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Course details

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Introduction to Portfolio Management

The quintessential course for aspiring portfolio managers
  • Course Overview

    The principal aim of this course is as a basic introduction to portfolio management. It starts with the principles of portfolio management and key concepts of risk and return for a portfolio. The course then takes a detailed look at the major asset classes commonly found in portfolios, namely equity and debt instruments and how these instruments are valued and combined in an investment portfolio.

    The training also looks at non-traditional asset classes such as real estate, commodities, hedge funds and private equity and the benefits and challenges associated with incorporating such investments into a portfolio. Finally the course concludes with the fundamentals of performance measurement to enable participants to assess the success or failure of a portfolio in the context of the risk taken. The course uses case studies throughout the overriding objective of the course is to provide an understanding of the investment management process from beginning to end and the key challenges faced throughout this process. As such the course is tailored to be as practical as possible.

    How will this course assist you?

    On completion of 3-­day training course you will:

    • Gain an understanding of the key elements of the investment process including modern portfolio theory.
    • Understand the basic valuation and investment approaches for bonds and equities
    • Understand how alternative assets such as real estate, commodities, hedge funds and private equity may enhance a portfolio and gain an insight in alternative investment strategies and the key differences between alternative asset classes from an investment management perspective.
    • Learn about performance measurement, evaluation and attribution.

    Who should attend?

    • Portfolio managers
    • Equity and fixed income analysts
    • Wealth managers and private bankers
    • Independent financial advisors
    • Back and middle office professionals
    • Pension fund trustees

  • Day 1

    Principles of portfolio management

    Introduction and objectives

    Introduction to portfolio management:

    • The fund management process
       - The client
       - The portfolio manager’s role
       - Portfolio analysis
    • The decision making process – strategic and tactical asset allocation
    • Active vs passive fund management
    • Asset allocation vs stock selection
    Case study – Asset allocation

    Portfolio analysis – returns and risk

    • The client – the risk/return trade off
    • Fundamentals of calculating returns
    • Money weighted returns
    • Time weighted returns
    • Unit pricing
    • Dealing with currencies and fees
    Case study – Calculating expected returns
    • Measuring risk
    • Standard deviation and variance as risk measures
    • Normal distribution – beware the black swan
    • Risk vs. return trade­off
    Case study – Risk return trade-off
    • Managing risk in a portfolio
    • Diversification in a portfolio – covariance and correlation
    • Reducing risk in a portfolio
    Case study – Optimising a portfolio via diversification

    Day 2

    Equity portfolio management

    The principles of equity investment

    Valuing equity securities

    • The two key approaches to equity valuation, absolute and relative valuation techniques
    • Fundamental equity valuation – Discounted cash Flow (“DCF”) Valuation
    • What discount rate? - Weighted Average Cost of Capital (“WACC”)
    • Using the Capital Asset Pricing Model (“CAPM”)
    • Current issues in valuation – the risk free rate and beta
    • Relative valuation techniques – Multiple Based Valuation
    Managing fixed income portfolios

    Fundamentals of fixed income

    • The key attributes of fixed income securities
      - Sovereign debt
      - Corporate debt
      - Asset backed securities
      - Commercial paper
      - Collateralised debt obligations
      - The key risks in investing in bonds
           - Market value risk
           - Interest rate risk
           - Income risk
           - Credit risk
           - Liability risk
           - Call and prepayment risk
    Exercise: Calculating bond sensitivity to risk

    Understanding yield spreads

    • Yield curve shapes
    • Term structures of interest rates
    • LIBOR (and its successor?)
    Valuing fixed income instruments: duration and convexity

    • Valuation under conditions of certainty
    • Bond values and interest rates
    • Macaulay and modified duration measures.
    • Calculating effective convexity.
    • Convertibles – hybrid instruments and their valuation
    Exercise: Calculating the price of a bond

    Day 3

    Alternative Investments

    The different alternative asset classes and their risk and return and risk profiles

    • Hedge funds
    • investment styles
    • risk profiles
    • examples of hedge funds success and failure

    Case study: Participants discuss a hedge fund example
    • Private equity – capturing the illiquidity premium
    • fundamentals of private equity
    • how leverage works in a transaction
    • calculation of returns – IRR and multiple of money

    Case study: Calculating returns from a private equity investment
    • Commodities – mind the yield gap
    • commodity market fundamentals
    • energy, materials and softs
    • different forms of commodity investment – ETFs and asset backed fund approaches

    Case study: Participants analyse a commodity fund
    • Real estate – an investment you can improve
    • Different approaches to real estate investment
    • REITs and their impact on real estate markets

    Case study: Participants analyse a REIT

    Portfolio analysis - Performance measurement, risk and attribution
    • Calculating risk – analyzing portfolios for different types of risk
    • Defining risk
    • The various risk measures
    • Absolute risk measures
    • Relative risk measures
    • Downside risk measures
    • Using benchmarks – relative and absolute benchmarks
    • Indices and composite indices
    • Portfolio attribution
    • Fama decomposition
    • Portfolio attribution – sector/stock level analysis
    • Presenting performance – Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPs)
    Case study: Putting it all together
    Course Summary & close

  • Our Tailored Learning Offering

    Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company’s exact requirements? If you’d like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company’s office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course and dramatically increase your ROI.

    If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

    We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We’ll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.

  • We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

    We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

    • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
    • Track record – we have delivered training solutions for 95% of worlds’ top 100 banks and have trained over 250,000 professionals.
    • Knowledge – our 150 strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
    • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 20,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 180 countries.
    • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 96% on service and 95% on product
This course can be run as an In-house or Tailored Learning programme


  • Mike Corless

    • I draw on my experience as the former Head of European Equity team at HSBC and Head of UK Equity Team at Scottish Widows to deliver impactful training that helps financial practitioners excel in their roles.


    The Course Instructor is a qualified chartered accountant, who began his career as an auditor for Grant Thornton International. He moved to Ernst & Young as a senior manager in the corporate advisory team in 1986, working on major acquisitions, disposals, IPOs and insolvency/restructuring transactions. In 1989 he joined Threadneedle Asset Management as an analyst, becoming a fund manager specialising in income funds in 1991. He achieved top quartile performance and was a member of the team that won the Sunday Times Unit Trust Group of the year award in 1992. In 1996 he joined Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (“SWIP”) as a director in the UK Equity team and then head of UK Equities, again specialising in come funds. In 2000 he was appointed head of UK Equities on the merger of Hill Samuel Asset Management and SWIP and he led the integration of the UK Equity teams. He covered a variety of industrial sectors as an analyst, and was recognised as a top five buy side banking analyst by Reuters. In 2001 he joined HSBC Asset Management as European Head of Equity Research, managing a team of analysts in Paris and London tasked with developing a new research team and research process. He built the team in London and led the integration of the analyst team based in Dusseldorf, introducing a cash flow based corporate valuation process. In 2004 he was appointed Global Head of Equity Research, responsible for 60 global equity research analysts and 40 global credit analysts. He developed a global valuation and research process, training local analysts in Europe, the US and Asia in its use. In his time at HSBC he specialised in analysing the global resources sector. In 2006 he joined a professional training company as the head of investment banking and investment management. He managed a team of 12 trainers and built a blue chip customer base. His experience included managing major graduate programmes for investment banking, investment management and private wealth clients, training graduate to managing director level participants and advising clients on their training requirements for accountancy, corporate finance and valuation, investment management and private wealth training. In his role as a chartered accountant he was a member of the committee advising the UK Accounting Standards Board on corporate reporting via the implementation of the Operating and Financial Review. He is a freelance writer for various investment publications and provides accounting, corporate finance and investment management advice to companies on a freelance basis. His clients have included HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Allen & Overy, JP Morgan, Barclays Bank, Barclays Wealth, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Standard Chartered, Ernst & Young, Price Waterhouse and Schroders.