"Protectionism and Social Inequalities"
Early Bird Registration Open Until July 31st
Standard Registration Open Until September 13th
The First Virtual MIPC
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed the way we work, live, and interact with each other. In this context, to continue ensuring the safety and well-being of all of our stakeholders, MIPC’s fourth edition in 2020 will be hosted virtually. We are very excited about the tons of new opportunities and value we are able to offer in this new format, supported by continued sponsor engagement.
We are particularly excited about our very relevant case that reflects our current reality, centering around the rise in protectionist tendencies and desires for countries to become more economically independent amidst the current pandemic.
While the core of the MIPC remains the same, we have revised the competitive elements of the MIPC to be able to give teams the best opportunities to showcase their ideas, not only in the context of the competition, but also to our sponsors.
Teams are required to submit a written proposal to the case in a maximum of 7 pages, exclusive of appendices and a required 1-page executive summary. An independent academic committee will review all submissions and rank them against each other. The top 25 proposals will move on to the semi-final round.
In addition to making further revisions to their written reports as necessary, teams must produce a slide deck and record a presentation of their proposal, 10 minutes maximum. Judges will review presentations and written reports over the span of a few days, and then teams will be invited to a 15 minute live Q&A session with judges. The top 5 proposals will move on to the final round.
Finalist teams will be invited to present their proposal live to our panel of high-caliber finalist judges, as well as respond to their Q&A.
A key aspect of the MIPC are the educational benefits that we offer students. We are unique in the calibre of judges, sponsors, and speakers we host, and are proud to feature them as they give back and share some of their knowledge.
Every year, we host a panel of C-Suite and other high-profile executives to engage the broader community on how finance can benefit society as a whole, and not just the few through the lens of institutional investors and of practitioners. Participants get a chance to learn from leaders in institutional finance as well as a live Q&A session. In past years, we have hosted Joseé Guibord – CEO of Evolugen by Brookefield Renewable, Patrick Odier – Senior Managing Partner of Lombard Odier Group, Marlene Puffer – President and CEO of CN Investment Division, and Carl Robert – Director and Portfolio Manager at Intact Investment Management.
A new edition to MIPC this year, our Speaker Series is composed of TED-style talks by senior leadership from many of our sponsors. Participants can ask speakers live Q&A and engage in small-group discussions on the topic after the main event.
Also a new addition to MIPC this year, we offer a mentorship program for our semi-finalist teams. Each student team will be matched to a mentor from one of our sponsors, who will meet with them to give a third-party, independent review of the proposal and offer some advice from their professional perspective.
Recruiting and Networking Opportunities
The MIPC gives a range of opportunities for participants to engage with our prestigious sponsors, particularly showing off their work in a professional setting.
Students get a chance to develop proposals to a highly realistic and multi-faceted case on portfolio construction, very similar to the kind of work that our sponsors and judges do on a daily basis. Our judges get to see students at their professional best and have access to their proposals and presentations.
Exclusive Resumé Placement
From the very beginning of the challenge, sponsors will get direct access to all students resumés.
Students have a chance to meet and networking with our sponsors back-to-back in a “speed dating” style.
From the very beginning of the challenge, students and sponsors will get access to our virtual event platform. Both will be able to conduct virtual meetings and chat over the platform, should they both be interested in each other.
Select sponsors have opportunities to conduct their own interactive info sessions for their offices all around the world.
Via our event platform, students can drop in to a virtual sponsor booths at specified times and ask questions directly to representatives from our sponsors.
Recruiting and Networking Opportunities
The MIPC gives a range of opportunities for participants to engage with our prestigious sponsors, particularly showing off their work in a professional setting. We have taken great care into designing interactive recruiting opportunities to build upon traditional in-person experiences. In a virtual format, our sponsors are able to bring more flexibility around introducing opportunities around the world for our international participants.
Group Sponsor Sessions
We hold numerous events with our sponsors in a group setting, ranging from traditional recruiting sessions to more creative, thought-provoking events.
Individualized Networking Opportunities
In a variety of formats, students have chances to engage with our sponsors on a one-on-one basis, helping form deep connections.
These criteria apply to all rounds of the challenge. In semi-final and final rounds, judges look at both presentations and written reports in evaluating teams.
Quality and Professionalism
Judges look at the overall presentation of the proposal, including clarity, readability, design, and conciseness.
Judges look at assumptions made, if the numbers “make sense,” how robust the analysis is, and how realistic the process is.
Response to Case Details
Judges look at how proposals respond to the case and to what extent it address the needs of all stakeholders.
This timeline represents the major dates and deadlines for MIPC 2020. The timeline for other events, such as speaker sessions and recruiting events, will be released closer to the launch of the challenge.
This edition, we are evolving our prize structure to better identify, promote, and reward the best ideas that teams develop. Through this new structure, we are able to spotlight more diverse and innovative solutions, encourage intrinsic motivation, create greater intellectual exchange, and foster collaboration.
Past Editions of MIPC
Rescuing a Private Canadian Pension Plan
Severe Underfunding of U.S. State Pension Plans
Q: Do teams need an advisor to participate?
A: While teams are not required to have an advisor from their own school, it is highly recommended by the MIPC Team that you find an academic advisor from your university. In past years, the top 3 teams had advisors. Advisors are meant to serve an advisory role –– that is, they are not supposed to solve the case for the students, but rather be a guide to help along the way.
Q: How will teams and mentors be matched? Will some teams receive more help than others?
A: In October, semi-finalist teams will be randomly matched with a mentor from one of our sponsors. Each mentor will receive training to ensure an equal experience across all teams, and we have intentionally capped the amount of time that a mentor can offer help. As with teams’ advisors, mentors are there to provide independent feedback and guidance to students. Students are ultimately responsible for producing and revising their proposals.
Q: Will there be any opportunity for in-person events?
A: The MIPC will primarily be hosted in a virtual format in the Fall.
Q: Regardless of the outcome, will teams be able to get feedback on their proposals?
A: Both semi-finalist and finalist teams will be able to receive feedback after their presentations.
Q: What are the specifications on team deliverables?
A: For first round submissions, written reports must be a maximum of seven pages, excluding appendices and a one-page executive summary. For the semi-final round, teams are welcome to submit a revised report – the same specifications apply. Semi-finalists must also submit a presentation video that cannot exceed ten minutes. For the fifteen-minute live Q&A session, teams may prepare an unlimited number of appendix slides to help respond to any questions our judges may ask.
Q: What if I am in a very different time zone from Montreal?
A: In moving the MIPC to a virtual format, we have stretched out events over the whole challenge period rather than try to cram everything into two days as with an in-person format. This allows us to schedule events at a time of day that is not too burdensome for teams regardless of their location. This also allows teams who do not make it to the semi-final round to experience many of the educational and recruiting benefits that we offer. We will record most events, where possible, for those who need to view them at their own preferred time.
Q: Why is MIPC changing its prize structure this year?
A: Our past experience suggests that there is often no single winning proposal to the complex, multi-dimensional problems covered by the MIPC. With this in mind, we are evolving our prize structure to reward the very best proposals. In the new format, final round judges can award the “Top Proposal” prize to up to 3 teams, if those proposals are of equal merit.
We also recognize that many team proposals may bring a unique perspective to the challenge that is worthy of recognition, even if they do not make it to the final round. So we are introducing a number of prizes to reward many different types of creative thinking. Some examples could include “Best Quantitative Analysis” or “Most Sustainable Solution,” but the exact details of these prizes are still under design with our sponsors. We will communicate these details at a later date.
Q: How is the prize money allocated under the new structure?
A: $40,000 will be awarded among the top 5 teams. Up to 3 teams can share the top prize if their proposals are deemed to be equal in merit. If 3 teams win, they will split $30,000. If two teams win, they will split $30,000. If only one proposal is significantly above all others, it will win $25,000. The remainder of the top 5 teams will share what is left of the $40,000. The remaining $10,000 will be split among 5 best speaker prizes, $500 each, and our “creativity” awards.
Q: How will the MIPC be hosted in a virtual format?
A: The challenge will be self-contained in a virtual event platform. Participants will receive access to this platform once registration has closed.
Q: What will recruiting events look like in MIPC’s virtual format?
A: Instead of solely hosting recruiting and networking events on the “finals weekend” as in past years, we are spreading out these opportunities over the course of the challenge period, not only for accessibility reasons, but also to give non-semi-finalist teams some of these opportunities as well. These will be composed of a mix of traditional recruiting events and personal networking sessions. Participants have a chance to indicate their recruiting preferences to receive a better match with sponsors.
Q: What is the cost of participating in MIPC?
A: For access to the competition itself and the additional educational, social, and recruiting benefits we offer, teams only pay a CA$100 + tax registration fee if registering before our early bird deadline of July 31st, or CA$200 + tax if registering by our standard deadline of September 13th. As there are no in-person events in Montreal, there is no CA$1,000 fee for semi-finalist teams as there has been in past years.
Q: Who can compete in MIPC?
A: This competition is open to Undergraduates, MBAs, PhDs, and students in various other Masters programs, such as Economics, Management, Finance, Actuarial Sciences, International Business, Strategy, and more. Every student on a team must be enrolled in an academic program as of, or after July 31st. Those graduating before this date are unfortunately not eligible. All students must be enrolled in either a full-time or part-time program in which they will receive a formal degree from an accredited institution. Any university student who has a demonstrated interest in the buy side of finance are encouraged to compete in MIPC.
McGill students are not allowed to compete in MIPC.
Q: How do I build a diverse team?
A: Here are some suggestions on how to build a diverse team:
- Get in touch with bachelors, masters, and doctorate level students and contact interested students from programs outside of your own. This includes, but is not limited to, business programs, science programs, and arts programs.
- Make sure that each team has a complete set of skillsets, including quantitative portfolio modelling, economics thinking, writing, public speaking, and stakeholder analysis.
Q: How many students can be on a team?
A: Teams can be composed of up to 4 students. Note, at the time of registration, we do not require the final composition of your team.
Q: Can students from different universities form one team?
A: Yes, however a team may only officially register and represent one university. All other rules still apply.
Q: Can there be multiple teams from the same University?
A: Yes, there is no limit to the number of teams from a single university. Multiple teams can also share the same advisor.
Q: What is the best composition of a team?
A: Historically, winning MIPC teams have a set of very diverse skills. Typically, they are not all strictly finance students; each member brings a different area of knowledge. Additionally, an academic advisor is strongly encouraged to help guide the team.
Q: How much does MIPC cost?
A: Teams must pay a registration fee (C$100 for Early Bird and C$200 for Standard) to enter the competition. If selected for the final round in Montreal, there will be a participation fee of C$1200/team. This amount is heavily subsidized and includes the following amenities thanks to our generous sponsors: An invitation to the cocktail night, the closing ceremonies gala, and it covers food and various other events over the finals weekend. In addition, this amount covers 2 hotel rooms per night on Friday November 6th and Saturday November 7th. Please note that students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to Montreal.
Q: How does the selection process work for the final round of MIPC?
A: When submissions are received, they are graded by an independent McGill advisory committee. The MIPC Team purposely requests that you do not include your university on your submission to ensure that the selection process remains completely blind and free of bias. The best 25 reports are selected and MIPC extends formal invitations to those winning teams to come to McGill’s Montreal campus in November to compete for C$50,000 in prize money.
Q: How is the prize money allocated?
A: We are instituting a new prize structure this year to equally reward the very best proposals and to give more opportunities to win prizes. $40,000 will be awarded among the top 5 teams. Up to 3 teams can share the top prize if their proposals are deemed to be equal in quality. If 3 teams win, they will split $30,000. If two win, they will split $30,000. If only one proposal is significantly above all others, they will win $25,000. The remainder of the top 5 will share what is left of the $40,000. The remaining $10,000 will be split among 5 best speaker prizes, $500 each, as well as numerous sponsor-specific awards.
Q: Can multiple teams from the same university be selected for the final round?
A: Our selection process involves a blind reviewing of reports, in the interest of fairness — meaning that reviewers will not know from which school each report comes. Thus, it is possible, though the competition is fierce, that any number of teams from your university could be selected for the final round, because the university is not a factor in the selection process.
Q: If my team gets selected to come to Montreal for the final round, do I need a visa to enter Canada?
A: Depending on the country that issued your passport, you may need a visa to enter Canada. Obtaining a visa can take anywhere from 20-40 business days. Therefore, we highly recommend you begin the visa process as soon as possible. The MIPC will provide a letter to show to immigration authorities regarding the purpose of your visit to Canada.
For detailed entry requirements, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/entry-requirements-country.html
Q: Can I still come to Montreal for the finals weekend even if my team does not make the top 25?
A: Yes, all participants are welcome to come to McGill for the finals weekend. Even though you will not participate in Round 2 of MIPC, you will receive an invitation to our expert panel, the cocktail night, the closing ceremonies gala, meals, and various other events over the finals weekend. You will also be able to view the finals round live and interact with the judges, journalists, and fellow students who attend the competition. Please note that there will be a charge of C$250 per participant to attend the finals weekend. In addition, students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to Montreal. Our logistics team will provide teams with assistance for booking hotels.
Q: Do I need to know a lot about finance and financial markets to register?
A: No, the MIPC case is written such that any university student who demonstrates an interest in the buy side of finance, portfolio construction, or investment management could register and not be at any disadvantage over participants who already have extensive finance experience. In fact, we believe that due to the multi-faceted nature of the case, the best teams should include a diverse/interdisciplinary mix of skillsets.