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Telfer Capital Fund

Student using a computer The Telfer Capital Fund (TCF) is the practical component of the Microprogram Capital Markets. You have the opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge and hone your skills managing a real portfolio. The fund is focused on enhancing your financial education, as you make investment decisions according to the guidelines in the fund’s investment policy statement and the program’s terms of reference.

Investment Methodology and Considerations

With a Canada and U.S. securities-only mandate, the Telfer Capital Fund uses a core investment strategy of acquiring a mix of value and growth stocks offering long-term added value.

Active management of the fund is achieved through a combination of fundamental bottom-up analysis for security selection and total portfolio analysis to monitor the geographic and sector weights.

Minimum Security Market Cap

The emphasis in the equity portion of the Telfer Capital Fund is on well-established, large-cap companies.  However, the fund can invest in less-established, small-cap companies. The minimum market capitalization of any investment is CA$500 million at the time of purchase.  If the market capitalization of an investment drops below CA$500 million, the investment can’t exceed 2% of the fund.

Permitted Asset Classes

Currently, the Telfer Capital Fund invests in stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange. The fund may also invest in equity index funds. Selected exchange-traded funds mustn’t hold leveraged positions, international securities or fixed income instruments.

Performance Objectives and Metrics

The objective is for the portfolio (gross of fees, net of commissions) to outperform the benchmark over rolling three-year periods. The current benchmark is a weighted average of the two following indices:

  • 50%       S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Free Index
  • 50%       S&P/TSX 60 Fossil Fuel Free Index

Responsible Investment

As a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the University of Ottawa takes a leadership role in responsible investing. The University has made a public commitment to make investment decisions that consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, while taking appropriate steps to meet its fiduciary responsibilities and optimize investment returns.

Students are required to perform an ESG analysis and integrate the principles of uOttawa’s Responsible Investment Guidelines in every pitch to buy or hold a security. You must abide by the University’s decision to not invest in direct equity fossil fuel holdings and exit all indirect holdings by 2030. Student members proxy vote and you must document the rationale underpinning all voting decisions.

Roles and Responsibilities

First-year Microprogram Capital Markets students are called analysts. In the fall term, you receive training to develop your technical and financial research skills. During the winter term, you assist the second-year students who are senior analysts and/or portfolio managers in preparing and presenting their sector’s stock pitches or revaluations based on the portfolio manager leaders’ schedule.

Second-year Microprogram Capital Markets students are either senior analysts or portfolio managers. Both help develop and mentor of first-year analysts. Select students are invited to help facilitate workshops for Bachelor of Commerce students.

Senior analysts support their portfolio manager in all aspects of investment management. They help develop stock pitches and asset class overviews, as well as assisting with stock selection and portfolio requirements.

Each portfolio manager is responsible for a specific market or industry sector and must recommend the best investments in their sector. Portfolio managers handle all aspects of the investment management process, including analysis of economic and capital market conditions, asset allocation and security selection.

Portfolio manager leaders are second year Microprogram Capital Markets students elected by their peers to guide the fund during the academic year. They represent the program at Board of Advisors and Investment Committee meetings, in addition to supporting day-to-day fund operations. They also deliver the summer training program to the analyst class, as well as helping program students throughout the year.

The head of environmental, social and governance (ESG) presents ESG research and helps develop ESG assessments, ratings and portfolio integration. Occasionally, the head makes presentations on ESG topics to raise program participants’ awareness.

The head of risk and portfolio optimization computerizes and monitors risk measures for the fund. The head helps develop the annual report, as well as reports to board and committee meetings. Based on the parameters set out in the Investment Policy Statement, the head helps determine the weights of sectors and securities, in addition to maintaining a watchlist and target prices for all stocks.

Meet the microprogram team

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