SFU launches Canada’s largest undergrad investment fund

Nov 30, 2011

Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business has launched the Beedie Endowment Asset Management (BEAM) fund. With a value of $5 million, it’s the largest undergraduate-student managed investment fund in Canada.

The BEAM fund is second in size overall after SFU’s $10.8 million Student Investment Advisory Service, which is managed by SFU graduate business students.

Students participating in BEAM will be allowed to manage $5 million of the Beedie School’s endowment fund, created in 2011 with philanthropists Ryan and Keith Beedie’s $22 million gift to the business school.

Ten-15 third-year undergraduate finance students in SFU’s Bachelor of Business Administration program will be admitted annually to the investment initiative for a two-year term. They’ll tackle investment research, analysis and the buying and selling of Canadian bonds and equities, and gain significant real-world investment management experience.

“The opportunity to manage the Beedie Endowment Asset Management fund rigorously tests and expands the students’ qualitative, quantitative and analytical skills, and truly launches their careers in the finance industry while they are still in school,” said Peter Klein, finance professor at the Beedie School and advisor to the BEAM undergraduate fund.

“One of the elements that distinguishes this initiative is that we have a clearly-defined client and mandate,” he said.

The fund follows a value-investing mandate set by the client – SFU – through a conservative investment policy statement. The fund is composed of three actively managed asset classes: cash, Canadian equity and fixed income.

The fund’s performance will be monitored closely against relevant benchmark indices, and the results will be presented quarterly to a performance review committee consisting of industry experts keen to lend their expertise to challenge and advise students.

Students will also complement their investment management work in the fund with coursework in portfolio management and strategic asset allocation.

The Beedie School of Business brings a long track record of success to student-managed investment funds. Its Student Investment Advisory Service (SIAS), which is managed by graduate business students from Beedie’s Master of Financial Risk program, is the largest graduate student-managed fund in the country, and helps attract graduate finance students to SFU from across the globe.

Impressively, the SIAS fund has weathered global economic volatility, and has enjoyed strong health in the past year. It currently has a valuation of nearly $11 million.

SIAS is funded by contributions from HSBC Bank Canada and Lohn Foundation. Like BEAM, the fund follows a value investing mandate set by SFU. SIAS is composed of four actively managed asset classes: Cash, Canadian Equity, Global Equity and Fixed Income. SIAS reports monthly compliance and performance to the client and faculty advisors, and performance review presentations are held on quarterly basis.

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