Parker doesn't like school, still wins medal

June 15, 2006, volume 36, no. 4
By Diane Luckow



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KC Parker has his antenna up. His new job as a global equity analyst with Beutel Goodman in Toronto keeps him on the look-out for under-valued companies with great potential that other analysts are ignoring.
It's a job he landed thanks to his MBA in global asset and wealth management.

“I'm not a big fan of school, but I am a real big fan of hands-on learning,” says Parker, “and two components in the program that married the academic world with hands-on were the four-month internship and the student investment advisory club, where we actually managed a $7 million university endowment.”

Parker may not have liked school, but that doesn't mean he wasn't good at it. With a cumulative grade point average of 4.165 out of a possible 4.33, he wins the dean of graduate studies' convocation medal for the best academic performance among all graduate business students.

Parker is no stranger to business. Fresh from his undergraduate university years, he and his father started an information technology firm in Ottawa, growing it to $17 million in annual sales before selling it nine years later when Parker realized he was more interested in finance than computer programming.

“In 1998 I met my wife, who was still in school studying finance,” he says. “That's when I realized I was in the wrong industry. We did the chartered financial analyst program together.”

“One of the reasons to do the MBA was to sharpen my proverbial pencil,” says Parker. “There were a lot of skills from my first degree that I'd completely lost. Here, I was forced to relearn how to write an essay and to do lots of presentations in front of people.”

Today, in his new position at Beutel Goodman, he tracks companies which have lost their glamour, looking for those he thinks may have future potential. “We're value investors,” he explains. “I'm just constantly keeping my antenna up to find new companies or track existing companies that everyone else hates, which makes them cheap and makes it interesting for us if we think their prospects may change.”

Certainly, Parker's prospects have changed.

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