After helping a Sauder investment fund outperform the market, Daria Panteleeva is headed for London’s financial district
When Panteleeva moved to Vancouver from Moscow to pursue a BCom at the Sauder School of Business, she had no idea that managing a $5 million portfolio of investments would figure so largely in her academic life.
Nor could she have predicted that this training would place her on a trajectory towards one of the most sought after jobs in the world of high finance.
With four years of study behind her, she’s now set to take a seat at the centre of the global financial market—a trading desk at Goldman Sachs in London’s financial district.
“It isn’t close to the action. It is the action,” explains Panteleeva about her new job as a trader.
“It isn’t close to the action. It is the action,” explains Panteleeva about her new job as a trader. “There is no way to get closer to the market.”
You might think she would be nervous about the prospect of trading billions of dollars at one of the world’s most powerful investment banks, but Panteleeva is taking it in stride. She’s already polished off internships at Deutsche Bank in Moscow, Merrill Lynch in Toronto, and Goldman Sachs in New York.
“It’s a fast paced environment and extremely stressful because you are taking risk all the time. It’s not for everybody,” she says, but her smile reveals that it is most definitely for her.
Panteleeva is graduating as one of a select group of finance students who qualified to be a member of Sauder’s UBC Portfolio Management Foundation (PMF). Started 26 years ago, the two-year extra-curricular program puts students in charge of a real portfolio of stocks and bonds, currently valued at about $5.8 million.
“The risks are real and we are given the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them,” she says.
During the year Panteleeva took the lead managing the fund, it outperformed a market benchmark composed of the S&P/TSX Composite Index, S&P 500 and DEX Universe index by five per cent. That’s an 11-per-cent return on investment. Goldman Sachs was impressed.
But the PMF students aren’t left completely to their own devices. They’re supported by a network of Sauder finance professors and 17 advisors from the financial services industry around the world—most of whom are Sauder alumni.
It’s these mentors who make the program a transformative experience, says Panteleeva. She credits her success to mentor Tracey McVicar, a former PMF student who is Managing Partner of the Vancouver office of New York firm CAI Private Equity.
Above all of the tactical guidance she provided in navigating the market, Panteleeva says there is one thing McVicar said that has stuck with her.
“She said that we’re not in this business for one week and that we can’t be focused on short-term profits. You have to maintain client relationships with a long-term perspective. Relationships are what this business is built on. If you lose those, you lose everything.”
It’s this core value that Panteleeva says she will hold on to most dearly when she pulls her chair up to her desk at Goldman Sachs this July as the phones ring off the hook, the computer screens flash, and the trades begin to fly.