Master in Finance participants in the CFA Research Challenge 2018

28 December 2017

EADA will be represented CFA Research Challenge 2018in the CFA Research Challenge 2018, the most prestigious finance competition with teams from more than 1000 universities and business schools around the world. A total of 10 participants from the EADA International Master in Finance are attending this annual event, which is hosted by the CFA Institute. They all are divided into two teams. The first one consists of Ashiqur Rahman (Bangladesh-USA), Vittorio Crovari (Panamá), Sunny Gupta (India), Matilda Karlsson (Sweden) y Grecia Colmenares (México). The second one consists of Teo Sirola (Croacia), Niklas Wronka (Germany), Valentina Matas (Chile), Gerardo Palacios (El Salvador) y Kunal Talwar (India).

Regarding the selection of the candidates, there was stiff competition among participants applying to represent EADA due to the increase of people registered (34 in total). In addition to an in-depth review of professional qualifications, the Selection Committee heard individual presentations from candidates to evaluate communication and presentation skills. After meeting the finalists, all the teams started working on their investor report for a publically listed company (this year’s company is Indra). They all have to complete a comprehensive financial analysis, a 5-year forecast of financial statements and a final company valuation. Final reports are submitted by February 15 and finalists then compete at the Madrid Stock Market on March 8. EADA has consistently been placed in the top three positions in the Madrid final during the last three year’s.

According to Jaume Bonet, EADA’s International Master in Finance director, participating in the CFA Research Challenge 2018 is a unique experience at two levels: “The first one is finance knowledge, this competition allows participants to learn, improve and apply how to analyse and forecast financial statements of a company in order to perform a company valuation by different methods and to issue an investment recommendation. The second one regards to soft skills. Participants will reinforce team working and negotiation, communication and presentation skills. Additionally, they will be exposed to a competition and under-pressure environment”.

For all this, Bonet assures that “at the end of their projects participants will have a better preparation facing a job recruitment process”. In his opinion, “all the students who face this challenge see how their professional career progression is stronger and faster".

The experience of EADA students

CFA ChallengeTo Teo Sirola, one of the EADA’s International Master in Finance participants, “the CFA Research Challenge 2018 is a perfect way to challenge myself and do what I love most, the investment world”. In the same terms, Niklas Wronka says “this is perfect opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a realistic project framework to expand my understanding of holistic financial analysis and valuation”.

During the last weeks the teams have been working on the research and the methodologies. They did it with the support of Albert Vahlhaus, EADA’s associate professor in Finance and Strategy area. He has a wide experience in joint venture projects, mergers and acquisitions. “It is worth mentioning that we are very fortunate to be under his umbrella of guidance, as he has both the academic knowledge and real hands-on experience”, says Ashiqur Rahman, who holds the CFA Level I and II. He also launched his own coworking business (Hive) before starting the master at EADA.

According to Rahman, “we are analysing the national and sectoral trends of Indra’s business to establish correlations, which requires time and a lot of research”. As he affirms, “Indra is worth billions of euros, is present in many countries, has many sources of income, has made acquisitions of smaller companies and has experienced ups and downs in the market”.

In addition, Grecia Colmenares, who accepted the challenge to launch her own business, makes a very positive assessment of the experience."The CFA Research Challenge 2018 will be a turning point in our professional career. We feel like real professionals. I know we will continue to overcome more odds, but this is where all the empirical experience comes from”.