How alumnus Jonathan Mzengeza turned one particular of Canada’s best portfolio managers

Several conditions of hyperinflation have gripped the world rather like the extraordinary situation of Zimbabwe from 2000 to 2009.

The sheer numbers defy comprehension by some estimates the regular charge of inflation topped 13 billion for every cent. As the crisis deepened, the governing administration printed a Z$100-trillion banknote — value, amazingly, only about 40 cents U.S.

For a kid fascinated by currency exchanges, this billed backdrop served as a primer on macroeconomics.

“My father applied to check out the news a lot,” suggests Jonathan Mzengeza, MBA 14, who was born and put in his childhood and adolescence in Zimbabwe. “The component that captivated me the most was when they showed the international trade numbers. I always memorized how the costs transformed — since they altered so fast in excess of a limited time period of time.”

From Africa to North The usa

The son of an engineer and bioscientist, Mzengeza went to a secondary university that pushed him in subjects like Latin and state-of-the-art arithmetic. He still left home in 2006 to study electrical and laptop or computer engineering at the College of Cape City.

After Mzengeza graduated with honours, he moved to Canada, the place his loved ones had resettled, with a strategy.

“I knew I wished to go to business school and operate at the same time,” he says. “The John Molson School of Company was the only 1 that presented the possibility to do both and research for the CFA charterholder, much too.”

Enter the Goodman Software in Financial investment Administration, the place Mzengeza enrolled in 2011 with his CFA Level I examination finished. An entrance bursary, the Lord Shaughnessy MBA Fellowship in Financial investment Management, served defray the price of graduate faculty.

Primarily based in Toronto, Mzengeza took entire advantage of the program’s work-analyze flexibility, to start with as a technological analyst at Chubb and then as a analysis associate at his recent employer, CIBC.

“There had been two keys that stood out for me with the Goodman program, most notably with respect to the CFA track. A single, we experienced professors with a solid grasp of some of the a lot more elaborate topics. Two, we had a group of students who supported every other.”

Classmates like Justin Persaud, MBA 14, Michael Storry-Robertson, MBA 14, Vineet Prasad, MBA 14, Stephanie Wakeham, MBA 15, and Max Lenarciak, attendee, motivated and assisted him, claims Mzengeza.

“Max and I put in a lot of evenings immediately after course performing on Bloomberg Terminal skills, analyzing providers to commit in and chatting about our expense approach.”

Yet another Concordia and Goodman alum, Jeffrey Li, MBA 08, who preceded Mzengeza at CIBC and now functions at TD in Toronto, also performed a pivotal purpose.

“Jeffrey was my mentor in the plan. He advised that I use for a summer time internship at CIBC just after my initially yr, which in the long run led to a work supply.”

Li says that when he achieved Mzengeza, a couple of characteristics stood out.

“What impressed me about Jonathan was his peaceful intelligence and his starvation for expertise,” states Li. “He was so humble and on the ball. I recall contemplating, ‘This is the form of person I would totally really like to have on my team.’”

Steward of cash

Mzengeza has had a significant impression at CIBC. As the portfolio manager dependable for the investment bank’s science and know-how mandates, he oversees the CIBC International Technological innovation Fund, a numerous Lipper Award winner, and the Renaissance International Science and Technological innovation Fund. Underneath Mzengeza’s check out, each money have been five-star rated by Morningstar, the influential investment decision exploration company.

Though lifetime below COVID-19 has presented some troubles, Mzengeza’s funds have done nicely. He sees chance on the horizon — specifically when it will come to a couple of stocks entrance of brain for several buyers these times.

CIBC participated in Zoom’s preliminary public supplying in April 2019 but marketed out prior to the stock soared post-lockdown. Even now, Mzengeza has a beneficial belief of the firm and may well get back again in if the share price tag cools. He also considers Canadian darling Shopify a purchase, largely on the energy of the company’s potential to give company homeowners the instruments to promote solutions on the internet.

“Some organizations have benefited from men and women doing work and shopping from house,” notes Mzengeza. “We’ve invested in a large amount of them and that is almost certainly aided us outperform.”

Shifts in purchaser behaviour, such as the development of e-commerce, the fast drop of funds and the concurrent rise of contactless payments, have turn out to be useful indicators for the analyst.

“Outside of that, on the company facet, there’s also an consciousness that some workforce can be more effective from dwelling. I consider that’s a craze that’s very likely to persist and even boost in the foreseeable future.”

And but, regardless of all of this, Mzengeza urges caution.

“My typical perception is that a whole lot of people today have not regarded as the financial impact of the pandemic as a great deal as they need to. It seems to be like the virus is in this article to continue to be for a when. As a final result, I think some of the exuberance we have found in the market place has it’s possible absent too considerably. It is vital to just take a extended-phrase view.”