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Our Innovative Cases
The MIPC focuses on addressing societal issues which large, institutional investors play a critical role in. Our cases center on solving these issues through innovative portfolio strategies that satisfy the needs of a broad range of stakeholders with competing interests.
Rescuing a Canadian Private DB Pension Plan
A lumber company in British Columbia runs a heavily underfunded pension plan. The managers of the plan’s fund face pressure from shareholders who want to limit cash outflows from the company into the plan, the government that imposes strict solvency regulations, and beneficiaries of the plan who rely on their pension for their retirement. The case highlights how the asymmetric treatment of the fund’s shortfall and surplus can lead to conflicting interests among stakeholders.
Severe Underfunding of U.S. State Pensions
A large public pension plan in the U.S. is in danger of collapse. The fund’s Chief Investment Officer must find a long-term portfolio solution that meets the needs of state unions who represent public interests, municipalities who contribute capital to the fund, the state government’s political agendas, federal regulations, and active and retired members of the plan. The case highlights how the going concern regulation creates an intricate relationship between the asset allocation of the fund, its funding ratio, and the required contribution from the municipalities.
A fictional public pension fund in Newfoundland and Labrador is under pressure to divest from its oil & gas holdings, while simultaneously satisfying the provincial government who relies on the local O&G industry, taxpayers who contribute funds to the plan, indigenous groups who define how their lands are used, a local O&G union who employs workers in this sector, and pensioners of this plan.
Protectionism and Social Inequalities
The case focuses on a fictional British sovereign wealth fund set up in the midst of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund has a unique triple mandate to support British economic independence and alleviate social inequalities while simultaneously achieving required returns. Winning solutions will form the basis for how investment managers around the world can build socially equitable, yet profitable portfolios in the midst of the kind of rising geopolitical and socio-economic tensions we see today.
What Our Speakers Say
“A mistake is assuming that you understand stakeholders and their needs and their requirements. Taking the time to have dialogue, having the right people at the table, giving it the time that it requires, that goes a long way in being genuine and actually getting to the root of the issue.”
CEO, Evolugen by Brookfield Renewable
Panel Speaker, MIPC 2019
“As I look into this room, you are the ones, to whom in the end we are going to turn to help these governments figure out how capitalism needs to work for all of society, and not just the few.”
Former Premier of Quebec and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
Keynote Speaker, MIPC 2019
“It is really clear the quality of the people participating in this event. The rigor and integrity with which they attack these problems is notable, as well as the effort and the energy they put in.”
Chief Investment Strategist, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Closing Ceremony Speaker & Finals Judge, MIPC 2019
What is MIPC?
In 2015, a small group of McGill students had a compelling idea — bring together the world’s brightest students to Montreal to help solve some of the largest, most complex societal issues in the lens of long-term investment.
Now on its 4th edition, the McGill International Portfolio Challenge bridges the disconnect between academia and the finance industry through our innovative cases which tackle key issues that institutional investors play a critical role in. We bring together hundreds of professional investors, actuaries, and students from a diverse set of backgrounds in order to solve these complex issues. Normally, top teams come to Montreal to pitch their proposals in front of leading executives from many of the largest buy-side finance firms in the world. Exceptionally this year, teams will pitch virtually due to COVID-19. These judges come not only to determine who will win our challenge, but also to take inspiration from students’ ideas into their daily work as well as hire some of the world’s top student talent.
The MIPC is an exceptional platform to apply classroom knowledge to a complex, multi-faceted, real-world case. We award C$50,000 in cash prizes to our winning teams, a figure that makes us one of the most lucrative university competitions in the world.