Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Marquette finance students win Milwaukee CFA investment competition

AIM students again advance in CFA investment competition

Students head to Omaha to compete in the CFA Institute's Investment Research Challenge

MILWAUKEE – Five undergraduate students from Marquette University’s College of Business Administration again have advanced to the next round of the Charted Financial Analyst’s Investment Research Challenge. The CFA Institute’s Americas regional competition will be held in Omaha, Neb., April 5-7. Four winners from the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe/Middle East/Africa regions will compete in this year's global finale on April 8 in Omaha. This is Marquette University’s third year participating in the prestigious CFA competition and they have won the local competition each year.

The Marquette students, who are all part of the college’s Applied Investment Management program, defeated teams from Carroll University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-La Crosse and UW-Milwaukee on Feb. 24 in the final presentations of the local competition, which was hosted by the CFA Society of Milwaukee. Members of the winning team include Luke Darkow, Kristin Holzhauer, Mark Rutherford, Christina Starkey and David Zakutansky. The panel of judges comprised Joseph M. Eberhardy, CFA, Wells Fargo Advantage Funds; Lucas W. Fairborn, CFA, Artisan Partners; and Andy Hintz , CFA, Grace Matthews.

Luke Darkow, Kristin Holzhauer, Mark Rutherford, Christina Starkey, David Zakutansky
"Like previous teams from Marquette, this is a group of very talented students," said David Krause, AIM director and professor of finance. "They worked many hours outside of the classroom researching and preparing their case presentation. Their dedication and level of professionalism helped secure our third consecutive Milwaukee CFA GIRC championship. We are thankful the CFA Society of Milwaukee again hosted this event. We are looking forward to the next round of the investment competition in Omaha."

Marquette and the other student teams analyzed Quad/Graphics (NYSE: QUAD), a Sussex, Wis.-based commercial printing firm. The CFA Society of Milwaukee arranged for all the participating students to meet with investor relations personnel from the company’s management.

How the challenge works

According to the CFA Institute, "In order to promote best practices in equity research and company analysis, students research, analyze and report on a company as if they are practicing analysts."

Local CFA societies host and launch an Investment Research Challenge in conjunction with participating universities. The universities assemble teams of three to five business and finance students who work directly with a company in researching and preparing a company analysis.

The teams’ final presentations are evaluated locally by high-profile panels of heads of research, portfolio managers, and chief investment officers from the world’s top firms. The local champions advance to the regional competitions; winners there go on to the global finale.

Marquette and the CFA Institute

Marquette’s AIM program was the first undergraduate business program selected as a CFA Program Partner in 2006. The institute coordinates the investment profession’s most rigorous credentialing program. The partnership designation means that Marquette offers a degree program that covers at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge, the CFA Institute Ethical and Professional Standards, and additional requirements.

Students in Marquette’s AIM program must take four unique courses, Introduction to Applied Investment Management, Research and Financial Analysis, Valuation and Portfolio Management, and Investment Management, Ethics and Society, according to Dr. Krause. "The courses provide students with a strong business and financial base of knowledge," he said. "But in keeping with our Jesuit tradition and the CFA Program standards, there is also tremendous emphasis on the ethical issues our graduates will encounter."

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