Zurich next

11 March 2019

For the third straight year in a row, a team of finance students representing BI Norwegian Business School won the Nordic CFA Research Challenge.

The research challenge is a global competition that tests the equity research and valuation, investment report writing, and presentation skills of university students. This annual educational initiative promotes best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills.

CFA Nordic RC

“This event underscores our continued engagement with investment and analyst community ensuring that the portfolio of skills our students gain is in top demand, “says Professor and faculty supervisor to the winning team, Janis Berzins.

Two teams, the winning “blue team” and another “red team”, represented BI in the contest that this year was held at oil service company Aker Solutions and attended by a number of well-known investment banks as SEB, Sparebank 1 and Swedbank. Oslo-listed chemical firm Borregard was the case company the teams evaluated and wrote their research report about.

“The resulting work is a culmination of impressive effort by two groups of our students working on the case from October in environment where independent learning and creative work is highly emphasized”, Berzins adds.

The winning team are now set to compete against talents from other international business schools in the regional EMEA competition in Zurich next month.

Hundreds of hours

In an interview with the Norwegian daily Finansavisen, one of the team members at the winning blue team, Gaute Hellerslia, estimated that he and his team mates have spent some 250 hours each on preparation for the case.

CFA Nordic RC1

(The winning blue team.) 

Through the course of the competition, participants receive mentoring from a professional research analyst as they assess a publicly traded company, write a research report and present their research results and recommendations to a high-profile panel of experts.

Xiuyi Dong from Cleaves Security, who is the team’s industry mentor says the CFA research challenge is not only a competition, it also provides real world valuation practice, which is otherwise not easily accessible for students.

“The competition is an excellent way to know how the equity analysis works and prepares the students for a potential career in this field, “she says.

The role of industry mentor and faculty advisor is to support, guide, and accelerate this effort.

“It underscores our drive towards research-based teaching, being relevant to the industry standards, and placing learning above teaching though mentoring,” says Berzins.

In last year’s CFA competition, BI’s team ended as top three worldwide amongst more than 1000 participating Universities and Business Schools.


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