high net worth investment firm B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
Investment Scenario: You and your team members are a portfolio management team at a high net worth
investment firm. A client has approached your firm looking for a proposal to invest $1 million CAD and
$1 million US. She states that she has just won $20 million CAD in a lottery tax-free. She is forty years
old and is agnostic about whether you recommend an income or growth strategy. She states that she
realizes that some advisors are simply good stock pickers and that she is fine with a highly focussed
stock-picking approach. She says that she has heard that others are highly diversified, asset allocationfocused Investment managers. She says she is fine with that too. She is open to any approach that you
believe will help her.
As she plans to continue working for the foreseeable future, she is not looking to her portfolio for nearterm income needs. Her stated objectives are:
1. to grow her capital on an inflation-adjusted basis,
2. to be mindful of taxes and expenses,
3. to use a prudent approach to investing,
4. to be able to understand how her portfolio manager adds value,
5. in order to have liquid investment holdings and to stay away from esoteric investments, she has
asked that strategies be limited to investments in medium to large Canadian and US companies
and a select number of ETFs (these will be provided to students). However, she is also willing to
have her capital invested in a margin account and to engage in short selling, if deemed consistent
with goal #3.
You have a sense that this client is testing your firm as she has just won $20 million CAD and is
allocating only $1 million US and $1 million CAD to your firm. In fact, she has decided to test out
several potential money managers. She does not want them to know this as she fears that they might try
to take on extra risk in order to have strong performance in the early months of the mandate. Her plan is
3FB3 Fall 2020, page 5 of 11
to have eight different investment firms each put the same amounts to work according to her objectives
stated above. This way she will see eight different plans and potentially eight different approaches.
At the end of two months, she plans to consolidate all of her recent winnings among the four firms that
she feels most comfortable with. Performance is always important, but it will not be the only factor as she
realizes that two months is too short a time frame to judge returns. Each of the four winning firms will be
given $5 million CAD to invest. She will close her account at the four firms that did not reach the top
half of her pecking order. Will your firm win or lose in this process?