Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A current AIM Program Small Cap Equity Holding: Insteel Industries, Inc. (IIIN) by Stephen Arcuri. "Original thesis has decayed"

Insteel Industries, Inc. (IIIN, $25.75): “Insteel, Cemented in Place”

By: Stephen Arcuri, AIM Student at Marquette University

Disclosure: The AIM Equity Fund currently holds this position. This article was written by myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it and I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


Insteel Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: IIIN) is the largest manufacturer of steel wire reinforcing products for concrete construction applications in the United States. They manufacture and market prestressed concrete strand and welded wire reinforcement, including engineered structural mesh, concrete pipe reinforcement, and standard welded wire reinforcement.

• Extreme weather in Insteel’s largest market, Texas, is likely to delay construction and sales through next quarter.

• Any substantial infrastructure package that would be a catalyst for Insteel’s product sales seems unlikely for the foreseeable future.

• The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently downgraded their forecasts of nonresidential construction, one of Insteel’s largest markets.

• Management has indicated that many of Insteel’s customers are dealing with labor constraints, signaling an inability to execute on top of weakening demand.

Key points: Insteel can be expected to continue to underperform through Q1 as a combination of factors come together to hurt sales. In their Q3 earnings call, management attributed their quarter to better weather in their largest geographic market, Texas. Hurricane Harvey’s displacement of workers, and continued ramifications will be a headwind for Insteel.

With no infrastructure bill on the horizon, there is no near term catalyst to boost Insteel’s sales. The passage of the Fixing American’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act in December of 2015 proved to be a catalyst for investors, as expectations for Insteel rose with infrastructure spending. Shares further appreciated with the promise of an infrastructure bill from both the Clinton and Trump campaigns. The administration’s failure to pass infrastructure spending is not offset by the relief aid for Hurricane Harvey; Insteel’s largest product market is public, highway, and street construction, a market less affected by the flooding following the Hurricane.

In addition, the American Institute of Architects revised their nonresidential construction estimates to 3.8% in 2017, down from an original 6.7% that the original thesis relied on. 2018’s estimate of 3.6% provides no encouragement for the short-term.

Finally, in their Q3 earnings call, management indicated that customers were having difficult securing the work force required to follow through on construction projects. Part of this may be reflected in the inventory buildup that occurred in the same quarter. Insteel’s inability to move products to customers who cannot use them will be amplified by the construction break that Hurricane Harvey will have caused.

What has the stock done lately? Insteel has been in a virtual free fall since their Q3 earnings. Shares were trading just under $34 before the earnings call, and immediately fell to $25.75, a 25% decrease. After a brief rally, prices slide further and have never closed above the selloff.

Past Year Performance:

Source: FactSet

My Takeaway
The AIM portfolio should abandon its position before Insteel releases Q4 earnings on October 19th. Insteel faces an increasingly difficult market for the next both structurally, and as management noted, from increased competition. The original thesis has decayed along with the Trump trade, and with no catalysts in sight, capital could be more effectively deployed. Insteel would be worth reviewing after 1Q’18, after Hurricane Harvey has worked itself through Insteel’s cycle, or if the administration becomes serious about passing an infrastructure bill.

A current AIM Program Small Cap Equity Holding: NIC, Inc. (EGOV) by Alex Czachor. "Time to move on"

NIC, Inc. (EGOV, $17.25): “Looming Uncertainty not Received NICely”
By: Alex Czachor, AIM Student at Marquette University

Disclosure: The AIM Equity Fund currently holds this position. This article was written by myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it and I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


NIC, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGOV) Provides digital government services that helps governments use technology to provide services to businesses and citizens.

• NIC currently holds 27 contracts, including multiple state governments.  One of their largest contacts - Texas - is up for re-bid this fall and if the company is unable to renew this contract it would have a material impact on NIC’s earnings.

• Competition represents a long term concern.  Currently this is not a concern as the company is facing little competition from big companies such as IBM, MSFT, or ORCL.  The lack of interest may possibly be due to the specialized and small industry in which the company is in, as it may not be profitable enough for the bigger players to pursue.  If the market grows, bigger players may enter in resulting in the loss of market share for the company.      

• The company currently does not have a contract with at least a third of the states, potentially creating an opportunity for growth.  

• In FY’17 the company won a contract with the state of Illinois, which will add up to $3 million in revenue represented as a one-time spike in operating profit for the upcoming year.

Key points: With uncertainty looming around the company in regards to the renewal of the Texas contract, the company was still able to provide some good news to investors in FY’17.  The new contract with the state of Illinois represents a six-year contract with an additional four one-year renewal periods extended through 2027.  As soon as NIC is able to deliver the initial phase of the permitting  and licensing systems to Illinois the company will then receive $2.4 mil, with an additional $600k sometime in the 1H’18 when the remainder of the platform is delivered.  This can be seen as a positive as it will create a one-time spike in operating profits, followed by additional maintenance fees throughout the duration of the contract.

However, as of late the company’s share price has experienced a bit of pressure due to the increase in uncertainty surrounding the expiration of their contract with Texas.  The Texas.gov contract represents approx. 20% of NIC’s revenue and added an estimated 30% of operating profit as of FY’16, making Texas one of their largest contracts.  Management believes that they will not be able to win the same contract they had with Texas prior as Texas is looking to diversify its portfolio of vendors.  It is possible the company will be able to save some pieces of the contract, but in the end will most likely experience a decline in revenue contribution from the state. 

Along with the loss of one of their biggest clients, the company is also facing potential risk due to their niche industry.  With more resources and firepower why is it that companies like IBM, MSFT, ACN, or ORCL do not enter into this industry and compete with NIC.  Due to their specific niche industry, its business is extremely specialized and small and it wouldn’t be worth it for large companies to enter into the market due to the lack of profitability.  Moving forward if the company continues to grow earnings, it is possible that one of these larger companies do look to compete within this industry and with large R&D teams it would be relatively easy to enter into the space and erode market share.

While the addition of the Illinois contract can be seen as a positive, there still remains an overhang in the stock until the Texas contract has been renegotiated.  Further, it is likely that NIC will be unsuccessful in retaining the total pie from Texas and because of this will lose some share in the upcoming year.  With the recent wave of uncertainty looming around the company, NIC’s stock has sold off 25.8% YTD.        
What has the stock done lately?

Since the company’s Q2 earnings report the share price has declined approx. ~12.2%.  Even though top line came in above consensus estimates, higher spending levels caused the company’s margins and profits to dip.  Resulting in the decline of operating margins by 200 bps as well as a slight decline in both net income and EPS.  The inability to sustain margins accompanied with the looming uncertainty surrounding the Texas.gov contract resulted in the selloff following the Q2 report.        

Past Year Performance: Year-to-date NIC’s stock has declined 25.8% to its current price of $17.25.  During the year the company reached a 52-week high of $25.90 and a low of $15.45.  Investor uncertainty has clearly been reflected in the company’s share price and with near term headwinds it is unlikely that there will be any strong growth in the stock into the foreseeable future.    

Source: FactSet

My Takeaway

While the addition of a new contract with the state of Illinois will benefit NIC, ultimately the outcome of the renewal process with Texas.gov will dictate whether this stock will prosper in the upcoming FY’18.  Texas.gov is said to be making a decision by the end of FY’17, and is unlikely to fully renew their prior contract with NIC.  As Texas is looking to diversify and add new vendors, NIC’s top line will be negatively impacted due to the large exposure the company had to the state ~Texas made up approx. a quarter of the company’s FY’16 revenue~.  Due to the strong likelihood that Texas.gov diversifies and lessens its exposure to NIC coupled with the continued uncertainty surrounding the stock as well as the lack of strong near term growth opportunity’s it is recommended that the AIM small cap equity fund should sell NIC (ticker: EGOV).     

A current AIM International Fund Holding: Standex International Corporation (SXI) by Jordan Luczaj. "Upside potential remains"

Standex International Corporation (SXI, $104.40): “Staying Diversified with Standex”

By: Jordan Luczaj, AIM Student at Marquette University

Disclosure: The AIM Equity Fund currently holds this position. This article was written by myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it and I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


·    Standex International Corporation (NYSE:SXI) is a leading manufacturer of a multitude of products and services for diversified commercial and industrial markets. Standex has twelve operating segments that are organized into five reporting segments: Food Service Equipment, Engraving, Engineering Technologies, Electronics, and Hydraulics.

·     SXI has 42 United States patents and 41 trademarks. They are extremely diversified and losing any one of these would not have a significant effect on their performance.

·      Standex is exceling due to the large performance increases in both their Engineering Technologies and Electronics segments. Net sales and income from operations of the Engineering Technologies segment increased by 10.1% and 17.0% respectively yoy. The same can be said for the Electronics space where net sales and income from operations grew by 15.5% and 31.1% yoy.

·  The Engineering Technologies and Electronics segments have grown as result of slight restructuring and some acquisitions. Aviation has been a major driver in the Engineering Technologies segment, and saw growth of 29.7% from the prior year including an increase of 18% in unmanned space market.

·     SXI also acquired OKI Sensor Device Corporation on March 31, 2017 for $129.2 million. This acquisition added $12.4 million in net sales during fiscal year 2017. The Company expects to see incremental synergies from OKI Sensor Device Corporation, now named, Standex Electronics Japan, throughout fiscal year 2018.

Key points: Standex International Corporation has soared since being added to the AIM Small Cap Equity Fund in April of 2016. At this time, we purchased SXI for $76.36 per share, and today it is worth $104.40 per share representing a gain of 36.72%.

Standex has seen contract growth in the aviation division of the Engineering Technologies segment. This was a result of Airbus ramping up activity on the A320 CFM engine. Originally, it was believed that they would achieve full volume by the end of FY 2017, but some of these initiatives have been pushed out. It now looks like SXI will reach capacity during the middle of FY 2018, suggesting a strong possibility of higher sales.

SXI has not only been increasing sales in their higher margin business segments, but they are also raising these margins. They have been spending considerably larger sums on capital expenditures in order to increase capacity in their Engraving, Engineered Technologies, and Electronics segments. Immediately after making the strategic acquisition of Standex Electronics Japan, they approved capital expenses to expand machinery and factory capacity.

The most recent acquisition made by SXI is that of Piazza Rosa in Italy. This acquisition allows Standex to widen their potential market considering Piazza’s specialty manufacturing capabilities in polishing, laser welding, laser hardening, laser cladding, and repair and maintenance services. Ultimately, Piazza allows Standex to dip into a new market that they believe will get a jumpstart in FY 2018. Automotive engraving relies on new model introduction, and many believe new introductions are going to be up 30% in FY 2018 compared to FY 2017.

What has the stock done lately?

Standex International Corporation has done nothing but climb since June of 2017. In September, the stock hit a monthly period where it went up about $10 per share. Specifically, on September 8, six individuals or asset managers increased their positions in SXI causing the start of that significant price jump.

Past Year Performance:

Over the last 12 months, SXI has seen their stock price grow from $90.00 per share to $104.40, representing a 16.00% return. However, we were lucky enough to get in near the 52 week low, and have realized greater than a 35.00% return on the position to date.

Source: FactSet
My Takeaway

SXI has surpassed its price target of $96.20, but it appears that they still have not found their ceiling. Standex still has growth potential in their Engineering Technologies, Electronics, and Engraving segments. These growth opportunities seem to be at the forefront of SXI’s plans as they have dumped capital expenditures into these specific manufacturing segments and made strategic acquisitions to exploit evolving markets. They have also maintained FCF levels and increased their debt to continue expanding and honing their margins. Based on these factors, it does not appear that Standex International Corporation has reached their peak, and may even have room to soar.

Source: FactSet

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A current AIM International Fund Holding: IMAX Corporation (IMAX) by Grant Runnoe. "A Hold on IMAX"

IMAX Corporation (IMAX, $50.52): “Visualizing the Future”
By: Grant Runnoe, AIM Student at Marquette University

Disclosure: The AIM Equity Fund currently holds this position. This article was written by myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it and I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


  • IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) is an entertainment technology company, focusing on motion picture technologies and presentations.
  • Despite a harsh summer sales with the stock dropping nearly 48%, IMAX has recovered 20% with outstanding film slates of DunkirkSpider-Man: Homecoming and IT.
  • The company has plans to create an additional 5-8 locations to their Virtual Reality platform adding to already existing Los Angeles and New York venues.
  • Recently hired new CMO, founder of JumpLine Group.
  • Board of Directors authorized a new share repurchase program for up to an additional $200 million through June 2020.
  • Second Quarter Highlights:
o   Revenue of $87.8 million and a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $1.7 million, or $0.03 per diluted share with adjusted net income $0.15 per diluted share.
o   Achieved a gross margin of 58.5%, representing a 300 basis point improvement over 2Q16.
o   Maintain full-year 2017 installation guidance of approximately 160 new theatre systems, signing agreements for 92 new systems during the quarter across 16 countries.
o   Installed 34 systems bringing the global theatre network to 1,257 screens across 75 countries.
o   Backlog ramped to 580 systems, up 31% YoY.
o   Announced a cost-reduction exercise aimed at achieving approximately $20 million in annualized cost savings, with the goal of improving operating leverage.
o   Repurchased $46M of shares, completing the previously announced $200-million buyback program.
Key points:

IMAX is introducing a new pipeline of virtual reality. The company opened is second virtual reality center which is located in New York City (AMC Kips Bay). Noting that this location is different from their original site which is a standalone in Los Angeles. The New York site is IMAX’s first multiplex location, occupying the lobby space. This venue brings a benefit of entering a location with built-in foot traffic to the company. IMAX plans to create five to eight additional virtual reality locations in 2H17 with the next locations opening in early fall in Shanghai, Manchester, and Toronto. The agreements are one-year terms.  Management also indicated they see sizable interest in virtual reality from their partners.

IMAX has recently experienced a change in management in their Chief Marketing Official position. Ms. JL Pomeroy obtained the role in July 2017 and will be in charge of leading the company's global marketing efforts. Ms. Pomeroy founded and ran JumpLine Group, a “brand activation agency” giving her 25 years of international senior marketing experience.

Another trend IMAX is attempting to capitalize on is screen sharing. This entails two movies being played simultaneously on 400-plus foot screens. This trend attempts to capture movie goers whether friend groups or scenarios that wish to see 2 different movies. IMAX has also produced an original content television series Marvel's Inhumans to fill gaps in the release schedule.

Recent movements in IMAX:

It has been a weak summer for IMAX with the stock plummeting from $34.05 on 3/30/2017 down 7% to $17.57 on 8/23/2017. Nevertheless, the tides appear to be turning despite the inherent volatility of film sales. The motion entertainment industry is volatile based on film slates. The stock started 3Q17 strong with the showing of Dunkirk.  Spider-Man: Homecoming was also a key contributor as it opened to a $117 million global weekend, which excluded China. IT produced $123 Million in global box office on the opening weekend. These three films alone lead to IMAX’s recent month-to-date turn around boosting the stock 20%. Another positive signal is Mr. Kevin Douglas, James Douglas and Bradley Wechslers who hold the top three insider positons have all bought shares 6/14/2017. The top 5 institutional shareholder have followed increasing their shares count.  

Past Year Performance:

IMAX entered the AIM international Equity Fund on 10/31/16 at a price of $30.25 with a target price of $39.41. The stock currently trades at $22.05 representing at -28% return. The stock has hit a 53 week low of $17.57 during the tail end of August rebound a 48% decline into a 20% return primarily due to film showing of Dunkrik, Spider-Man: Homecoming and IT.

Source: FactSet

My Take Away

There is no hiding the volatility of IMAX’s stock. The company recently experienced a 6-month decline of 47% followed by a one month turnaround of 20% (primarily attributed to showings). Key releases are coming 2018 with a slate featuring Jurassic World 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars: Han Solo, and Deadpool 2. In addition to the film slate drivers, IMAX is in position to execute on new trends. Virtual Reality represents the biggest near term catalyst for the company. Already possessing a location in LA and a recent addition in NY the company plans to implement another 5-8 locations around the world, namely Shanghai, Manchester, and Toronto in 2H17. With the growth opportunity tied with the risky environment I am placing a hold on IMAX in the AIM International Equity Fund. 

Seventh set of AIM student equity presentations of the fall semester will be on Friday, October 27, 2017 from 2:30 - 3:30 pm.

AIM Class of 2018 Student Equity Presentations - Friday, October 27th

The seventh set of AIM student equity presentations of the fall semester will be on Friday, October 27th, 2017 from 2:30 - 3:30 pm.

Follow the link to review the student equity write-ups for the Friday, October 27th (Write-ups) presentations.

Location:  Marquette University, College of Business Administration - Straz Hall, 1225 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee 53233 - in the AIM Research Room 488, 4th Floor
(pdf directions to AIM Room).  

Equity presentations will continue the rest of the semester on Friday afternoons in the AIM Room except for the following dates:
·         Road Show in Chicago on December 1st

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A current AIM International Fund Holding: National Grid PLC (NGG) by Thomas Dietz "It's time for AIM to get off the grid"

National Grid PLC (NGG, $62.71): “Get Rid of the Grid”
By: Thomas Dietz, AIM Student at Marquette University

Disclosure: The AIM Equity Fund currently holds this position. This article was written by myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it and I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


National Grid PLC (NYSE:NGG) provides gas and electricity transmission in the United Kingdom and electricity transmission in the Northeastern United States.  NGG is headquartered in Warwick, UK.

• NGG is emerging from the sale of a 61% stake in their UK gas segment. 

• This has transitioned NGG from a roughly 50/50 revenue distribution between the UK and US to 33% British and 67% American.

• The rationale is to shift more attention and resources to the higher growth US segment of the business.

• This is a potentially risky play, as the US segment sees significantly lower ROE of 8.2% vs 13.1% in the UK.

Key points

Utilities in both the UK and the US are subject to heavy regulation and government oversight.  Both governments dictate how much the company can spend on capital expenditures each year and how profitable they can be in terms of ROE.  The decision for the UK based company to move most of its focus across the Atlantic was not made lightly, but it has already seen issues arise.  NGG must regularly negotiate what its profitability levels can be with New York's Public Service Commision, and it has underperformed other Northeastern US competitors.  ConEd and KEDNY both negotiated for a 9.0% ROE while NGG was only able to procure a rate of 8.25%. 

Utilities as sector can be used as a bond proxy (in some situations) during times when yields are especially low.  This has worked in NGG's favor over the past few years as yield hunters have been forced to broaden their scope to find returns.  However, there is trouble on both the sector front and the bond front.  In the past twelve months, NGG has fallen 11.9% compared to the utility sector as a whole, likely from the outcome of the UK/US rearrangement.  This had made NGG less appealing to utility investors. Additionally, the 10bp sell off in the bond market was correlated to utilities slightly underperforming the S&P as a whole.  The underperformance of utilities was at least partially influenced by the outflow of investment from utilities back into fixed income.

What has the stock done lately?

It has been a tumultuous summer for NGG.  2017 started off as one of the best years in NGG's history, but from May to July, the stock fell a massive 18.1%.  The stock started to slowly make back its losses, but the past week erased most of those gains, and it is now only 5% above its 6 month historic low. 

Past Year Performance: YoY the stock has only increased 0.1%.  The 52 week high-low is $73.24 to $55.20.  On price performance alone, the past year has been the most volatile of the last five years. 

1 Year Stock Chart vs. Benchmark from FactSet
Source: FactSet

My Takeaway

The factors that made NGG attractive over the past five years have waned.  Over half a decade of low rates has made NGG and their ~5% annual dividend appealing, but the tide seems to be finally turning.  Sale of the high ROE British gas segment, failure to negotiate better contracts in with the state of NY, and a rising rate environment together have soured what used to be a strong performer.  Furthermore, the high volatility is unappealing in a sector that is renowned for low, slow growth and high dividends in developed countries.  I therefore believe it is time for the AIM international fund to part ways with NGG.

Members of Marquette's CFA Investment Research Challenge 2017-2018 Teams Announced

Marquette will again be sponsoring two teams from the AIM program in the 2017-2018 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 1st.  The Milwaukee and Madison CFA Societies again will be hosting the CFA Investment Research Challenge. 

According to Dr. Krause, “This marks the 10th 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. We are pleased to be hosting two teams again and are thankful for the Madison and Milwaukee CFA Societies for organizing the event.” More information about the CFA Challenge can be found at this web site: http://www.cfainstitute.org/community/challenge/.

The members of the two teams are: 
  • Andrew Crossman
  • Brooke Porath
  • Charles Muth
  • Connor Konicke
  • Stephen Arcuri 

  • Adam Hamilton
  • Grant Runnoe
  • Holly Kuffel
  • Jordan Luczaj
  • Michael Dennison

Objective of the Challenge: 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 challenge
Previous winners jumping for joy
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 15, 2017: Two teams of 5 students are selected. Dr. Krause is the faculty adviser and Dr. Joe Wall will serve as the teams' mentor.
b.      November 1, 2017: Kickoff meeting when the teams meet with the company’s executives. In mid-November the students visit the company where management makes a presentation similar to a typical “road show” for its investors.
c.       December 2017: Teams submit a first draft of their paper to their mentor and faculty advisor for critique.
d.      January 2018: 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.       February 15, 2018: 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.       March: The winning local teams compete at the Americas (North and South American teams) competition in Boston. (Expenses covered).
g.       April 20: Global Finals will be held in Hong Kong (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."