EMEA finalists

29 April 2019

BI Norwegian Business School’s “blue team” finished as a runner up in the final round of the EMEA CFA research challenge, among the ten best worldwide.

The team consisting of five talented students at the department of finance, had already won both the internal and Norway-Denmark competition before testing their skills against the best representatives from other European, Middle Eastern and African Universities and business schools in Zurich earlier this month.

CFA Team

“After winning the semifinal, our team missed one of the five judge votes to win the group A EMEA final round placing us among the top ten teams in the world. Our team represented the best of BI and spanned seven nationalities including the advisor and mentor,” says Professor and faculty supervisor, Janis Berzins.

Of the 1100 teams and 5500 students from around the world that started the competition in late 2018, 430 teams were from EMEA region. The CFA research challenge is an annual global competition that provides students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics. Students gain real world experience as they assume the role of a research analyst.


“This effort exemplifies our continued cooperation with CFA society to stay connected and to pass the best industry standards to our students, and to prepare our students to be top competitive finance professionals upon graduation with solid training in corporate finance theory, modeling, presenting, and debating skills”, says Berzins.

Intensive internship

Berzins adds that the CFA experience is best compared to an intensive internship where students develop a complex project from start to finish in close cooperation with their industry mentor and faculty advisor.

Gaute Hellerslia, one of the team members estimated that he and his team mates had spent some 250 hours each in preparations for the case, before the competition even had started.

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.

The team analyzed Borregaard ASA-, a Norwegian company that produces advanced and environmental friendly biochemicals to replace oil-based products.

This was the third straight year in a row a team from BI made it to the regional finals. You can read more about it here.

"It is an amazing story that BI Norwegian Business School is writing when they for three consecutive years qualifies for being in the EMEA finals. I must say that the development of both hard and soft skills observed over these six months for the BI student team is impressive and show immense dedication for the task”, says Kim Watle, board member of CFA Society Norway.

The CFA Institute, which is hosting the competition, is a global nonprofit member organization, consisting of financial analysts, portfolio managers and investment professionals from societies from 140 different countries.

“To be associated with such dedicated, hard working and highly talented group of students reflect very well on our CFA Society. I can tell that your school and the students' performance is noticed globally in the CFA Institute Research Challenge”, Watle adds.

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