In collaboration with the Chartered Accountants-School of Accounting and Finance (CA-SAF) Centre for Capital Markets Education and Accounting and Finance Student Association (AFSA)|Finance Focus, the Investment Research Challenge (IRC), provided 62 School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) students the opportunity to network with industry professionals and most importantly, allowed them to demonstrate and hone their skills and knowledge in Finance.
The competition required student teams to defend their buy/hold/sell recommendation of a randomly assigned stock through a submission of a two-page report, supplemented by an in-depth analysis. In the first round, 20 teams comprised of 3 or 4 students presented to a judging panel of faculty and recent alumni. On this judging were Prasanth Pahirathan, Analyst, Manulife Financial, and Chaoran Wang, Analyst, Economical Insurance. The presentations were followed by a 5-minute question & answer session. In the final round, the top 4 teams presented to industry panelists comprising of:
- Ashish Kapoor, Chief Financial Officer DealNet Capital and Gilla Inc., and V.P. Finance, InterAmerican Gaming.
- Jason Kuo, Portfolio Manager, Global Corporate Securities, CPP Investment Board; Michael Liu, Entrepreneur.
- Mike Williams, Portfolio Manager and Investment Counsellor, Independent Accountants Investment Counsel Inc.
- Michael Wood, Research Analyst, Evans Investment Counsel.
- Nouman Ahmad, Manager, KPMG Corporate Finance.
- Tom Scott, Director, School of Accounting and Finance.
The final round drew many avid students who came to support their fellow competitors. All four finalist teams impressed the judges with their polished presentations, competence and professionalism and took home one of the Anish Chopra, IRC prizes.
Shuang (Linda) Teng (4A CFM), speaking on behalf of her team commented, "We are grateful to the School of Accounting and Finance for providing this opportunity to enhance our equity valuation, presentation and team skills. Through the Investment Research Challenge, we were able to apply materials taught from the classroom for a real hands-on experience." Teng, along with Krishna Murali (3B Math/CA) and Si-Mai (Michael) Wang (4A Math/CA) took home $2,000 in prize money as the winning team.
Likewise, the first runner-up team learned a lot through this experience that would help prepare them for their career goals.
"The shortened-format of the IRC really taught us how to focus on the key drivers of stock performance and how to be concise in our writing. Being able to make a quick pitch, draw a listener's attention, and leave a lasting impression are all crucial skills for financial interviews, and the IRC helped us to sharpen those skills to pinpoint accuracy,"
stated Dustin Fader (4A CFM), Jing Xu (4A CFM) and William Li (MAcc).
A common facet of all four finalist teams was their involvement in the Student-Run Investment Fund, an investment portfolio established by the School of Accounting and Finance. Team members who were involved in the Fund received prior hands-on-training in equity valuation and portfolio management with guidance from industry experts and supervision by finance faculty.
"We see a material difference in engagement, confidence, and curriculum understanding from students who participate in experiential learning opportunities, such as the IRC and Student Investment Fund, and we expect to see this competitive professional skillset carry with them throughout their careers," states Craig Geoffrey, SAF's Finance faculty.
Anish Chopra, Chair for the School of Accounting and Finance Student-Run Investment Fund and Managing Director and Head of Core Canadian Equities, TD Asset Management commended the students on their outstanding performance at the Investment Research Challenge:
"I was very impressed with the quality of the students' research presentations. This type of experience allows students to use their academic training in an applied setting."
"The School prides itself on providing a complete professional education," comments Tom Scott, SAF Director. "The Investment Research Challenge provides an opportunity for students to take the material that they have learned, apply it to an unstructured problem, and then defend their solution publicly. The result is that students integrate their financial knowledge and professional competencies more thoroughly and deeply; thereby making them better professionals."
"I congratulate the student teams on their excellent performance in the IRC. I was impressed by the intense competition in both the divisional and final rounds," explains Ranjini Jha, the Associate Director of Finance for the SAF. "The final was very close and a thrill to watch. The IRC was a terrific experience and we are grateful to Anish Chopra and the SAF-CA Centre of Capital Markets Education for their generous support of the event."
You can access the 2013 and 2014 IRC presentations through the Competition webpage and the 2015 IRC competitors can access the finalist presentations through LEARN.
Anish Chopra IRC Prizes $4000