MORGAN STANLEY: Porfolio in Peril 2010 University Challenge

Morgan Stanley

Portfolio in Peril is a Morgan Stanley proprietary role-playing simulation exercise.

A role-playing exercise in which teams are charged with creating and managing a multi-asset investment portfolio, with the goal of maximising absolute returns over the long-term.

The Portfolio in Peril simulation approach represents an innovative forum for discussion around the topic of strategic asset allocation and allows participants to think through investment implications in the context of uncertain and changing market conditions.

In this challenge you will form part of one of a total of ten teams, representing your university. You will compete against each other as the asset allocation committee of Vintage Investments. Over a four-year fictional scenario, each team has the opportunity to manage the performance of the portfolio by assessing and implementing strategic asset allocations. The winning team is determined by the absolute value of their portfolio in USD at the end of the simulation.

Portfolio in Peril consists of eight decision periods (one every notional six months), interspersed by news bulletins updating the participant teams on global and regional macro-economic and geopolitical events. During each decision period, teams are encouraged to consider such fundamental issues as:

  • Strategic allocation between the main asset classes available - equities, fixed income, real estate and cash, and the resulting balance between each sub-class
  • Optimal geographic allocations between US, European and Asian assets
  • Concentration vs. diversity of investment strategy
  • Risk profile of the portfolio
  • Sustainability of performance generation
  • Currency exposure / hedging strategy
  • The impact of world events on asset prices

Join the Competition
In addition to gaining a better understanding of the dynamics of asset allocation in an uncertain world, there are a number of benefits that you may observe while playing Portfolio in Peril:

  • An engaging team building exercise, highlighting leadership and group decision dynamics in a time pressured environment
  • A safe environment in which to explore and test different investment strategies and techniques
  • A better understanding of the correlation between the performance of different asset classes in changing market conditions
  • The opportunity to represent your University and demonstrate your team, leadership, communication and problem-solving skills

The simulation will last for approximately 2.5 hours, including introduction and debrief by a Morgan Stanley host facilitator. There will be an opportunity to network with your university team and a number of Morgan Stanley representatives from across the organisation, prior to the simulation.

The winning team will receive a total prize of £2,500 as well as the opportunity to have a look behind the scenes of Morgan Stanley’s different business units and how they operate, including a lunch with a number of our European Board members.

How to Register
If you would like to apply for a place to take part in Portfolio in Peril , please submit your CV and a covering letter detailing what qualities you would bring to the group and what you hope to get out of the event by 15th March 2010, 6pm.  Morgan Stanley will allocate the places on each university team to successful candidates and will announce the university teams after the closing date.

Email your application to

Further questions?  Email us at

Please see for more details.


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