A five member student team of future investment management professionals from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) showcased their research and analytical expertise when they competed in the annual Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Research Challenge, in Chicago, USA.
The team, who has defeated six universities during the South African leg, competed against 106 university teams and 500 students from the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East, in April 2016.
The UJ team was placed amongst the world’s Top 21, after they were overcame by the Italian team representing Politecnico di Milano in the regional finals of the Research Challenge.
Even though the UJ team did not make it to the final round of the competition, the feedback, for all the rounds, was positive, and specific mention was made of the team’s ability to answer questions unwaveringly, as the questions posed by the tribunal were continuous and constituted the majority of the allocated time.
“Developing a culture of presenting at competitions is important to the Faculty of Economic and Financial Sciences. The students should be extremely proud of themselves for participation in this prestigious and challenging competition. Our students’ performance was exceptional, as the level of competition was incredibly high. Our team competed teams representing top universities around the world,” says Mr Niel Oberholzer, Programme Manager: Honours Investment Management.
Mr Oberholzer added that this opportunity, to compete in international competitions, is part of the Faculty’s undertaking to graduate Honours in Investment Management with wide-ranging experience in a number of settings. “Not only are they exposed to leading industry experts but they compete with peers from the world’s top finance programmes thus advancing best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts.”
Now doing her Master’s in Investment Management, Ms Ashley Pedlar, the only female in the team, said that the whole experience was extremely enriching. “We learnt a lot from the other teams. It was interesting to see what other countries deem important in equity valuation. UJ put up a strong fight and received many compliments from various judges and teams, who thought we were strong competitors in the competition. Many conveyed that they were excited to see what future UJ teams have to offer.”
The UJ team won the SA round of the competition when they were doing their Honours in Investment Management in 2015.
Other members of the UJ team echoed Ms Pedlar’s sentiments and said that the experience has broadened their perspectives on an international scale, when it comes to equity valuations. They added that the experience has exposed them to a multitude of different cultures and how they perceive the process in general.