Dembroski student-managed portfolio trust celebrates 10 years

The student-managed fund in the Edwards School of Business hits $4.3 million.

Natasha Katchuk

The first investment decision for the Dembroski Student Managed Portfolio Trust (Dembroski SMPT) at the Edwards School of Business (Edwards) was made on what many would consider a balmy winter day in January 2012.

With access to $500,000 in cash from donor gifts, the initial purchase was 200 shares of Cenovus Energy (CVE). Three days later, 200 shares of Saputo (SAP) and 100 shares of Cameco (CCO) were added to the portfolio. Later that month, 100 shares of Tiffany & Co (TIF) rounded out the initial purchases. 

Dembroski SMPT Growth of $1000 over 10 years

To date, the Dembroski SMPT has consistently delivered exceptional returns comparable with those of top professional managers. Over the last 10 years, the fund’s return on investment (ROI) has been an impressive 10.94 per cent compounded annually. Equally as impressive are the five-year and three-year returns of 11.85 per cent and 13.37 per cent, respectively. 

These returns speak to the excellent performance of Edwards finance students and from the continued investment of time and energy from donors and volunteers. As of market close on March 31, 2022, the Dembroski SMPT was valued at $4,315,313 Canadian.

Even more important than the ROI, is the impact on students involved in the Dembroski SMPT. Two such students, Henry Chan and Kareena Arif, have helped manage the fund. They experienced firsthand the intricacies of managing an investment portfolio by bridging theory with practical application. Experience they will carry with them to their future careers.

“The Dembroski SMPT was one of the best experiences I had at Edwards.” said Henry Chan, a fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in finance. “My Bachelor of Commerce degree has been enhanced because of the nature of the class. It allows students to experience not just buying or selling securities, but also completing an immense amount of research and valuations through different methods before presenting to the class.”

Kareena Arif wholeheartedly agreed. She said the in-depth research on different stocks has broadened her knowledge to a great extent.

“I feel confident applying the theoretical knowledge I have gained so far to work,” said Kareena Arif, a current Edwards Master of Science in Finance student. “The research focused nature of the program allows me to understand finance more deeply and have a better grasp at the mechanisms of the financial market.”

Professor Tannous said the trajectory of the student learning and practicum course itself has been remarkable.

“The first two years of teaching the investment practicum courses exposed to me the lack of readiness of students to answer many of the questions that they would face in practice,” said Tannous. “I changed the way I teach. I currently devote significant time to observe the current events that are defining the market and I use my observations to explain how observed market changes are connected to the principles of financial management.” 

Tannous also said there have been many of guest speakers and volunteers who have given their time and energy over the years to support the Dembroski SMPT.

“The trust is overseen by a board of trustees, including investment professionals, alumni, finance faculty and students,” said professor George Tannous. "A portion of the income students earn provides benefits to Edwards students and the remainder is reinvested into the portfolio."

The portfolio’s namesake, George Dembroski, also applauded the efforts of the student-managed fund. "The objective for my donation was to create an environment at the Edwards School of Business where student interest in stock trading and portfolio management would be greatly enhanced. The impact continues to be demonstrated through the student experience and investment in time and money from students and donors alike.”

Dembroski SMPT Asset Structure in 2012 and 2022

Thank you to the many guest speakers and volunteers who have given their time and energy over the years to support the Dembroski SMPT. We also would like to recognize our generous investors:

  • Bryn Botham
  • Clifford Friesen
  • Daniel & Nicole Halyk
  • N. Murray Edwards
  • George Dembroski
  • Gordon Rawlinson
  • Nesbitt Burns
  • PrairieSky Royalty Ltd.
  • Ralph & Mary Biden
  • Raymond James Canada Foundation
  • Roderick Borstmayer
  • Scott & Grit McCreath
  • Shandi Boser
  • Stacey Pantazopoulos
  • Steve Kirk
  • Susan Milburn
  • Timothy Conlin
  • Tyler Hislop
  • Anonymous

For more information on becoming a guest speaker or investing in the Dembroski SMPT, visit or call 306-966-7471.

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