Student teams from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Bocconi University in Milan were awarded C$15,000 ($11,454) each in the fourth annual McGill International Portfolio Challenge.
This year, competing teams were tasked with figuring out how institutional investors can design portfolio strategies that address the rise of social inequalities and protectionist tendencies in the U.K., said Sebastien Betermier, an associate professor of finance at Montreal-based McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management, in an email.
Mr. Betermier is also the faculty director of the competition.
"We focused on Brexit and studied the portfolio design of a fictional, newly launched sovereign wealth fund that has a unique triple mandate, which is to make the U.K. more economically independent and equal while generating risk-adjusted returns over the long term," Mr. Betermier said in the email.
This year, 93 university teams from 18 countries participated in the virtual competition.
Both winnings teams were "extremely good at providing a holistic and integrated approach," within the triple mandate, Mr. Betermier said in a phone interview.
The team from Nanyang Technological University recommended investing part of the sovereign wealth fund in companies abroad, while still promoting a more sustainable economy within the U.K. Students from the team also proposed investing in rail infrastructure after noticing that parts of the U.K. that were the poorest were the most disconnected from the London transportation infrastructure, Mr. Betermier said.
The team from Bocconi University excelled at "defining different strategies over multiple (time) horizons," he added.
"Over the short term, (the strategy) was to contain the damage of Brexit to sectors starved of capital, and in the longer strategy, to support more sustainable energy firms through the use of venture capital (fundraising) and helping to incubate renewable energy companies based in the U.K. Their use of time horizons to navigate the triple mandate was unique," he said.