The HEC Montréal Student Investment Fund (FPHEC) has been awarded a mandate to manage $1 million in investments for HEC Montréal and the HEC Montréal Foundation. These monies will be invested entirely in North American equities through the , in accordance with the philosophy espoused by the student-led investment fund. This represents an incredible vote of confidence and an unparalleled learning opportunity for the roughly 30 BBA students who are members of the FPHEC.
“Encouraging real-world experience throughout the learning journey and fostering greater interaction between the student and business communities are an integral part of our teaching approach. I’m sure that all the students involved will do their utmost to deliver on this major investment mandate.”
“The HEC Montréal Foundation is very proud to announce the culmination of an alumni-led initiative to help groom the portfolio managers of tomorrow. Our team is delighted to contribute to this learning experience and provide up-and-coming financial professionals with meaningful opportunities to develop their skills.”
This new status brings with it increased responsibilities and the need for greater precision in reporting on the FPHEC’s performance, but it changes nothing in terms of its investment philosophy. The top-down approach it embraces starts with a macroeconomic analysis before targeting a specific sector of activity. The selected equity investments are made over a three- to five-year horizon. The FPHEC Board, composed of former FPHEC members and faculty specialists, will support the team in this step of the process.
“Speaking as a faculty member who has been working with the FPHEC for nearly 20 years now, I am very excited about this expanded scope. This student-led group offers a chance to work with actual assets. The members of the FPHEC show tremendous dedication, and the experience is a great stepping stone toward a successful career.”
“This mandate reflects the prestige and expertise that the FPHEC has worked so hard to earn over the past 29 years. For the current management team, it is a privilege to see the brainchild of the 2018 team, which several other groups have had a hand in moving along since then, finally come to fruition. By entrusting us with this, the School and the Foundation are allowing us to take on added responsibilities and fine-tune our research and analysis. For FPHEC members who are still in the first year of their BBA, playing an active role in managing a $1 million portfolio straight out of CEGEP is a remarkable head start.”
Participating students are trained by their peers and by investment specialists, who are either former FPHEC members themselves or are currently serving on the FPHEC Board. This allows them to acquire strong skill sets, first in financial analysis, then in portfolio management. They learn about financial modelling, market monitoring, investment analysis and value-based security selection — all with the ultimate goal of growing wealth for the FPHEC.
FPHEC members meet weekly to present and review investment recommendations before taking a vote on how to proceed. Also at each meeting, an industry expert is invited to speak about their own career trajectory and current position, thus providing students with an opportunity to broaden their network.
The FPHEC actively maintains ties with some 240 former members as well as people who have served on its Board over the years in order to build long-term business relationships and tap into the insights of established professionals with regard to career choices and hiring processes.
Florentine C. Gagnon, who will be completing her BBA program this year before joining an advisory firm in Montreal, hopes that the three pillars upon which the FPHEC’s mission statement is based — namely fraternity, professional development and network enhancement — continue to endure over the long term. “And now we have a new vehicle through which we can build further on these values. The next FPHEC leadership team will have its work cut out for it, forging even stronger ties with the business community.”