Friday, February 24, 2012

Marquette’s AIM Team Wins 2012 CFA Society of Madison’s Investment Research Challenge

Students to compete in America's regional finals in New York in April 

February 24, 2012The CFA Society of Madison hosted the local round of the CFA Institute’s Investment Research Challenge.  Marquette University’s Applied Investment Management (AIM) team won the competition and will move to the CFA America’s regional competition as the representative of the CFA Society of Madison. The CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals made up of portfolio managers, investment advisors, educators and other financial professionals.
During the local CFA Investment Research Challenge, which was held at the Fluno Center in Madison, the Marquette team competed against four other teams of students from UW-LaCrosse, UW-Milwaukee, Milwaukee School of Engineering, and Carroll University. Marquette advances to the America’s Regional level of the Challenge, which will be held in New York in April, where they will compete against fifty other university teams that won their local competitions from North and South America. The winner of the America’s Investment Research Challenge will then compete in the international final, which is also held in New York in April 2012.
The students on Marquette’s team were: Jacob Bear, Harrison Davis, Colleen Osborne, Bronson Wetsch, and Alice Wycklendt. All of the students are members of the Applied Investment Management program. They will be graduating in May 2012 and will be sitting for Level I of the CFA exam in June.

Harrison Davis, Alice Wycklendt, Colleen Osborne, Bronson Wetsch, Jacob Bear

The CFA Institute Research Challenge offers students the unique opportunity to develop and present an equity research report and compete on a global basis. Students will learn from leading industry experts and their mentors and peers from the world’s top business schools. This annual educational initiative is designed to promote best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills.
Dr. David Krause, director of the AIM program at Marquette University, said: “This year’s competition was very challenging event for the students taking part. The other teams did an excellent job presenting their recommendation. We are very excited to represent the CFA Society of Madison and will do our best in New York in April. We wish to thank the CFA Societies of Madison and Milwaukee for hosting the Challenge. It gives students the chance to meet some of the finest investment professionals in the state and to interact with students from other schools.  The Challenge supports our educational efforts and helps groom the investment professionals of tomorrow.” 

This represents the fourth consecutive year that the Marquette team has advanced to the America’s Challenge.  Krause said, “This year’s team did an outstanding job analyzing Marcus Corporation. They used a propriety survey, econometric modeling, and various types of sensitivity analysis to arrive at their recommendation on the stock. They worked well together and I am pleased that they will have the opportunity to present their research findings in New York.”

The global competition, which runs until April 2012, has attracted over 3,000 students and 600 universities in nearly 50 countries, including Vietnam, Kenya and Colombia for the first time.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge comprises:

·         Analysis of a publicly-traded company
Teams research a publicly traded company. The company’s management presents information to the student teams and is available to answer student questions.

·         Mentoring by a professional research analyst
Each team works with a CFA charterholder who mentors the team during the research process and reviews and critiques its report.

·         Writing a research report
Each team produces an Initiation of Coverage report on its chosen company. The report is reviewed and scored by a group of judges.

·         Presentation of research to a panel of experts
The teams' final presentations are locally evaluated by panels of experts from top financial institutions. Panelists include heads of research, portfolio managers, and chief investment officers from the world’s top firms. The team with the highest combined written report and presentation score is the winner and advances to the regional level of the Research Challenge.

·         Advancement to the CFA Institute Research Challenge Global Finale
Regional winners then progress to compete at the global finale. At the regional and global stages of the Research Challenge, teams are evaluated solely on their presentations.

About the Global Investment Research Challenge

The challenge gathers students, investment industry professionals, publicly traded companies and corporate sponsors together locally, regionally, and globally for a world competition. 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 the participating universities. The universities assemble teams of three-five business and finance students who work directly with a company in researching and preparing a company analysis. The team’s final presentations are locally evaluated 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 regional competitions in the Americas, Asia, and Europe and then to the global finale.

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association for investment professionals. It administers the CFA and CIPM curriculum and exam programs worldwide; publishes research; conducts professional development programs; and sets voluntary, ethics-based professional and performance-reporting standards for the investment industry. CFA Institute has more than 105,000 members, who include the world’s 97,000 CFA charterholders, as well as 135 affiliated professional societies in 58 countries and territories. More information may be found at

About the AIM Program

The AIM Program at Marquette University began in 2005. Since then over 120 undergraduate students have participated in the program. Our alumni can be found in leading investment companies throughout the country - and the world. As the first undergraduate partner with the CFA Institute, we take pride in our students' successful placements and CFA exam pass rates. Please feel free to contact us at: