Portfolio Management Techniques

4 days 11-14 Sep 2017, London UK £4,295.00 + VAT* Download brochure Add to basket

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The course starts with the principles of portfolio management and key concepts of risk and return for a portfolio, before taking 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.

You will also look at non-traditional asset classes such as alternative investments and the benefits and challenges associated with incorporating such investments into a portfolio. Finally, the programme 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. 

Using case studies throughout and concluding with an assessment of a mixed portfolio of different asset classes drawing on the previous days’ content, 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.

How will this course assist you?

On completion of 4­-day training course you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the key elements of the investment process including modern portfolio theory.
  • Understand the valuation and investment approaches for bonds, equities and alternative investments.
  • Appreciate the specifics of portfolio construction in different markets.
  • 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.



We work with a series of expert instructors, please select the course location of interest to review the credentials of who will be delivering the programme.

Mike Corless

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.  



Central London Hotel Venue

All courses are held at four or five star venues in Central London, Zone 1. We strive to provide you with a training environment of the highest quality, to ensure that the whole learning experience exceeds your expectations.

Your training venue will be confirmed by one of our course administrators approximately 3-4 weeks before the course start date.

Related Courses



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.

To find out more about running this course in-house:

Our Tailored Learning Offering

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 can offer any of our public courses delivered at your office or we can devise completely tailored solutions:

Read more about our offering or complete a call back request to speak to a learning specialist.



Day 1

We begin the course with an introduction to the fundamentals of portfolio management which will cover the portfolio management process in its entireity. We will explore concepts such as indifference curves, efficient frontier, calculation of risk and return, risk/return trade­offs, diversifying risk and the asset allocation process.

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 studyCalculating expected returns

  •  Measuring risk
  •  Standard deviation and variance as risk measures
  •  Normal distribution – beware the black swan
  •  Risk vs. return trade­off

Case studyRisk return trade-off 

  • Managing risk in a portfolio
  •  Diversification in a portfolio – covariance and correlation
  •  Reducing risk in a portfolio

Case studyOptimising a portfolio via diversification

Day 2

Case study Portfolio management decisions

Participants will be given a historical portfolio of common stock, debt securities and other assets and will be asked to calculate related portfolio statistics: expected returns, standard deviation of returns, covariance, correlation coefficients and beta of the assets. Participants will then use this information to construct an efficient portfolio.
Equity portfolio management is often a critical component of overall investment success since equity securities often represent the largest portion of many investment portfolios. After a review of equity valuation techniques, we will discuss the role of equities in an investment portfolio, the major approaches employed to manage equities and conclude with a look at strategies used to manage international and emerging market equity portfolios.

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

Case study applying fundamental and multiple based valuation to a case company

Equity portfolio management

  •  Equity investment, return and risk profile of equity investments
  •  Equity style management.
  •  Security selection approaches: top-down or bottom up.
  •  Establishing relevant benchmarks.
  •  Long-short vs. long-only strategies
  •  Alpha / Beta separation.
  •  Applications of portable alpha.

Case study evaluating equity funds

Participants review several equity portfolios, discussing relative weightings, sector allocation and other important attributes affecting performance

Equity indexing 

  • Weighting schemes of major indices.
  •  Equity index futures and their role.
  •  Index mutual funds.
  •  Exchange-traded funds.
  •  Strategies and benchmarking approaches

International equity portfolio management

  •  Constructing international equity benchmarks.
  •  Major emerging market classifications
  •  Adjusting the cost of capital in emerging markets
  •  To hedge or not to hedge FX risk.


Day 3

Case study equity portfolio construction

Participants will first examine some of the major issues confronting equity portfolio construction, including high correlations during crisis, cost of capital computation difficulties, and non-normal return distributions
The fixed income market is one of the largest and fastest growing areas in the global financial marketplace, as government and private debt constitute nearly half of the wealth in international financial markets. Day 3 explores the fundamentals of fixed income investments, sensitivity measures to evaluate bond performance, and several commonly employed strategies used by fixed income portfolio managers.

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
Participants will be given a various bonds and convertible instruments to value

Fixed income portfolio management 

  • Objectives and constraints.
  •  Active vs. Passive strategies.
  •  Using diversification to minimize risk.
  •  Immunisation strategies.

Case study: Portfolio pricing

Participants are given a group of bonds from a portfolio of a fixed income manager and must forecast their price changes as interest rates fluctuate. Participants will also determine the appropriate amount of hedging bond needed to immunise the portfolio.

Day 4

Alternative Investments

 The different alternative asset classes and their return and risk profiles

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

  •  Private equity – capturing the liquidity premium
  •  Commodities – mind the yield gap
  •  Real estate – an investment you can improve

Alternative investment management & strategies

Exercise: Alternative investment analysis
Participants will evaluate different alternative investments and select suitable investors to match various portfolios.

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

Participants will use all topics covered to evaluate a group of investment portfolios, determining the strengths and weaknesses, etc.

Course Summary & close



Why us

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