Scarce Resource: Canadian Private Capital Investment School To Provide Pool Of Talent
Announced in September 2018, the Canadian Private Capital Investment School (CPCIS) is a highly specialized program that will prepare the next generation of private fund professionals in Canada. It’s the first of its kind in the country, specifically designed for junior-level and new entrants into the private capital sector.
Put together by the Ivey Academy and the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA), the program is getting ready to kick off November 25 and spaces are filling up fast. If you’re looking to send someone from your organization, there’s time to register, but you will want to do it soon before the program fills up completely.
Professional development programs looking to advance the careers of private capital professionals have existed for a while. Aside from not being available in Canada, those programs differ compared to the CPCIS explains Dave Mullen, Managing Director, Highland West Capital and Chair of CVCA’s Education and Professional Development committee.
“[Other programs] tend to focus on much more senior individuals within the organization. Partners or maybe close to partner levels. They are exceptionally good programs. The CPCIS program is offered for a different level of an employee; a relatively recent hire. That, or someone who wants to get into the industry.”
Shannon Martin, Associate, Fulcrum Capital and co-chair of the Young Professionals Committee agrees.
“I am not aware of a comparable program anywhere else in the Canadian landscape today. In general, the private capital industry isn’t widely covered through post-secondary education, compared to fields such as accounting, banking and consulting.”
The curriculum has been designed to reflect the targeted program participants as well as modern considerations in private capital. Chuck Grace, Academic Director, CPCIS says the intensive program will cover a broad range of topics.
“The program will cover all the way from the future of investing to how do you value a deal. How does deal flow management work? How do I negotiate a deal? What are the legal tax implications, pricing, structuring, managing a board of directors and ethical considerations? We’re covering the whole gambit.”
CPCIS is built around Harvard’s case-based methodology, which means the program will be highly interactive and highly engaging.
“It’s not simply a professor standing at the front of the room with lecture notes,” Grace insists. “Program participants will be talking about situations and subjects that are happening right now, in real time in specific cases. In terms of the learning environment, it’s not simply the instructor; the students are engaged with each other. They’re learning just as much from each other during the classroom experience. It’s a very dynamic fast-moving, engaging conversation that the students are having with industry practitioners and with themselves.”
The program methodology, already being used at the Ivey Academy for other programs, has yielded some interesting and rich learning experiences, explains Grace.
“We’ve had classroom situations where I’ve presented a case and at the end of that class, the protagonist in the case has stood up and debriefed the students—because it was a real-life case with real-life people and a real-life business problem. After the students solved the business problem, the protagonist stood up and said, ‘Okay, here’s what I was thinking and here’s what really happened.’”
Built with the support of CVCA’s Education and Professional Development committee, CPCIS comes curated directly from seasoned professionals that are currently working in the private capital space. David Borcsok, Founder, Ordinary, and member of the committee says that while venture capital and private equity are often considered “apprenticeship” businesses, CPCIS will strike a balance between the real-world lessons learned by industry practitioners over decades long-careers with the theoretical knowledge of industry researchers.
“The program will provide attendees with an exposure to the necessary tools, frameworks and knowledge that they will need to become a leading private capital investor. The purpose of CPCIS is to equip the next generation of investment professionals will the skills, abilities and networks to become the next generation of investment leaders.”
CPCIS is also important in the long-term sustainability of the private capital industry in Canada and the overall economy. Private capital professionals encourage founders to build and scale great companies; playing a core role in Canada’s economy.
“The program provides professional development to CVCA members and others in the industry and pushes forward a more professional, private capital ecosystem,” says Mullen. “Program participants will be better equipped to make better decisions and more informed decisions and help the industry in that way. And, the program is also another way for underrepresented groups in private capital to receive training, jumpstart or advance their career.”
Martin agrees. “I believe that, beyond growing and developing the existing base of industry talent, CPCIS is an opportunity to strengthen the profile of our industry as a whole.”
The CPCIS is a five-day intensive program taking place in Toronto at the Donald K. Johnson Centre inside The Exchange Tower and features fifteen distinct modules with teamwork opportunities. The program is supplemented by informative guest speakers which includes senior leaders from BlackRock, OMERS PE, RBC Capital Partners, Brookfield Private Equity, Real Ventures and the speaker list is still growing. As a benefit, CVCA members receive a 25 per cent discount for the program.