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Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business & Economics
September 23, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

Student Roles



Roles and Responsibilities of Portfolio Managers and Analysts

Both portfolio managers and analysts participate for one year--typically from July to July. This page describes the roles and responsibilities of each.

Portfolio Managers

PM responsibilities fall under two key areas: Actual Portfolio Management and Managing Analysts and Miscellaneous Support Activities. Both positions are truly important as the aim of the fund is to maximize the risk adjusted return for Wilfrid Laurier and provide a meaningful educational experience for all members. Specific duties are made up of:

Portfolio Management

  • Deciding on which stocks should be purchased and determining appropriate weights for each security

  •  Ensuring the fund is adequately diversified, while maintaining a 'concentrated' portfolio

  • Actively monitor portfolio holdings for changes in valuation and the underlying investment thesis

  • Managing Analysts and Miscellaneous Support Activities

  •  Screen, interview and hire analysts for the current year

  • Provide basic training and lay out expectations

  • Host a monthly conference call

  • Mark and review analyst work throughout the year

  • Provide a final grade based on performance along with the Professors

  • Provide analysts with help in developing their finance/modelling skills

  • Track performance of the fundís absolute and relative performance

  • Ensure Analysts are meeting all deadlines and expectations

  •  Prepare a final Annual Report which is presented to the University

Portfolio Managers for the following year are selected from the prior group of Analysts by the current PMís and Professors.

Analysts

Analysts are required for completing the basic assigned work in addition to provide their opinion on investment ideas. The purpose of the Analyst is to improve their understanding of the investing process. Key responsibilities include:

  • Completing initial homework exercise

  • Preparing two thorough investment reports including two models. Each report is made up of a significant written component in addition to a DCF model and additional valuation metrics. Analysts are expected to thoroughly understand the business, the underlying drivers and have a firm grasp on the valuation of the company. Each investment idea is presented on the monthly conference call. An example of a report is provided here.

  • Provide three company updates

  • Provide at least one idea that warrants further investigation

  • Attend all conference calls

  • Meet all stated deadlines

It should be noted that the standard for submitted work is very high. It is expected that analysts will seek out help where needed and will do substantial research to back up their investment thesis. Training is provided for Microsoft Excel, however any prior knowledge is an asset.  

Recommendations for Future Analysts

New analysts are encouraged to do the following in order to be prepared for their term. We are seeking those with a demonstrated interest in investing. Skills can be acquired, however interest and dedication cannot be.

Read the Paper Daily: You should be fully aware of what is happening in the business world.

Read Relevant Books:  You can strengthen your understanding of valuation by reading any of the basic valuation books by Aswath Damodaran (http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/). Also look at books that give a practitioners' perspective such as The Intelligent Investor or Expectations Investing and Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits.

 Improve Your Excel Skills: Strong excel skills are strongly encouraged. PRISM courses and/or books can be a good way to boost your skill set.

Following these basic steps will help you get off to a strong start on the fund.

We require that each analyst make the LSIF an official course. Analysts are with the fund for approximately twelve months: July 1 - June 30. The credit is usually taken in the Spring semester.  Your grade will be determined as follows:

Training Exercise 5%
Initial Holding Report 10%
Ongoing Company Updates (Minimum 3) 10%
2 Research reports 60%
Overall Effort and Quality of Work 15%
Total 100%