School of Accounting & Finance students win CFA Research Challenge and head to regionals

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Another winning student team from the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) will represent Ontario at the Americas Regional competition of the international CFA Institute Research Challenge. Congratulations to Brent Small (AFM), Adnan Khan (AFM), Daniel Zhang (Biotech/CA), Kamaljot Dhaliwal (CFM) and Rudder Zhang (BMath). 

student team of five young men
This marks the fourth year that a Waterloo team has won the Local (provincial) level competition to advance to the Americas Regional CFA Institute Research Challenge competition. The annual competition draws over 4,000 students world-wide from over 865 universities in 70 countries. The winning team from each of the Local competitions advance to one of three Regional competitions – Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe/Middle East/Africa – and two teams from the Americas Regional and one from each of the Asia Pacific and Europe/Middle East/Africa advances to the Global Challenge.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge requires student teams (1 team per university) to evaluate a selected public company, with Canadian Tire being this year’s company. Canadian Tire is a public corporation that also owns companies such as the Forzani Group, which includes Sport Chek and other sporting goods stores, Mark’s (a clothing retailer), CT REIT (a real estate income trust) and Canadian Tire’s gas station business, making it a challenging company to analyze.

CFA Society Toronto media release

CFA Society Toronto is pleased to congratulate the University of Waterloo on winning the Local level of the 2016 CFA Institute Research Challenge.  This is the fourth time the University of Waterloo has won the Local level and we are excited to see them represent Toronto on a global scale in the Americas Regionals taking place in Chicago.”

Students put an enormous amount of time - some over 200 hours of research – into their written report and preparation to present their buy/sell/hold recommendations for the publicly traded company. The SAF student team logged dozens of hours spent on Skype running through their presentation scripts as 3 team members were located at Waterloo on an academic term, and 2 were located in Toronto and Ottawa for their co-op work terms.

SAF Finance lecturer and the team’s faculty mentor, Craig Geoffrey, prepared the students well to ensure that their depth of knowledge of the case and their insightful valuation was noticed by the industry judges. It was best demonstrated during the final Q&A session to which, “each question answered [by the student team was] with pinpoint accuracy.” [...]