Elon team gains financial analysis experience in CFA Institute Research Challenge

A team of finance students acted as financial analysts during the annual global competition.

Jessica Joblin ’22, Nicole Giacalone ’22, Thomas (TJ) Remillard ’22, Zach Penta ’22 and Natalie Ivanov ’22 assumed the role of financial analysts during the 2022 CFA Institute Research Challenge, an annual global competition providing training in financial analysis and professional ethics.

Five people smiling
Jessica Joblin ’22, Nicole Giacalone ’22, Thomas (TJ) Remillard ’22, Zach Penta ’22 and Natalie Ivanov ’22 represented Elon in the CFA Institute Research Challenge.

Under the mentorship of Professor of Finance Raj Gupta, CFA, the team researched ChannelAdvisor, valued the company’s stock, wrote an equity research report, and presented their investment recommendations virtually to a panel of industry professionals.

“Creating the company analysis built a sense of community and camaraderie among the Elon team, leading us to constantly want to challenge ourselves to consider all perspectives of the e-commerce industry,” Giacalone shared. “We used our previous finance knowledge to conduct pieces of research to craft a story that made sense for this company while keeping in mind its competitors and our audience.”

“The CFA competition provided me with the opportunity to see a real example of a stock analysis and valuation,” Joblin added. “Because of this competition I have improved upon my technical and presentation skills, which will bode me well after graduation.”

The Elon team placed third in the North Carolina finals hosted by CFA Society North Carolina. Participating teams included Appalachian State University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, North Carolina State University, Campbell University and others.

Due to current changes in the market, Elon’s team revalued the stock last minute and adjusted the slide decks in order to present the most updated and impactful analysis possible.

“One key takeaway from this is that I had to be open and adaptable to change, whether it be changes in the market or even being open-minded to new perspectives from team members regarding our valuation,” Giacalone said. “These key factors enabled me to add the best value to the team.

“The competition provided me with a glimpse of what it takes to contribute to the competitive finance atmosphere outside of Elon and that I will remember forever.”