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The $1M small-cap stock portfolio that's now open to Concordia undergrads

Successful applicants to the Van Berkom Investment Management Program also work with senior experts in the field
September 27, 2017
By Yuri Mytko

What would you do with $1 million?

Undergraduate students at the John Molson School of Business now have the rare opportunity to make that decision by managing a small-cap portfolio of stocks through the Van Berkom Investment Management Program.

Made possible by a donation in 2015 from alumnus J. Sebastian van Berkom (BComm 69), the program accepts eight students annually to act as research associates to second-year fund managers.  

Working under the guidance and mentorship of senior investment professionals, the students’ goal is to achieve returns above a small-cap North American benchmark.

Small-caps are firms with market capitalizations between $75 million and $1.5 billion.

Initially, the program was open only to graduate students, but program director Denis Schweizer, associate professor in the Department of Finance, says he will be recruiting from all of JMSB’s academic programs beginning this fall.

“JMSB has so many talented students at the undergraduate level, many of whom have an interest in finance and in small-cap stocks,” he says.

“Allowing undergraduates to participate will widen our pool of candidate substantially and ensure that we recruit the very best students.”

For JMSB dean Anne-Marie Croteau, offering programs with hands-on training is one of the business school’s top priorities.

“As we prepare students for the job market, it is imperative that we expose them to as many dimensions of business as possible in addition to what they learn in class,” she says.

“For our finance students, that includes lab work and working face-to-face with investment professionals. This program gives them that opportunity.”

When current student Alice Sany entered the Van Berkom Investment Management Program, she quickly realized that she was going to learn a lot more than simple financial concepts.

“We’re not just surrounded by classmates; but by industry experts,” she says.

“We have the opportunity to take advantage of the valuable lessons offered by renowned professionals, and to understand the attributes that allowed the key players to be successful in their roles.”

What’s also important, she adds, is that students in the program have the chance to defend their opinions and to take investment decisions.

“This is not always easy, and it makes me understand why experience is valuable in this field. The Van Berkom Small-Cap Investment Management Program is an amazing entry point into capital markets. We are building our portfolio from scratch and I am proud to be a part of that.”

Information session

To learn more about Concordia’s Van Berkom Investment Management Program, you can attend an information session on Thursday, October 5, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 14.250 of the John Molson Building (1450 Guy Street), on the Sir George Williams Campus.

The deadline for applications to the program is Tuesday, October 31.

Read more about Concordia’s Van Berkom Investment Management Program.



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