This week, ones of EADA’s teams in the CFA Research Challenge 2020 has been selected to continue on to the final at the Madrid Stock Market next month. The CFA Research Challenge is a global competition designed to train participants in financial analysis. Each year, more than 5,000 students and 1,000 universities and business schools collaborate in the Challenge. Groups of students work together to analyse a publicaly traded company –this year the energy giant Repsol– to produce a research report with a buy, sell, or hold recommendation.
On March 2, the five finalists, including EADA’s team, will attend the final at the Madrid Stock Market, where they will defend their report. EADA’s winning teams are made up of a diverse group of participants from all over the world from the International Master in Finance and Master en Finanzas – Bilingüe.
For winning team member Gianfranco, it seemed like he had been working towards the CFA Research Challenge since his time as an undergraduate. “It felt like the natural progression of what I had studied for many years – my opportunity to see what the world of finance was really like,” he confirms. “I was very excited to put together a valuation from scratch and put into practice everything I had learned up until that point.”
His teammate Florian joined the team for the chance to work with his top classmates. “I wanted to collaborate with people who were really motivated – work together on something larger than the class, the programme or the school,” he says.
In fact, developing the skills to work effectively in a team has proven time and time again to be one of the biggest takeaways for participants. “For me, the biggest lesson has been the experience of working in a very talented, deeply committed team,” says Felicia. “We had to take the initiative and go beyond the simple CFA guidelines to build our own schedule and deliver a professional valuation report.”
EADA’s two CFA Research Challenge teams were chosen last October, when they began working on the research report for Repsol, including a comprehensive financial analysis and a final company valuation. The reports were turned in on February 6.
After months of preparation, the winning team is pleased to have been selected to continue on to the final in Madrid. Participants highly recommends the experience, citing a significant improvement in time management skills and a comprehensive understanding of valuation. “We had so much to do in terms of classwork on top of the CFA preparation,” says Ahmed, “but my team took the load off of my shoulders, and helped me concentrate on the job at hand.”
Kenya agrees: “Our team was able to create a synergy in which each one of us maximised our strengths and brought the best out of each other. I learned how to apply my knowledge to a real company, taking into account the complex industry in which it operates.”
EADA Professor Jordi Carenys, who helped select the CFA teams in October, confirms that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for students. “The CFA Research Challenge is one of the most prestigious competitions in the world of finance, with top business schools and law schools around the world vying to participate each year,” he says. “EADA has been sending teams for 5 years, and has consistently placed among the regional finalists – we wouldn’t have it any other way.”