l-r behind podium: Dr. Alan Wildeman, president , John Simpson, Dean Mitch Fields, Dan Hallett
Recently, the Odette School of Business happily welcomed Mr. John Simpson, Managing Director of Ridgewood Capital Asset Management and an alumnus of the Odette MBA program to help us officially launch the John Simpson Odette Student Investment Fund. In 2014, Dr. Allan Conway and John Simpson set out to develop an experiential learning program that would allow top performing students in the Finance concentration to apply their theoretical knowledge to a real live portfolio. This came as a natural progression from implementing a comprehensive finance program that includes Simulated Trading Competitions, High School Outcry Competitions, National Competitive Trading Competitions, and one of the biggest Bloomberg Labs in the country.
Beginning Fall 2016, students at the Odette School of Business, from both the Bachelor of Commerce and MBA programs, came together to run and manage a financial portfolio on behalf of the school, whose starting capital was funded by John Simpson. The Fund will be the first ever student-led student-run investment fund housed within the Odette Exchange Financial Markets Lab at the Odette School of Business.
Through the help of faculty advisors and external industry experts, students were mentored through a live process that allowed them to gain real world experience with real capital. They even had an opportunity to pitch their portfolio to local wealth management teams who mentored them towards their final product.
On the morning of the launch, Mr. Simpson spent the day speaking to students in the Master of Management, MBA & BComm programs on the key life lessons you don’t learn in school. His 39 + years of experience in the field made for a very insightful talk for the students. Mr. Simpson spoke about the current climate of investing in Canada and the US, and was invited for lunch where the current Fund team presented their portfolio picks to be approved for investment.
The day culminated in a final reception where local finance professionals, faculty, and students gathered to celebrate the event. The stock floor bell sounded as they unveiled the students chosen portfolio to be invested. With his generous donation, the Business School is now able to offer students the opportunity to invest real money in real time with real consequences and rewards.