AUT Finance students walked away with the top prize at this year’s CFA Institute Research Challenge, hosted by the CFA Society of New Zealand. The winning team will go on to represent New Zealand in Manila, at the Asia Pacific Challenge in March 2015.
The students in the AUT team are: Angela Andersen, Nicole Pivac, Aashay Shah, Lucian Simmons and Bin Xu. For the fifth year running, the team was mentored by AUT Senior Lecturer Dr Katrin Gottschalk, CFA and Jeremy Simpson, CFA, Director Research at Forsyth Barr.
The Challenge involved researching, analysing and reporting on a target company – this year, Sky Network Television Limited (SKT) – as if the students were practising equity analysts.
Between August and October the teams attended several conference calls and analyst briefings hosted by SKT’s Chief Financial Officer Jason Hollingworth and compiled their research, financial analysis and valuation in an initiation of coverage report.
The teams presented their investment analysis and recommendation (buy, hold or sell SKT shares) at the grand final in Auckland on 10 October 2014, to a panel of top investment managers from Forsyth Barr, Castle Point Funds Management and Trust Investments Management. The judges, all of them CFA charterholders, were impressed by the quality of the student research showcased. The AUT team received special accolades for their comprehensive report analysing the company from every possible angle.
The team’s faculty advisor Dr Gottschalk said the competition was an invaluable learning experience for students seeking a career in the finance industry.
“Not only do the students get hands-on experience as financial analysts and mentoring from both academics and investment professionals, they also enhance their team management and presentation skills and learn to negotiate tight deadlines. Moreover, the benefits from networking with high-profile industry leaders and finance students from other universities are huge.”
AUT Finance students also won the 2013 New Zealand Challenge and placed second among 19 teams in the last Asia Pacific Challenge, held in Singapore in April 2014.
More information about the CFA Institute Research Challenge is available on the CFA Institute website.
Aashay Shah, faculty advisor Dr Katrin Gottschalk CFA, Bin Xu (back); Angela Andersen, Lucian Simmons, Nicole Pivac (front)