The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Since this competition first started in 2002 more that 15,000 students from more than 1,000 universities around the world have participated. The 2016 competition regional and global finals took place in Chicago.
The Swedish Local Research Challenge kicked off in October 2015. It was the 10th year the competition was held, and the 8th time the Research Challenge was organized in Sweden. Six teams participated representing the universities of Linköping, Gothenburg, Lund, Mälardalen, Stockholm and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The students were given the task of preparing a sell-side research report including a buy/hold/sell recommendation on the Swedish company Doro. Each team was assigned a mentor, a CFA charterholder, by CFA Sweden for guidance.
A few weeks into the competition, the students and mentors were invited to Stockholm to meet Doro’s CEO Jerome Arnaud. Mr. Arnaud gave a 1-hour presentation of the company profile and strategic outlooks, followed by a 30-minute Q&A session. After the presentation each team had an opportunity to ask 1 folllow up question by email until mid-november. Mr. Arnaud’s answers were distributed to all teams.
The teams spent the remainder of 2015 completing the written reports and handed them in for grading in December. Three independent graders, also CFA charterholders, evaluated and graded the reports. The four teams with the highest total score (Lund, KTH, Linköping and Stockholm University) were invited to the local Swedish final in February 2016 where each team gave a ten-minute presentation arguing and supporting their conclusion from the written research report. Following the presentation, there was a ten-minute Q&A from the four people strong jury comprised of investment professionals. The jury graded the teams based on their performance and the final score was a combination of the scores from the written report and presentation respectively. KTH Royal Institute of Technology received the highest score in total as well as on each individual segment, but the scores of the additional three finalist teams were very close.
It’s worth remarking that 2 representatives of Doro’s board of direcors attended the final and noted a high quality of students’ work.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology represented by: Mehrdad Danial Bahador (team leader), Nassif Mansour, Sara Emelie Malmberg, Anton Persson, Edward Sai Kuen Sikorski and mentored by Malcolm McNab, CFA (Pareto Securities) thereafter represented Sweden at the EMEA finale in Chicago in April. Despite a strong performance and the coaching they unfortunately did not maker it passed the second round in the tournament. Politecnico di Milano — Representing CFA Society Italy won the EMEA finale and University of Waterloo Representing CFA Society Toronto and CFA Society Ottawa won the Global Competition