The two-year program annually welcomes eight Department of Finance students. They spend their first year as research associates, then become fund managers in the second year. Throughout the process they are monitored and advised by a client committee, which is comprised of a dedicated team of investment professionals and the academic director, who ensure the student fund managers invest professionally and prudently.
“Our students manage a balanced portfolio,” program director Reena Atanasiadis, BComm 87, MBA 95, says of the diverse assortment of Canadian, American and international stocks and bonds. “They’re handling real stocks, but since this is an educational program, they’re allowed to make mistakes,” Atanasiadis says. She adds that faculty and advisors are there to ensure there is no existential threat to the program.
Atanasiadis has more than 20 years of wealth management experience and has handled hundreds of millions of dollars in her career, notably as a founding partner of a high-net-worth wealth management firm. She has taught finance at JMSB since 2004 and has helmed the program for nearly five years.
As the program’s second director, Atanasiadis is quick to credit her predecessor, Abraham Brodt, professor and now chair of the Department of Finance, for building it into the success it is today. “I inherited a program that was functioning very well,” she says. “I couldn’t do what I’m doing today if I hadn’t received such a great, well-functioning institutional program — and that’s thanks to Abraham Brodt. He was here for a long time, and as an academic, he really established a strong academic foundation for this program, which helped with its being accepted by the school.”