The two teams that EADA sent to the CFA Research Challenge 2020 have been working hard since October to prepare their final research reports on this year’s company, Repsol. The reports were handed in on Thursday, February 6, with the finalists being announced a few weeks later. The CFA Research Challenge is a prestigious financial competition during which more than 5,000 students from leading business schools and law schools produce a report on a publicaly traded company.
Last year, one of EADA’s teams took first place in the Spanish final before moving on to the European final – and this year’s teams are poised to follow their lead. “The collaboration with academic advisors, team members and company representatives during the Challenge is invaluable,” says EADA professor Jordi Carenys. “All of this, combined with the practical analysis required of CFA teams, translates into a qualitative leap in the development of participants.”
One of the first steps in preparing the report is to develop a coherent strategy – this can be particular challenging with a company in such a specialised sector as Repsol, “We learned to be flexible in our strategy as a group,” says Jou. “In a project like this, it is impossible to stick to a single strategy, there has to be high degrees of adaptability and constant rethinking – the harder a project is, the more dynamic your strategy has to be.”
The teams are made up of ten participants from all over the world from the International Master in Finance and Master en Finanzas – Bilingüe. For Estefanía, one of the most rewarding aspects of the experience was working in a diverse team. “The fact that we were able to connect as a team to complete this project was great,” she says. “I am not only proud of the knowledge and experience that we gained, but of the friendships that we have built as well.”
Teams are closely mentored by an EADA faculty advisor, who provides guidance during the preparation of the report. For Adarsh, this support was inspiring. “The most rewarding part of the experience has been all of the people that we have met throughout the CFA process who were committed to helping us,” he says.
Students from both teams whole-heatedly recommend participating in the CFA Research Challenge. “I would highly recommend the experience – doing an entire company valuation from scratch provides so much insight,” says Christian. “It was great to see how all of our hard work came together to create a story that backed up the report conclusions.”