Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No.7

December 4, 2003


Professor Lorne Switzer named Van Berkom Chair

Photo of van Berkom and Switzer

Lorne Switer and J. Sebastien van Berkom
Photo by Christian Fleury

The picturesque wood-panelled Tudor Hall atop Ogilvy’s department store was the setting for a celebration on Nov. 25, when Professor Lorne Switzer was named Van Berkom Chair in Small-Cap Equities.

A native of Calgary who joined Concordia in 1984, Professor Switzer has a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

In this appointment, he will address issues related to small-capitalization equities in Canada, which are a major engine of growth.

In fact, they represent an anomaly, substantially out-performing large stocks over the long haul. Because studies have used U.S. data, Switzer will try to establish a Canadian benchmark for small-cap returns to assess performance.

He will also examine the risk performance of small-cap firms in periods of severe market volatility, and look at transaction costs of small caps.

Switzer has been director of the MSc and PhD in Administration programs, and has been chair of the Finance Department since 1997. His tenure saw the establishment of the Formula Growth Investment and Trading Centre, the Kenneth Woods Portfolio Management Program, the Goodman Institute of Investment Management, the first Web-based business course, the finance option in the co-op program, and a new honours program in finance.

As well as his academic publications and editorial work, he has received external research grants of more than $1 million and has been active as a consultant.

This latest academic chair in the John Molson School of Business was endowed by J. Sebastian van Berkom, a 1969 graduate of Concordia. His firm, Van Berkom and Associates, focuses on Canadian and U.S. small-capitalization equities, with assets under management of CA$1.6 billion.

In 1997, he was awarded the Small-Cap Manager of the Year Award at the third annual Canadian Mutual Fund Gala and in 1998 was a finalist at the fifth annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.