09:25 AM

CSB Finance Students Enter the FY 2023 - 2024 CFA Institute Research Challenge Competition

Ziwang HuangThe University of Saint Thomas-Houston Cameron School of Business CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) Research Institute Challenge Competition Team, which consists of three Master of Science in Finance (MSF) students, recently completed a three-month research project as their final project report for the FY 2023 – 2024 Texas Region CFA competition, which includes up to 34 universities such as Rice, UH, Texas A&M, etc.  UST’s team members were MSF students Ziwang Huang, Yekaterina Ilyakhunova, Robert R. Schwage, and one BBA in Finance student Matthew D. Hicks.

Yekaterina Ilyakhunova“The CFA Research Challenge was a unique experience, and I am grateful to have participated in,” Hicks said. “Even now, I’m using the technical skills I learned. This challenge has given me great inspiration and the opportunity to network with other finance professionals within the CFA Charter and with my fellow students on teamwork. Going back to the timeline of accepting the challenge, the idea of completing a project of this scope seemed impossible, until we turned it in.”

Robert R. SchwageThe CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition providing university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive financial analysis and professional ethics training. Students will be tested on analytical, valuation, report writing, and presentation skills. They gain real-world experience as they assume Matthew Hicks the role of research analyst.

How the Challenge Works

The team researched and analyzed a designated publicly traded company; prepared a written report on that company to support a buy, sell, or hold recommendation; received advice and support from a faculty advisor and an industry mentor; and presented and defended their findings to a panel of industry experts.

Guiding the students were Finance Professors Dr. Dan Hu, Dr. Sidika Bayram, Dr. Feiyu Liu, and Department Chair of Economics and Finance Dr. Joe Ueng, CFA. Assisting the team was Industry mentor Matt Caire, CFA, CFP®, CMT from Vaughan Nelson.

“It’s a pivotal moment that we choose to participate in the CFA Research Challenge this year,” Dr. Hu said, “I’m impressed to see our students apply their curriculum knowledge to meet the depth and vast nature of the analysis required in such a fierce competition. I’m so proud of the effort the students put into the challenge.”

The competition begins locally (September-February) and is organized and judged by CFA Institute society members and volunteers. The winning university team from each local competition advances to the sub-regional competition. 

CFA Research Institute will notify the teams by Feb. 15 if they advance to the second round of competition in Dallas on Feb. 24. If they win, they will receive a Research Challenge certificate from the CFA Institute.