performances of other professional managers in Canada with similar mandates. RBC Dexia Investor Services Trust, our custodian, holds our securities and cash and they also provide performance measurement services.
Successful applicants to the PMF will be outstanding individuals, with strong analytical skills, evidence of leadership and interpersonal skills and a motivation for a career in the capital markets. In addition, students with a desire to place group goals above individual ones and who understand the power of teamwork will be favored. Over two decades of experience has proven that group success leads to great individual success, not vice versa.
Job opportunities for graduates of the program are very good. PMF alumni, known as Leslie Wong Fellows, are employed in the capital markets in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, New York, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and in many other locations. There is an almost even split among graduates between “buy-side” jobs with money managers and “sell side” jobs as traders, analysts or investment bankers.
The PMF symbol indicates the two-sided nature of the program: strong academics combined with skilled professional support. The two sides are, importantly, smoothly linked to provide a very special education that a PMF graduate is able to apply to begin a successful capital markets career.
The 2012 Annual Report. (PDF 14.3 MB)
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