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Sukyong Yang Sukyong Yang, Director of the Kenneth Woods Portfolio Management Program

Spring 2021 Director’s Message

It is fitting that Minari — the story of an immigrant family’s bittersweet triumph over adversity — was one of last year’s most critically acclaimed movies.

Minari is a hardy variety of Korean watercress that thrives in tough conditions. It is a poignant metaphor, as we have all needed to be resilient throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis continues to test our fortitude on many different levels. It has been difficult to be a student learning online and establishing friendships virtually.

Despite this, KWPMP students have worked closely together on reports, continued to discuss the portfolio and maximized the use of technology to maintain the quality of the program. While this has unfolded differently than our fund managers envisioned in January 2020, the experience has accelerated their maturity. The lessons of the past year will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Our students have exemplified true character by taking advantage of the situation’s opportunities. They understand that they are living through a unique event that has the potential to offer insights to help them overcome future challenges. Impressively, they were able to grow the portfolio to $3.3 million. As of mid-April, it stands at $3.4 million.

It is not surprising that the pandemic disrupted the job market. However, our five class of 2020 graduates have secured attractive jobs and, as a result, bright futures for themselves.

James Cefis will join Walter Capital Partners in their Private Equity division. Jack David will be moving to Toronto to join the major pension plan, CPP Investments, as a Rotational Analyst in the Fundamental Investments Program. Two of our students, Quilan Foster and Amrit Kabo, are joining National Bank Financial’s Investment Banking division. Finally, Joshua Nagalingam will be joining Fiera Comox’s Agriculture, Private Equity and Private Credit teams.

We are also pleased to report that all current fund managers and research associates have landed summer internships. With the onboarding of research associates occurring earlier than usual, we were able to start the recruitment process and complete boot camp before they officially joined in January. In fact, by the time they started the winter term, they had already participated in a full month of seminars and begun their portfolio analyses.

The virtual graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 will take place on May 20, 2021 (please register here if you have not yet done so). As we were unable to properly commemorate last year’s graduates, the event will also celebrate our 2019 Calvin Potter Fellows.

We look forward to having Claude Lamoureux, a standout investment executive, as our keynote speaker. As the inaugural CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Claude created a gold standard of pension investing. He is also the co-founder of the Coalition for Good Corporate Governance and an ardent defender of business ethics. Claude’s accomplishments have been recognized and celebrated by the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario and l’Ordre national du Québec.

Our plans for the KWPMP 20th anniversary celebration, postponed due to COVID-19, are still scheduled to take place on October 21, 2021. Please mark your calendars and stay tuned for updates as they become available.

Please stay well and we look forward to seeing you on May 20 to celebrate our 2019 and 2020 Calvin Potter Fellows.

About the Director

Sukyong Yang joined Concordia University in 2019 as the Director of the Kenneth Woods Investment Management Program and Adjunct Professor. She has diverse experience in portfolio management and comprehensive knowledge of global equities. She has a BComm (University of Toronto, Trinity College) and MBA (Concordia University) and is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst. Ms. Yang is a member of CFA Toronto and sits on the University Relations Committee of CFA Montréal.

Before joining academia, Ms. Yang was a lead global portfolio manager for an important wealth management company in Toronto and a member of the board. The investment strategy and process she implemented in her team became the investment standard for the firm. She began her investment career as an analyst at one of Canada’s largest pension boards.

In addition to 25 years of experience in the investment management business, she spent a number of years as a Consultant and Auditor at KPMG in their Amsterdam, Seoul and Toronto offices.

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