Écoles de gestion La finance durable s’invite à l’université

Évaluation des risques climatiques d’une entreprise, mesure des critères environnementaux, sociaux et de gouvernance (ESG) et calcul des émissions carbone d’une entreprise : ces thèmes s’incrustent de plus en plus dans les écoles de gestion au moment où la finance durable s’impose. Le virage est toutefois loin d’être chose faite.

GUEST VIEWPOINT: Sebastien Betermier, 4 takeaways for equitable CDC pension design

The combination of ultra-low interest rates and high longevity is putting a major strain on retirement systems across the globe. A recent report by the World Economic Forum predicts that the global gap between retirement savings and retirement needs will reach $400trn by 2050.

Copenhagen Students win C$25,000 for their Dutch Pension Reform Plan

Students from the Copenhagen Business School took home the $25,000 first prize of the fifth annual McGill International Portfolio Challenge (MIPC) this November.

5th Annual MIPC shows the value of experiential learning

In a record-breaking year, the fifth annual McGill International Portfolio Challenge (MIPC) welcomed 114 teams from 26 countries across six continents to compete for $50,000 in cash prizes.

This year’s case study focused on the effectiveness of current Dutch pension reforms and the Dutch government’s introduction of Collective Defined Contribution plans, a system in which generations of contributors collectively share investment risks. In this context, students accepted the challenge of designing a sustainable retirement system to address ongoing issues surrounding ultra-low yields.

Ultra-low yields don't mean the end of sustainable pension funds

At the Desautels Faculty of Management’s recent McGill International Portfolio Challenge 2021 Integrated Management Symposium, pension plan experts Barbara Zvan and Eduard van Gelderen shared their insights on the future of retirement systems with moderator and Desautels Professor Sebastien Betermier.

Quantitative easing windup, inflation likely to benefit pension plans: expert

The end of Canada’s quantitative easing strategy and higher than expected interest rates will be beneficial to Canadian defined benefit pension plans, according to Sebastien Betermier, an associate professor of finance at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management.

A Discussion With UPP's Barb Zvan and PSP's Eduard van Gelderen

McGill University's Integrated Management Symposium featured Barbara Zvan, Inaugural President and Chief Executive Officer of University Pension Plan Ontario, and Eduard van Gelderen, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of PSP Investments.

The event, sponsored by The Global Risk Institute in Financial Services (GRI), was moderated by Sebastien Betermier, Associate Professor of Finance at Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University.

Green Urban Development: The Impact Investment Strategy of Canadian Pension Funds

With the global push toward sustainable investment, investors are concerned about whether the cost of investing green will result in lower portfolio returns in the long term. Are there win-win strategies where green investments can generate high returns alongside positive environmental impact? Research funded by the National Pension Hub at the Global Risk Institute, shows how Canadian pension funds have developed a win-win scenario through the atypical strategy of investing in green urban development.

Delean: A lease buyout might be deductible

Q&A for the Montreal Gazette, Professor Sebastien Betermier takes a closer look at the terms and metrics related to the funding status of a pension plan. The growth rates and termination costs of a fund, he emphasizes in the piece, largely depend on the type and risk level of assets owned.

Hard reality: Why Canada’s pensions are blazing a trail in green bond issuance

Retirement funds are not typical issuers of debt, yet several of Canada's big players have not only sold plenty of conventional bonds, but are increasingly moving to obtain green funding. Capital Monitor looks at the financial realities of why.

Jane Street: the top Wall Street firm ‘no one’s heard of'

A year ago, the world seemed oblivious to signs that a novel virus outbreak in China was a serious, global threat. But one of Wall Street’s biggest but most secretive money machines saw the debacle coming and battened down the hatches.

Jane Street may be little known outside its community — and even there mostly famous for its cultish dedication to a recondite programming language called OCaml. But the company has become one of the world’s largest market-makers, trading more than $17tn worth of securities in 2020.

Investir dans le changement

La pandémie de COVID-19 a révélé bien des failles de nos sociétés, et en particulier de notre modèle économique. La crise climatique, le vieillissement de la population, l’accroissement des inégalités accentuent depuis des années la pression pour changer de perspective. Heureusement, les idées ne manquent pas, les initiatives non plus et, sur ce front, le Québec a peu à envier aux autres. Aujourd’hui : la finance verte, cinquième de six textes.

2 student teams master McGill portfolio-building competition

The first virtual McGill International Portfolio Competition (MIPC) drew 93 university teams from 18 countries to design portfolio strategies that address the rise of social inequalities and protectionism in the U.K.

A team from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and a solo entry from Bocconi University in Milan each won the coveted $15,000 prize at the end of the competition. McGill professor Sebastien Betermier, the faculty director of the competition, reflects on the factors that set this year’s winners apart from the competition.

Students show how to integrate impact

The McGill International Portfolio Challenge, judged by a team of practitioners that includes representatives from the Canadian pension funds Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, CN Investment Division, CPP Investments, OTPP and PSP Investments, attracted students from 93 teams from 18 countries and asked them to solve a complex portfolio construction problem.

This year, the competition’s fourth, posed the question: How can the finance industry address the rise of social inequalities and protectionist tendencies?

Canada’s Pension Plan Is the Envy of the World, and Now We Know Why

A new study is the first to use real data to do a quantitative analysis of asset allocation strategies and cost structures for hundreds of pension, endowment, and sovereign wealth funds across 11 countries. The results hold valuable lessons not only for financial planners, but also working Canadians dreaming of retirement.

CPPIB urged to plan now for net-zero reality

Pressure is on the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to divest from fossil fuel companies in support of Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Professor Sebastien Betermier comments.

What's behind Canadian pension funds' success?

Academic study points to in-house management, concentration on real assets, and indexed liabilities as keys to strength

How Canada’s Pension Plan Model Has Outperformed Its Global Peers

Investment portfolio performance and the degree of liability hedging are key benchmarks for measuring defined benefit plans’ success. On both measures, large Canadian pension plans outperformed their international peers between 2004 and 2018, according to a recently published report.

“The Canadian Pension Fund Model: A Quantitative Portrait” — by Alexander Beath and Chris Flynn from CEM Benchmarking with Sebastien Betermier and Quentin Spehner from the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University.

Canadians more complex than first glance

The Canadian model, revered world over for its supreme pension management, is not low cost despite that being one of its oft-described traits. New research by CEM Benchmarking and McGill University shows that these funds are cost efficient, rather than being low cost.

The Canadian Pension Fund Model: A Quantitative Portrait, looks at the success of the Canadian model and estimates that, by managing a high proportion of assets in-house, Canadian funds reduce costs by approximately one third. However they spend those “savings” on larger internally-managed portfolios; and even though they have less external management, they spend more than their peers on external managers.

Canadian Pensions Offer Lessons for U.S. Plan Sponsors

Many Canadian funds manage assets in-house, redeploy resources to investment teams and focus on liability hedging.

Canadian pensions outperform global peers

Between 2004 and 2018, Canadian pension funds outperformed their international peers both in terms of asset performance and liability hedging, according to a study.

The World’s Best Pensions Are Canadian

Canada’s pension funds are beating peers globally in investment performance and are stronger at hedging against liability risks, according to research from McGill University and CEM Benchmarking.

Their success is partly explained by the fact they are more likely to manage their assets in-house, McGill researchers Sebastien Betermier and Quentin Spehner, along with CEM’s Alexander Beath and Chris Flynn, wrote in a July paper. The authors’ findings are based on a study of pensions, endowments, and sovereign wealth funds globally between 2004 and 2018.

The World’s Best Pension
Funds Are Canadian. Sorry.

Canada’s pension funds are beating peers globally in investment performance and are stronger at hedging against liability risks, according to research from McGill University and CEM Benchmarking.

'Just leave it alone': Why mixing markets and politics is messy

If the surge of interest in stocks by retail investors in North America is a frenzy, then it could be described as a stampede in China.
Individual investors make up a growing percentage of U.S. stock trades and currently account for an estimated 25 per cent. In China, as much as 80 per cent of equity trading is done by retail investors, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). And that number could climb because state-owned media was in stock market cheerleader mode this month.

Desautels professors celebrated for their teaching excellence

Professor Sebastien Betermier is the recipient of the Morty Yalovsky Distinguished Teaching Award for Graduate Programs at Desautels, has been teaching Finance and Investment at Desautels since 2010.

Sebastien Betermier on sustainable investing and progressive decarbonization

"It’s all about finding investments that make sense both from a return-seeking perspective and an environmental perspective. The two perspectives are not necessarily incompatible."

The complex nature of investment strategies

The increasingly charged and polarized politics surrounding the climate crisis have asset managers between a rock and a hard place when considering their investment strategy. Should they abruptly divest from stocks of fossil fuel industries? Should they progressively withdraw?

What’s really in your ETF basket?

Emprunter pour la retraite: une bonne idée ?

Même si les taux d’intérêt sont actuellement bas, est-ce une bonne idée d’emprunter pour cotiser à son régime enregistré d’épargne-retraite ? Selon deux professeurs en fiscalité et en finances, s’endetter pour préparer son avenir et celui de ses enfants serait tout à fait légitime. Encore faut-il choisir les bons véhicules de placement et être capable de rembourser son prêt dans les délais prescrits.

The cash trend in fixed-income exchange-traded funds

Are university pension plans the next battleground in the climate-change debate?

Students pave the way for a greener tomorrow

As today’s young generations take to the streets to voice their concerns about the climate crisis, students are leading the march to sustainability in universities. At McGill, the student-led Desautels Sustainability Network is making great strides through initiatives aiming to increase awareness and effect change within the University. At the recent MIPC, students once again proved that they can take a lead on climate issues by providing viable answers to the complex issues surrounding sustainable investing.

Le FNB, de l’indiciel pondéré au personnalis

Que de chemin parcouru pour les fonds négociés en Bourse (FNB)! S’ils demeurent encore largement sous leur forme indicielle originale, leur entrée dans l’univers factoriel a donné naissance à la génération des FNB personnalisés. Quelle direction prendront-ils ensuite?

MIPC brings students together to tackle sustainable investing

With a focus on the sustainable investment of public pension funds, this year’s McGill International Portfolio Challenge (MIPC) demonstrated students’ ability to realistically solve a key issue facing investors today. The winning team’s strategy proposed a progressive, partial divestment while pursuing investment in diverse green initiatives, according to Professor Sebastien Betermier.

Pension Plans for an Evolving World News

The old system of defined benefits pensions won’t meet the needs of tomorrow’s retirees. Here are three ways we can evolve

Retirement has changed. People are living longer, and lower interest rates make investing for the long-haul harder. Fewer young workers are available to back-fill retirement attrition, and suddenly, today’s retirees are looking at a world unlike that of their parents.

Designing a Sustainable Retirement Model for American Businesses

Professor Sebastien Betermier pens a piece for American Business Magazine in which he explores why the switch over to a Defined-Contribution pension might not be the best way to go and proposes other models that can better ensure a comfortable retirement for contributors.

Canadian students up to the task of devising a pension fix

Students from the University of Calgary walked away with a C$25,000 ($18,828) cash prize as the winning team of the second annual McGill International Portfolio Challenge, finding a comprehensive solution to a pension funding problem.

Le McGill International Portfolio Challenge prend de l’ampleur

Pour une deuxième année consécutive, des étudiants en finance du monde entier se sont affrontés le mois dernier dans le cadre du McGill International Portfolio Challenge (MIPC). Leur mission : élaborer une stratégie pour remettre sur pied un régime de retraite en bien mauvaise posture.

Students to the rescue of a U.S. pension system in peril

It is a jarring fact that many U.S. citizens must come to terms with: the number of workers supporting the surge of retiring baby boomers is not enough to pay for all the benefits they are owed. According to Bloomberg, this reality has already become glaringly apparent in states such as Illinois, Kentucky, and New Jersey, where only one third of the money needed to cover retirement benefits of public employees is available. What’s more, recent estimates suggest that Social Security overall will begin to run out of money in 18 years.


Patrimoine. Le mot impressionne. Il paraît inaccessible au commun des mortels qui doit épargner à la petite semaine en vue de sa retraite. Mais rassurez-vous. Si le monde de la finance peut être extrêmement complexe, il est tout à fait possible d’accumuler un petit magot sans se compliquer la vie.


Du sang neuf. Des idées originales. Et si c’était des étudiants qui avaient la réponse aux problèmes quasi insolubles des régimes de retraite ? Des problèmes comme ceux de Vandalia, un État fictif du Midwest américain inventé dans le cadre de la deuxième édition du McGill International Portfolio Challenge (MIPC).

Is CPPIB’s green bond the start of a trend?

With news that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) became the first pension fund in the world to issue a green bond, thereby facilitating investment in cleaner technologies, Professor Sebastien Betermier comments on the implications, as well as the success of defined benefit (DB) pensions in Canada.

McGill International Portfolio Challenge : Leading the Future of Pension Investing

In Canada and many other countries, life expectancy has climbed to 80 years. While this is great news for all of us, this simple increase in life expectancy has caused pension liabilities to soar and required savings to spike for those on defined-benefit and defined-contribution plans, respectively.

Who Will Solve the Pensions Crisis?

Professional investors, academic experts, and actuaries invite a new group to seek a solution: students.

Can computers pick stocks better than humans can? Investment firms think so

Walk into an investment firm today, and you'll likely find it crowded with analysts poring over documents and investment managers weighing which stocks to add to their portfolios. Chances are, their days are numbered. Soon, computers enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) will do much of the stock picking, while fund managers merely ensure the machines run the right algorithms.

McGill launches first-ever competition on pension asset allocation

McGill hosted the world’s first business-school competition focused on the asset allocation of pension funds on Nov. 3 – 4. The inaugural McGill International Portfolio Challenge welcomed 25 finalist student teams from leading institutions around the world.

Students try to solve pension problem for C$25,000 prize

Finance students from around the world tried their hand at solving a Canadian corporate pension plan investment problem, with representatives from a business college in Montreal walking away with a C$25,000 ($19,500) first prize for their response.

Students compete for big money in first pension portfolio challenge

This weekend, twenty-five student teams from around the world will participate in the final round of the McGill International Portfolio Challenge, the world’s first pension asset allocation competition. The teams will travel to McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management to compete for a first-place cash prize of C$25,000, and additional cash prizes of C$25,000 to be shared amongst other finalist teams – making this one of the largest total cash prizes for any business-school competition in the world.

Movies that MBAs can learn from: professors have their say

Sebastien Betermier named as one of Poets&Quants’ 40 Most Outstanding MBA Professors Under 40.

Professor Sebastien Betermier named by Poets & Quants as one of this year’s Best 40 Under 40 Professors.

The impact that Sebastien Betermier has on students is undeniable. It’s also remarkably consistent. As a favorite among students, this investment management prof is praised time after time for investing in the academic and professional success of his students.

Student investors leap into trading world

Recognizing the need to give students real-world experience about asset management, York University this year created a student investment fund.


Préférez-vous les valeurs sous-évaluées, voire délaissées, ou les titres qui croissent plus rapidement que le marché ? Valeur ou croissance ? Vos choix d’investissement trahissent probablement votre âge et votre sexe.