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Meet Chloé Evans, John Molson School of Business valedictorian

Saluting inspirational grads of the Kenneth Woods Portfolio Management Program, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary
September 14, 2020
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By Ian Harrison, BComm 01

Chloé Evans, BComm 19 Chloé Evans, BComm 19

Of the recent cohort of students to come out of Concordia’s Kenneth Woods Portfolio Management Program (KWPMP), Chloé Evans, BComm (finance) 19, stands out.

The recipient of the bfinance, BCA Research Finance and Deans Knight Capital Management scholarships, Evans capitalized on her university experience, from the classroom to work terms at the Institute for Co-operative Education and extracurricular projects like case competitions and the Garnet Key Society, where she served as community project chairperson.

In 2019, Concordia recognized Evans for her efforts. As John Molson School of Business (JMSB) valedictorian, she gave an eloquent speech at convocation that earned enthusiastic applause.

‘My parents have dedicated their lives to the good of others’

“Let integrity, mindfulness, citizenship and passion drive your actions,” encouraged Evans to her peers. “By investing in yourself, pushing past adversity and engaging with the world at large, you will become whole. What you do matters; what you don’t do perhaps matters even more.”

The chancellor of Concordia, Jonathan Wener, BComm 71, and other distinguished spectators on stage, such as JMSB dean Anne-Marie Croteau, BSc 86, and university president Graham Carr, were visibly energized.

“Chloé, thank you for that highly motivational, extremely inspirational valedictory address,” remarked Wener. “That was wonderful.”

Now a senior analyst at PSP Investments, one of Canada’s largest pension fund managers, Evans hopes to build upon her KWPMP know-how to use finance as a channel to drive positive change.

“My dream is to see the day where business activity is redefined as an organized effort to spur holistic benefit,” she shared at convocation. “Our potential to redesign the deeply entrenched business-as-usual dogma and construct in its place a more compassionate and thriving world is immense.”

Evans credits her family and the KWPMP for much of her success.

“My most influential mentors are definitely my parents. They’ve dedicated their lives, both professionally and personally, to the good of others and instilled in their children a keen awareness of life’s inequalities and the responsibilities that should be taken on by those more fortunate. My parents truly exemplify perseverance, openness, compassion, gratitude and the belief that every individual, through vision and collaboration, can initiate change.”

After Evans enrolled at Concordia, she looked for ways to enrich her undergraduate experience and complement class lectures. Enter the two-year Woods program.

“I found it to be really helpful in terms of broadening my understanding of what it’s like to manage a portfolio and teaching me accountability. The KWPMP provided a unique opportunity to learn from an impressive network of mentors and collaborate with students who shared similar interests. I’m very grateful for all that the program has taught me.”

From Ghana to Singapore

The opportunity to meet Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and teach an entrepreneurship seminar to students in Ghana, are specific KWPMP experiences Evans will not soon forget.

I got to ask Buffett a question about the United States’ high leverage. Beyond insights about investing, he made sure to impart wisdom around happiness and what makes a successful career. There were students from universities like Columbia and Yale present as well. From a visibility standpoint, it was great for Concordia.”

Reena Atanasiadis, BComm 87, MBA 95, the current dean of the Williams School of Business at Bishop’s University, and director of the KWPMP from 2012 to 2018, helped facilitate the trip to Nebraska to meet the famed Oracle of Omaha.

“Reena was fantastic and worked hard to provide us with invaluable learning opportunities. She was key in organizing the trip to Ghana, which was probably my favourite experience. I’m still in contact with some of the students who were enrolled in the course.”

Evans also found time to participate in a number of case competitions while at Concordia. She took part in the CFA Institute Research Challenge as well as the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition and participated in the Financial Open in Corporate Finance, where her team won gold. She also had the opportunity to travel to Singapore for the UOB-NUS strategy case competition, and to Thailand, where her team placed third at the Chulalongkorn International Business Case Competition (CIBCC) for the eight-hour case.

“It was unbelievable,” says Evans about the CIBCC. “Our team members were very different, but we really trusted and supported each other. I think that and our creative ideas got us to the finish line. It was the first time Concordia had taken part in the competition.”

Evans has given back to her alma mater in more ways than one. Her advocacy of sustainable investment practices led her to pioneer an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policy for KWPMP’s funds. She also continues to serve as a coach for JMSB within the sustainability division of the Commerce Games.

Then there’s the matter of that valedictory address.

“I really wanted to underline to my fellow graduates that our voices matter and hold the power to bring us closer to a fairer world and healthier planet.”

#CUWoods20

With a $1-million endowment from businessman Kenneth Woods, MBA 75, LLD 17, the Kenneth Woods Portfolio Management Program was established at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business in 2001.

A first in Quebec, the program admits a select group of students on an annual basis who, with supervision from finance professors and mentorship from industry professionals, manage an investment portfolio now worth over $3 million.



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