SFU Beedie alumnus Emily Davies helps students find their passions
Oct 15, 2020
On paper, Emily Davies’ (BBA ’15) career path looks like a business student’s dream. After graduating from SFU’s Beedie School of Business, Davies secured a coveted role with RBC Capital Markets, working in equity research and investment banking. Just over two years later, she joined boutique investment management firm Linde Equity, where she is now a Partner. But it could all have been very different.
Davies attended an art school and was active in a range of extracurricular activities that might not have suggested a future in investment management: photography, drama, choir and editor of the school yearbook. In fact, it was SFU Beedie’s focus on experiential learning and reputation for co-curricular activities that attracted her to the school.
“Extracurriculars are a very powerful way to find things that you love and that bring you joy, and participation in them sets the stage for good choices later on in life. Some of my fondest memories from Beedie are from what took place outside of the classroom,” she says. “I had no idea before joining Beedie that I was going to go down the finance route. And then I joined BEAM.”
The Beedie Endowment Asset Management Fund, known as BEAM, is one of the largest undergraduate student-run investment funds in Canada, with $6.9 million (as at June 30, 2020) invested in Canadian equities, fixed income, and cash. Founded in 2011 with the generous support of the Beedie family, the fund operates just like a professional investment fund. Students research stocks and new investment opportunities, share their analysis, and present to the university’s treasury department on a quarterly basis.
While they do receive rigorous training and advice from BEAM alumni, a faculty advisor and an external Advisory Board (on which Davies now serves), the students themselves take ultimate responsibility for running the fund.
“It is truly in the students’ hands to make the investment decisions. I strongly believe this level of responsibility readies the students for the professional world,” says Davies. “It is not a trading simulation; the University’s endowment is on the line. With such high stakes, students are bound to be well positioned for success when the training wheels come off.”
That certainly rings true for Davies herself, and she is determined to ensure as many students as possible receive the same opportunity to discover a passion for investment management – especially women. As well as serving on the BEAM Advisory Board, she is also an active member of the Young Association for Corporate Growth BC board and is a member of the Down Syndrome Research Foundation’s annual fundraising dinner committee. Following her passion for uplifting females, she is also a member of the Vancouver Steering Committee for Women in Capital Markets (WCM), an organization promoting gender equality in the finance industry.
She also co-founded the Linde Davies Investment Challenge, now in its third year, in which teams of three undergraduate students compete for a $10,000 prize pool by pitching investment ideas to a panel of industry experts. The competition requires that each team includes at least one female student, with the aim of encouraging more women to consider investment management as a career.
“Personally, I believe we are at a tipping point where organizations increasingly require leadership qualities traditionally viewed as more feminine such as empathy, collaboration and listening,” she says. “With their natural strengths, now is a historic time and opportunity for young women, and I remain committed to doing my very best to support seeing them rise and uplift one another, create space at the table, and to put their hand up rather than keeping it down.”