Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The members of Marquette's CFA Investment Research Challenge teams will be announced this week

Marquette will again be sponsoring two teams from the AIM program in the 2016-2017 CFA Institute Research Challenge

Image result for cfa institute research challenge
Dr. David Krause, AIM program director announced that Marquette will again be sponsoring two team in the CFA Investment Research Challenge. The kickoff meeting for the CFA Challenge is scheduled for November 2nd and will be held at the Olympia Resort in Oconomowoc.  The Milwaukee and Madison CFA Societies again will be hosting the CFA Investment Research Challenge. In a separate email this week we will announce the names of the two CFA Challenge teams.

According to Dr. Krause, “This marks the 9th year of AIM’s participation in the CFA Investment Research Challenge. Our past teams have enjoyed great success, and each former team member echoes the value of the experience. Marquette has won the local Wisconsin CFA society competition 7 of 8 years, while advancing three times to the semi-final rounds – and once to the final round - of the Americas competition.” More information about the CFA Challenge can be found at this web site:

Objective: Provide a solid learning experience and exposure to the real world of investments through an investment research “competition” managed by investment professionals (Milwaukee and Madison CFA Societies). Preparation for this competition will introduce the students to the multiple steps that comprise the investment process, such as investment thesis development, company valuation, competitive analysis, and “selling” of investment thesis to a demanding audience.

Image result for cfa institute research challengeProgram for 2016-2017: Teams of undergraduate students from as many as ten universities will compete in the Madison and Milwaukee sections. For the 2015-2016 CFA Challenge: approximately 4000 students participated from nearly 1000 universities worldwide (over 60 countries were represented). The global winner was University of Waterloo in 2016 and Canisius College (a Buffalo, NY Jesuit college) in 2015.

Structure/Timeframe: The structure of the competition will be similar to that used by the New York Society of Financial Analysts in their competitions. Teams at the local competitions will evaluate a company selected by the local CFA society; meet with management of that company for questions and discussion; and prepare a written analysis (initiation report) of 10 pages maximum plus exhibits and appendix. The papers will be evaluated and scored by a group of investment professionals as judges. The teams will then present their analysis to another panel of judges, who will then select the winning team at the local level. The proposed time line is as follows:
a.       October 11, 2016: Two teams of 5 students are selected. Dr. Krause is the faculty adviser and a CFA industry mentor will be appointed to each of the teams.
b.      November 2, 2016: Teams meet with the company’s executives and the company makes a presentation similar to a typical “road show” for its investors.
c.       December 2016: Teams submit a first draft of their paper to their mentor and faculty advisor for critique.
d.      January 2017: Teams incorporate end of year data into their analysis, continue their financial modeling and write their final paper. Each team submits their final research paper to the local CFA society for judging.
Research Challenge Progressione.       Mid-February 2017: Local competitions are held with each team making a 10 minute oral presentation to a panel of judges followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. The panel selects the winning team, who represents the local CFA society at the next level of competition.
f.       April 6-7: The winning team competes at the Americas (North and South American teams) competition in Seattle. (Expenses covered).
g.       April 28: Global Finals will be held in Prague, Czech Republic (Expenses covered). The Global Finals consist of the winners of the three regional finals - Asia-Pacific, EMEA, and the Americas.

 The CFA Institute Research Challenge offers students the unique opportunity to learn from leading industry experts and compete with peers from the world’s top finance programs.  This annual educational initiative promotes best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills. 

Group photo of the 2016 Global Champions from Waterloo University, Canada
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 thousands of students from over 800 universities in more than 55 countries.

The Challenge gathers students, investment industry professionals, executives from publicly traded companies, and corporate sponsors together locally, regionally, and globally for a real world competition.  Participation in the Challenge promotes best practices in equity research and company analysis, as students research, analyze, and report on a company as if they are practicing analysts.  Additionally, all participants are introduced to and held to the standard of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

How the Challenge Works:  Local CFA Societies, CFA Institute, and other organizations host and launch a local Research Challenge in conjunction with their participating universities.  The universities assemble teams of 3-5 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.

Dr. David Krause, who serves as the faculty advisor of the two Marquette CFA teams stated, "I'm very proud of the students who are participating in the Challenge. Like past teams, I know they will work hard and deliver a quality product. This experience and the friendships established will stay with them throughout their careers. I can't say enough good things about the CFA Challenge - it is one of the very best experiential programs in academia. Best of luck to all of the teams in the Challenge."