This past term, the School celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Student Investment Fund (SIF), as well as the launch and inaugural investment of the Student Venture Fund (SVF). Both of these funds highlight the School’s dedication to experiential education, and provide students with hands on experience in portfolio management.
Established in 2012, The Student Investment Fund had a founding team of twelve members, at a time when finance activities in the School were still growing. These twelve trailblazing students paved the path forward by establishing the foundational processes for the Fund’s operations.
Due to the hard work of these students, as well as the generous support of an anonymous donor, the Fund has grown immensely in the past five years. Since conception, over 140 students have been enrolled in the Fund, with graduates successfully securing placements in investment banking, equity research, and asset management.
"Before we had the Fund, I wanted to get out of the classroom and try new things. At the time, there weren’t a lot of finance initiatives to get involved in, so my friends and I had to look off campus to learn more. This is roughly when the SIF started. The program is great because it creates a network and a feedback loop, and it’s how a lot of careers start." - Ian Gutwinski, Founding SIF member, currently a Principal at Onex, New York
As a part of their involvement with the Fund, students prepare equity research reports and present their recommendations to the investment team, faculty and industry professionals.
“I was so nervous for the first presentation that I had to give that I almost just didn’t show up! Thankfully, I did. I learned so many skills being part of the Fund. It's no question that it's these experiences that I got my first job after graduating.” – Brent Small, CEO of SIF in Winter 2017 and part of the CFA Global Championship in 2016. Brent is currently an Associate at Polar Asset Management.
Continuing with the School’s commitment to expanding experiential opportunities and the desire to expose students to venture capital investing, the Student Venture Fund was recently established. Created in the context of Waterloo’s culture of innovation, The SVF adds a new dimension to Waterloo’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Members of the Fund work with investors to conduct due diligence on new ventures, provide recommendations, and make investments. Read more about the SVF’s inaugural investment.
“What I didn’t expect to learn on the SVF team is that there's not actually a lot of numbers involved. Start up founders will come to you and say that they need tens of thousands of dollars, but they don't have financial statements yet – sometimes not even a balance sheet! When we conduct our due diligence, we have to look at different things like understanding the management structure.” Jacqueline Sue, SVF Associate, Fall 2017.
Beyond technical skills, students in both funds also receive valuable guidance from industry mentors, and can expand their network with other aspiring finance professionals.
“The Fund introduces you to industry and professional mentors who can give you career and life advice. My mentors made a profound impact and really shaped me, both personally and professionally.” - Andy Wang, SIF CEO 2013 and current SIF industry mentor.”
“Extra-curriculars like this are a key way to meet people, develop skills and increase the School’s brand on Bay Street, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, wherever!” - Ian Gutwinski