The Toronto CFA Society has chosen four group finalists, including a team of Schulich School of Business students, in the annual CFA Institute Research Challenge, an equity research competition for student teams from the world’s top university business and finance programs.
“The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a unique, global competition and the Schulich team dedicated a lot of hours and a lot of hard work to make it into the local final,” said Pauline Shum, director of the Master of Finance program at Schulich.
“The CFA Institute Research Challenge asks student teams to work with a CFA [chartered financial analyst] mentor to research, analyze and present a detailed equity research report on a subject company. The Schulich team worked with CFA Dale Powell from Morningstar Canada to research Onex Corporation, a Canadian private equity company.”
Right: From left, Rebecca Schoenhardt, Zac Wang, Shane Dixon, Malcolm MacQuarrie and Sean Moore
In the report, the Schulich team had to analyze every aspect of the company to come up with a 12-month valuation target. “It was quite the challenge because Onex is a very complex company, but the team demonstrated solid, thorough research and valuation skills, used strong technical writing, presented their data and analysis in a creative fashion and managed team dynamics effectively,” said Shum
On March 1, Schulich students Shane Dixon (MF ’12), Sean Moore (MF ’12), Malcolm MacQuarrie (MF ’12), Rebecca Schoenhardt (MBA ’12) and Zac Wang (MF ’12) will present their research to a panel of judges at the BMO Customer Care Centre in Toronto. They will compete against teams from University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto, Scarborough.
The winning team will be determined based on the quality of its written analysis and presentation, and will qualify for the regional North American competition in New York City on April 10. The regional winner will advance to the global final in New York City on April 11.
“Being selected to represent Schulich in the regional finals of the CFA Institute Challenge is both an honour and a pleasant confirmation of all the hard work our team committed to,” said Schulich team leader Dixon. “Participating in the challenge has been a great learning experience. Not only have we developed a greater understanding of the mechanics of a formal research report, general investment research and valuation techniques, but also an appreciation for the virtues of teamwork.”
Everyone on the team came to the table with a different background. “This gave us a wide range of skills and perspectives to tap into to build the report, encouraging us to think outside the box and it ultimately concluded in a more well-rounded report. In fact, I’d say some of the strongest areas of our report resulted from our team brainstorming sessions,” said Dixon.
The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual educational initiative 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.
Local CFA societies, including the Toronto CFA Society, together with the CFA Institute, hold local competitions involving teams of three to five business and finance students from participating universities who work directly with a local company and a mentor.
More than 2,500 students from 546 universities around the world participated in the 2010-2011 competition, according to CFA Institute.
For more information on the challenge, visit the CFA Institute Research Challenge website.