The first ever CFA Institute Research Challenge competition was hosted by the New York Society of Security Analysts in 2002 and involved just five teams from the New York area. Since then, the competition has grown to involve tens of thousands of students from over 800 universities in more than 55 countries.
Local level competitions are organized and judged by local CFA chapters (i.e. Milwaukee and Madison) who are responsible for running the local Research Challenge. They secure the subject companies; recruit volunteers (such as mentors and graders); and run the event that involves the universities in their geographic region.
The regional and global competitions are hosted by the CFA Institute. The winner from each local competition advances to one of the three regional competitions: in the Americas; the Asia Pacific; and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions. The winner from each regional competition advances to the Global Final, where one team will emerge as global champion of the CFA Institute Research Challenge.
The Marquette team (for the 3rd time in the past 4 years) advanced from the quarter-final round and into the semi-final round. This year's time won the semi-final competition and competed in the Americas final round. For more information, go to: http://www.cfainstitute.org/researchchallenge.
Marquette's team members (from left to right): Jack Sullivan, Mary McNellis, Cole Johnson, Joe Hodes, and Mike Stankovsky.
The subject company this year was Alliant Energy (ticker: LNT). The local CFA host was the Madison Chapter. The CFA mentor was Travis Keshemberg and the faculty advisor was Dr. David Krause.
Speaking for the team, Dr. Krause told the CFA organizers, "Thank you for another wonderful event. We know the work and effort that goes into the organization and implementation of the CFA Research Challenge is a massive undertaking; however, it is worth it. The experiences gained by the students will last them a lifetime - it is truly one of the best applied learning opportunities we've been associated with. Congratulations - the event (and the competition) gets better each year - and we'll be back in 2016 with another solid team!