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Department of Financial Management

UP team competes in the CFA Institute® Research Challenge: EMEA regional event in London

By Moira Mabalane

Posted on 16 April 2012

Moira Mabalane, Christopher Nel, Zainab Bhamjee, Marc Steinhobel, Sumaya Aziz, Christophe Harmse.
Moira Mabalane, Christopher Nel, Zainab Bhamjee, Marc Steinhobel, Sumaya Aziz, Christophe Harmse.

The University of Pretoria team, consisting of five honours students, won the South African local challenge which saw them advance to compete in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regional final, which took place at the Barbican Centre in London on 14 and15 March 2012.

This part of the competition hosted 24 teams from EMEA, but only one team could earn the EMEA regional winner title and advance to the global finals, which took place in New York, USA on 11 April 2012. Stockholm School of Economics in Switzerland walked away with the title of EMEA regional winners.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a global competition which tests the analytic, valuation, report writing and presentation skills of university students. The Challenge gathers students, investment industry professionals, publicly-traded companies and corporate sponsors together locally, regionally, and globally for a world competition.

In order to promote best practices in equity research and company analysis, students research, analyse and report on a company as if they are practicing analysts.

Acting as analysts, Sumaya Aziz, Zaainab Bhamjee, Christopher Harmse, Christopher Nel and Mark Steinhobel researched, reported and presented the company analysis and their findings on the subject company Bidvest, in front of a panel of industry experts. The team faired extremely well against their fellow competitors and made the University proud. They were accompanied by Miss Moira Mabalane, the teams’ Faculty Advisor.

Business and finance students participating in the CFA Institute Research Challenge interacted with investment professionals and top firms while getting real-world experience in equity analysis, sell-side research report writing, and presentation skills. This was truly the case, since the University of Pretoria students had the opportunity to network and form new relationships and get acquainted with their future industry associates.

Commenting on the event, Nitin Mehta, managing director of the CFA Institute (EMEA) said: “Now in its sixth year, the IRC has brought together a record number of 3 000 students from 55 countries and 700 universities worldwide, making this competition more exciting than ever before, and we are proud to be able to be strengthening relationships between students, faculty and industry.”

For the UP team, the overall experience was great. A lot of hard work went into the Challenge and the preparation was extensive, however the opportunity in itself was rewarding. The added bonus of touring the chilly city of London made it all worthwhile for the UP team.

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