Last month, EADA selected the team that will participate in the CFA Research Challenge 2021. This year’s team was made up of 5 members: Domenica Avellán Burgos (Ecuador), Paulina Jaensch (Germany), Albert Moragriega (Spain), Hans Troye (Norway), Thore Vogel (Germany).
The annual Research Challenge is hosted by the CFA Institute, the premier global association for investment management professionals. Each year, more than 5,000 students from top universities and business schools compete to produce a comprehensive equity research report for a publicly listed company (this year: CaixaBank).
Hans is especially interested in the unique challenges that valuing CaixaBank pose for this year’s team. “This year, we will do a valuation of a financial institution, which is somewhat different from valuations of ‘normal companies’,” he says. “I have never evaluated a company before and this experience will help me prepare for my future goals working in finance.”
The Challenge involves several steps:
- Analysis of a public company
- Mentoring by a professional research analyst or portfolio manager
- Writing an equity research report
- Presentation of research to a panel of experts
EADA has consistently been placed in the top three positions in the Madrid final, with one team making it all the way to the EMEA final. “Attending the EMEA final was a great experience,” confirms Jaume Bonet, director of the programmes in the area of finance. “This year’s team is very motivated to repeat that success.”
Thore is thrilled to have been selected to participate. “My main motivation was to represent EADA in an international competition,” he says. “And, as the name says, it is a challenge. The experience is like a speed boost in Mario Kart; it catapults your skills forward and makes you learn at a much quicker speed.”
Teammate Albert was inspired to join the CFA team by previous participants. “What pushed me to participate in the Challenge were the testimonials from past team members,” he says. “I feel really excited about applying the knowledge gained during the programme to a real-life situation.”
There was stiff competition among participants to participate in the event, with just 5 students selected from the International Master in Finance programme. In addition to an in-depth analysis of each candidate’s qualifications, the Selection Committee heard individual presentations to evaluate communication and presentation skills.
Domenica is glad to be among those chosen to represent EADA. “Life is full of challenges and experiences; we can choose to stay in our comfort zone or take a risk and take a step towards our personal achievements,” she says. “I choose the CFA Research Challenge – it will give me the opportunity to develop valuable financial skills and soft skills with a real team experience.”
The teams have already started working, as the deadline for turning in the final equity research report is February 5, 2021. At this time, finalists are selected to compete at the Madrid Stock Market at the end of February, defending an oral presentation of their report in front of a panel of experts.
For Paulina, the Research Challenge is more about the journey than the destination. “This journey is a unique learning experience that will be as rewarding as it is demanding,” she says. “I am excited about pushing the learning experience to the next level in an extremely motivated and international team.”