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Elon wins local CFA Institute Research Challenge

Love School of Business students assumed the role of research analysts in one of the most prestigious financial analysis competitions, advancing to the Americas Regional level.

An Elon undergraduate student team placed first in the 2018 local CFA Institute Research Challenge hosted by CFA Society North Carolina on Feb. 17 in Greensboro, N.C.

The Research Challenge is an annual, global competition providing university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. It leverages the efforts of over 140 CFA member societies, 3,500 member volunteers, and more than 5,000 students from over 1,000 universities.

The Elon team of seniors Elliot Eisen, Dan Ford, Matt Kushner, Lauren Ray and Nicole Resetar researched Primo Water, authored a company report with a buy, sell or hold stock recommendation, and presented their analysis to a panel of industry professionals.

The team was mentored by Raj Gupta, CFA, associate professor of finance and director of the Reed Finance Center. Kate Upton, assistant professor of finance, helped the team in Gupta’s absence. Sheldon Reynolds, CFA, MEMBERS Trust Company, served as the team’s industry mentor, and William Ellick ’18 assisted in coordinating the team’s logistics.

"The CFA Research Challenge showed me what the expectations are like in the real world for stock valuations and analyses,” Ray said. “It allowed me to become more thorough with my research and quantitative approach to understanding a company. Working with such intelligent individuals has been great, and we are all so proud of our hard work and long hours in Koury Business Center."

Elon surpassed teams from Appalachian State University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington and North Carolina State University to advance to the CFA Institute Research Challenge Americas Regional in Boston March 19-20.

“Competing in the CFA Research Challenge was exactly that—a challenge,” Resetar said. “Despite some doubts and last minute changes, our team showcased exactly what it takes for underdogs to come out on top. It was a truly wonderful learning experience from a teaming perspective, and I’m so proud of the work we put in to become the first state winners in Elon’s history!”

“The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with likeminded individuals in the Love School of Business,” Eisen said. “The process of valuing Primo Water Corporation and presenting to a panel of accomplished CFA charterholders had an immense impact on my future career in finance. My involvement sharpened my presentation skills, and I now feel more confident than ever to present qualitative and quantitative components of a company to future employers.”

Nicole Filippo,
2/23/2018 12:55 PM