Opportunities for Students

To apply for this position please visit the State Personnel Website at: http://www.spo.state.nm.us/, select "View Job Opportunists & Apply" and search for Job ID 105957.

New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association

Finance Practicum Program

Want some practical experience solving real world investment problems? NM PERA is proud to offer its Finance Practicum Program, which extends an invitation to all NM Higher Education Institutions the opportunity for selected individuals to partner with a 2-5 person team on a short-term finance consulting project while receiving credit. Projects are structured so that selected individuals solve a live investment problem at NM PERA and deliver and present a finished product to the NM PERA investment team at the end of the Practicum.

NM PERA’s investment division manages a $15.5 billion defined benefit plan for over 45,000 retirees, who as a whole receive benefit payments totaling $1.2 billion per year, or about 1.4% of New Mexico’s GDP. The NM PERA investment division currently finds itself at the crossroads of one of society’s greatest challenges and opportunities: namely, retirement security and technological change.

Retirement security ranks among the greatest challenges facing developed and rich nations as dignified retirement becomes more and more out of reach and governments are less and less willing or able to care for aging populations. Investment returns on global savings pools, meanwhile, are projected to be far less than what is required to provide the income needed in retirement- not just at NM PERA but across the globe. Thankfully, one promising beacon in this otherwise bleak picture is innovation, technology and data science.

Technological advances in many industries like bio and life science are impacting real lives and improving quality of life outcomes every day. From supply chain management, to immuno oncology, examples of such advancements are plentifully. Consistent with our ethos to continually improve and achieve for our members, the NM PERA team acknowledges that our future investment success will take a cross disciplinary, unconventional and bold approach to investment management-- one where NM PERA harnesses new technologies in data science, portfolio construction, risk analytics, and artificial intelligence to produce desired outcomes.

As such, NM PERA seeks intellectually curious, conscientious, self-starters who might be interested in such work. The successful candidate will work with a seasoned lead mentor, and other Practicum Selectees, on a research project that pursues parallel paths: (1) to produce tools and models that will combine modern computing power with the latest investment and academic research to solve practical problems in institutional investment management (2) engage in disruptive thinking and research cross-disciplinary concepts and ideas that can improve upon long held traditional investment beliefs and constraints.

Interesting and impactful opportunities abound.

Examples of areas ripe for study follow.

-- Maximizing Geomean Return, Maximizing Terminal Wealth & Important Considers for Moving Beyond Mean-Variance Optimization;

-- Measuring and Monitoring Beta Extension in Hedge Fund Portfolios: A NM PERA GFC Retrospective;

-- Stress Testing Active Risk Parameters: Excess Return Correlation and the Assumption of Idiosyncrasy;

-- Pushing the Boundaries of Risk Management: Feeding off of Non-Normal Excess Return Distributions While Finding and Using Effective Left Tail Risk Measures Across Multiple Contagion and Correlation Regimes. Avoiding hundred year floods that seem to come every five years.

Successful Practicum Selectees will work collaboratively with other selectees on a proposed area of study.

They will

  • 1)Work with NM PERA Portfolio Managers to develop the area of study such that tools learned or developed can be practically applied in the NM PERA portfolio;
  • 2)Develop an annotated bibliography of academic literature that summarizes research already completed in the area of study and other institutional applications;
  • 3)Apply the problem/question/ and analytical tools learned or developed to historical NM PERA data;
  • 4)Use the frameworks and tools learned or developed to construct models that NM PERA can use in practice during investment diligence and real time risk management.


• Passion for financial markets

• Strong communication skills

• Strong analytical skills

• Proactive and creative thinking

• Collaborative, flexible, ethical, humble self-starter

• Knowledge of finance and portfolio theory

• Interest toward a career in finance and investing