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Portfolio Management Program

You are an analyst in the first year...

Conducting financial and economic research and analysis to understand the fundamentals of active investing and asset management.

...and a portfolio manager in the second year

The resulting real-money portfolio is handed over to the incoming class of portfolio managers. They then take over the responsibility of further developing a strategy to allocate and manage the funds.

The PMP overview

The Portfolio Management Program (PMP) is an optional two-year elective during the MIM program in which selected students actively manage a real-money portfolio - 1 million Euros per group with a total portfolio value of 3 million Euros. The concept of the PMP enables participants to combine theory and practice to develop real trading strategies on the open market. PMP students learn how to cope with the positive and negative dynamics of active investing and how to develop their own strategies in global markets.

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Webinar: The Portfolio Management Program

Watch the webinar recording to learn more about the Portfolio Management Program from the two MIM students Ska and Omar.

A phenomenal growth journey

Read how MIM Student Omar El Maria's PMP skills will help him no matter what career he chooses.

Introduction to the PMP

Introduction to the PMP

Watch the video to learn more about what the hands-on Portfolio Management Program entails over the two years.

The PMP in detail

  • Program design

    First-year students become financial analysts who get to know the portfolio, while supporting the second-year students who act as portfolio managers and are in charge of the actual asset management process. This structure ensures that portfolio decisions are coordinated among analysts and managers, which is crucial to insure a smooth transition of the portfolios to the next student cohort.

    The official PMP meetings take place every other Friday during the MIM program and can be categorized as follows:

    1. Introductory Session: The first sessions will be labelled as introductory sessions, where experienced tutors equip the new analysts with all of the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to participate in the PMP. These sessions reinforce the knowledge you acquire during the first modules of your MIM program and enhance it with applied knowledge in finance, economics and portfolio management.
    2. Manager Meeting: The managers present a portfolio update about current performance and risk measures. Additionally, they give an update of the trades that were implemented and those that are planned. Periodically, they present a general market outlook with respect to their portfolio composition.
    3. Analyst Meeting: The analysts present their research on market regions, asset classes or investment strategies that are linked to the current portfolio composition. Moreover, they are asked to present new ideas that are discussed with their managers and tutors in advance.
    4. Expert Talk: Occasionally, professionals from academia or finance join to share their insights with the PMP students.
    5. Technical Meeting: These meetings involve exercises related to a quantitative topic. Each student group solves a set of empirical asset management problems and presents the findings to their tutors and mentors.
  • Group structure & strategies

    ZZ-Group – Emerging & frontier markets fixed income

    Quantitative Risk Premia (ESMT) – Systematic harvesting of risk premia across all assets

    Best Academia (HU) – Asset management based on state-of-the-art academic research

    The corresponding strategies are:

    1. The ZZ group will be mentored by Managing Directors of ZZ Vermögensberatung AG and by Mr. Peter Pühringer. We implement mainly a FX and fixed income carry strategy with a focus on emerging markets. The strategy comes closest to the industry definition of global macro investing. Additionally, value investments play an important role here. Also, exposure to other risk premia could be of interest (e.g. volatility). Moreover, the duration factor is of interest for long-term investments here (due to the big interest rate differential and possible movements in long-term interest rates and their effects on bond investments).

    2. ESMT’s group will develop a strategy mentored by Dr. Gerald Leitner, who serves as an executive in residence at ESMT. Mr. Leitner has a vast amount of experience in the hedge fund industry and will help shaping the investment strategy. A systematic cross-asset risk premia based approach with a stronger equity focus than the other groups could be an interesting starting point for this group.

    3. Humboldt’s group will be mentored by Prof. Stomper and Prof. Adam, who follow a strategy that is strongly influenced by academic findings, that is with an emphasis on political risk (see “Political risk and expected government bond returns” by Duyvesteyn, Martens and Verwijmeren, JEF 2016), as well as other risk premia based approach.

  • Who should apply?

    MIM students are selected during a competitive interview process after the start of the MIM. Potential PMP participants should bring a genuine interest in financial markets and have some introductory experience with quantitative tools, e.g. basic knowledge of Excel and/or experience in any kind of statistical software (like R or Matlab). Participants will learn most practical aspects of portfolio management during the program. However, a solid theoretical foundation in finance, investing, economics and/or internship or work experience in those areas is an advantage during the application process.

    In addition to the necessary qualifications, candidates should bear in mind that the program can be quite demanding. In addition to the general MIM program workload, students should expect to invest about 6 to 8 hours per week for the PMP.

  • Application process

    Interested ESMT MIM students are invited to send their complete applications, during their first semester and will then be shortlisted and invited for an interview. Following selection, there will be a kick-off meeting, the tutors will introduce the program and the three different groups. Afterwards, students can opt for a preferred group.

    All applications should include the following material (aggregated in a single PDF and ranked as follows):
    1. Curriculum vitae
    2. Letter of motivation (describe your background and motivation for the PMP)
    3. Transcripts (most recent grades)
    4. References of employment (if applicable)

    Within the letter of motivation, please answer the following questions:
    1. What is the PMP and which of your skills do you think will be valuable for the program?
    2. Which PMP group do you want to join and why?
    3. If you are selected, what kind of challenges in the current investment environment will you probably face as portfolio manager?


    • Application deadline: November 5th
    • Applicants shortlisted for interview will be notified by Monday, November 8th
    • Interviews will take place between November 9th and 11th
    • Please send your application to
  • Facilities

    The PMP Berlin facilities are located at the ESMT Satellite Campus Berlin-Schöneberg, on the 6th floor of Akazienstraße 3A. The satellite campus includes Bloomberg terminals and is dedicated to PMP students for research purposes. Space Shack, a co-working space founded by ESMT Berlin MBA alumni, is located in the same building.

    Once per week, students, tutors and mentors gather there for an informal meeting. Official meetings, where PMP participants present their analyses, take place every other Friday.

  • History & partners

    PMP History

    The PMP, established in 2003 by Peter Pühringer, the founder of ZZ Vermögensverwaltung GmbH, in Vienna, Austria, is a unique and innovative approach combining financial theory with practical asset management. In Vienna, the PMP is part of the Research Institute for Capital Markets and the Vienna University of Economics and Business. In 2010, a second PMP was developed in cooperation with the University of Zurich and the ETH Zurich. As of 2017, the PMP runs as part of the ESMT Berlin Master's in Management.


    • Portfolio Management Program Vienna, Part of the Institute for Strategic Capital Market Research
    • Portfolio Management Program Zurich, Part of the Center for Portfolio Management of the University of Zurich
    • P & K Pühringer Gemeinnützige Stiftung – Sponsor of the program

Institute for Strategic Capital Market Research

Portfolio Management Program Vienna

University of Zurich, Center for Portfolio Management

Portfolio Management Program Zurich

P & K Pühringer Gemeinnützige Stiftung

Portfolio Management Program sponsor