George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

George Mason Students Present at the CFA Virginia Investment Research Challenge

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As finalists in this year's CFA Virginia Investment Research Challenge, School of Business students Amit Chawla, Prince Jindal, Edward Ryder, Jason Shadish, and Chelsea Stearns presented their "sell" recommendation for Virginia-owned Brinks Company in front of a panel of judges and others at the Omni Richmond, in Richmond, Virginia.

"I believe that the students found the program a rewarding experience and I appreciate the excellent efforts in executing a well prepared research report and oral presentation," faculty advisor Shelly Canterbury commented on this year's competition.

The students' access to Bloomberg terminals, installed by the School of Business in October 2011, allowed them to conduct extensive research and analysis that would otherwise have been unavailable in the competition.

The students also worked with finance faculty, Dr. Steven Pilloff and Dr. John Crockett, who provided additional insight and assistance during the development of the team's report.

cfaThe CFA Virginia Investment Research Challenge is a stock research and analysis competition modeled after a program the New York Society of Securities Analysts (NYSSA) began eight years ago. It has now become an international competition sponsored by the CFA Institute.

George Mason's student team was one of six university teams to compete in the Research Challenge. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students, the competition featured teams of three to five students, a faculty advisor, and a mentor who is a member of CFA Virginia.

Teams analyzed Brinks Company and wrote an initiation report, which was graded by a team of fifteen judges. From these grades, the top four teams were invited to give an oral presentation in the final round of the competition. The written paper accounted for 50% of the total evaluation, the presentation accounted for the remaining 50%.

The winning team, Virginia Commonwealth University, will advance to the North American regional competition, to be held in Toronto Ontario, Canada. Winners of the North American competition will advance to the international global finale in London later in the spring.

While the George Mason student team didn't win the regional competition, they gained valuable experience participating in the challenge and advancing to the final round.

"The classroom is the 'tip of the iceberg' of their careers, and competitions like these give them real-world experience," says Canterbury.