Skip to content

Peer Intelligence | Summer 2024

Coffee Chat with David Dupont 

David Dupont is a key member of our product team and has been at CEM for 18 years.

During this interview, he shares what he is most proud of from his time at CEM and his passion for figure skating.


How did you come to CEM?

Chris Flynn, a long-time CEMer, and I did mathematics at the University of Toronto together and had stayed in touch after we graduated. CEM was looking at the efficiency of investment management, at costs, not just performance. No one else was or is doing this the way CEM does and I found that really striking.

After school, I worked at CIBC Mellon and learned a lot about the pension industry through different roles in that organization. I had also finished my CFA while I was there.

And then an analyst role came open at CEM, and I applied!

What has made you stay?

I often get asked, “You've been here a long time (18 years). Why are you still at CEM?”.

I really like the work that we do. Every time you look at a different data set and work with a different client, you have a little puzzle to solve. What’s the story, what are they trying to do? And how can we shed some light on what's working, what's not? This is what your peers are doing.

And of course, I work with great people at CEM.

What did the beginning days look like and how has CEM changed?

When I started at CEM I was the 13th employee. The organization was a lot smaller. Back then, there was more customization of individual reports. Now we have a standardized report to ensure comparability and we have built out a whole team that focuses on doing custom work for clients. For example, we can do a deep dive into a specific asset. The team can do that custom work drawing insight from our deep database.

What are your favourite moments or memories from CEM?

I had a lot of fun helping John Simmonds grow the UK business 10-15 years ago. I also love onboarding new clients and working with them to understand their costs. CEM adds value by highlighting real costs and putting them in context versus peers.

More recently I've really enjoyed onboarding new members of our client coverage team. Working with them has been a great experience because they have a fresh perspective and a lot of energy. I see good things happening.

What are you most proud of?

I like that I have had a hand in moving the industry towards being more transparent. That is what we have been pushing for at CEM with our Transparency Benchmarking Subscription. Pension funds need to understand and share not only their costs but also best practices.

Switching gears, I hear you are a big figure skater, how did you get into the sport? 

I fell in love with figure skating watching the 1988 winter games. The next year, which was the start of grade 10, I started training, which is very late. At the time I could barely skate. 

I did it all: singles, pairs, judging competitions, coaching kids. I flew all over northern Ontario judging. For my first year of university, I skated in north Toronto. At that stage I had worked up to being able to do all of my doubles and was starting to work on double axel and triple toes! 

Any other hobbies/interests you can share? 

Mountain biking and BJJ [Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu].

What are your plans for the summer? 

I just got back from visiting my family in northern New Brunswick, and I'm going to Portugal (Porto and Ste Miguel). 

Where do you see opportunities for CEM in the future?

We continue to find ways to improve our processes and subscriptions. That way we can do what we do well, but even better.

One area that is exciting right now is our ‘Communities’ initiatives. Clients want to meet peers and share best practices outside of big industry conferences. Our communities are regional and focus on convening plans to share best practices through data-first, confidential discussion. We also commission research on a topic that is valuable to the group based on industry trends. We have already hosted communities in Canada, the U.S., UK, and Scandinavia. Later this year, we are looking forward to hosting our inaugural Dutch forum. We have heard very positive feedback from clients and are excited to grow into even more geographies.


Peer Intelligence | Summer 2024