Marquette finance students advance in investment competition


February 28, 2012

MILWAUKEE – Five undergraduate students from Marquette University’s College of Business Administration again have advanced to the next round of the Charted Financial Analyst’s Investment Research Challenge. The CFA Institute’s Americas regional competition will be held in New York in April, and the winner of the America’s Investment Research Challenge will then compete in the international final, which is also held in New York in April. This is Marquette’s fourth year participating in the prestigious CFA competition and they have won the local competition each year.

The Marquette students, who are all part of the college’s Applied Investment Management program, defeated teams from Carroll University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-La Crosse and UW-Milwaukee on Feb. 24 in the final presentations of the local competition, which was hosted by the CFA Society of Madison. Members of the winning team include Jacob Bear, Harrison Davis, Colleen Osborne, Bronson Wetsch and Alice Wycklendt.

“This year’s team did an outstanding job analyzing Marcus Corporation,” said Dr. David Krause, director of AIM. “They used a propriety survey, econometric modeling and various types of sensitivity analysis to arrive at their recommendation on the stock. They worked well together and I am pleased that they will have the opportunity to present their research findings in New York.”

“We wish to thank the CFA Societies of Madison and Milwaukee for hosting the challenge,” Krause added. “It gives students the chance to meet some of the finest investment professionals in the state and to interact with students from other schools. The challenge supports our educational efforts and helps groom the investment professionals of tomorrow.” 

How the challenge works
According to the CFA Institute, “In order to promote best practices in equity research and company analysis, students research, analyze and report on a company as if they are practicing analysts.”

Local CFA societies host and launch an Investment Research Challenge in conjunction with participating universities. The universities assemble teams of three to five business and finance students who work directly with a company in researching and preparing a company analysis.

The teams’ final presentations are evaluated locally 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 the regional competitions; winners there go on to the global finale.

Marquette and the CFA Institute
Marquette’s AIM program was the first undergraduate business program selected as a CFA Program Partner in 2006. The institute coordinates the investment profession’s most rigorous credentialing program. The partnership designation means that Marquette offers a degree program that covers at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge, the CFA Institute Ethical and Professional Standards, and additional requirements.

Students in Marquette’s AIM program must take four unique courses, Introduction to Applied Investment Management, Research and Financial Analysis, Valuation and Portfolio Management, and Investment Management, Ethics and Society, according to Dr. Krause. “The courses provide students with a strong business and financial base of knowledge,” he said. "But in keeping with our Jesuit tradition and the CFA Program standards, there is also tremendous emphasis on the ethical issues our graduates will encounter."