The West Texas A&M University CFA Research Challenge team won the 2015 Southwest U.S. Championship Feb. 21 at Rice University. The team will now advance to the Western Hemisphere and Global Championships in April in Atlanta.
The CFA Institute Research Challenge—Southwest U.S. is an annual stock research competition hosted by the Charted Financial Analysts’ (CFA) societies of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma and part of the Global CFA Institute Research Challenge. With more than 25 universities participating, the Southwest U.S. is the second largest CFA competition in the world. The principles applied in the CFA Research Challenge are core knowledge of equity investments; leadership, management and communication skills; and standards, ethics and regulations (SER).
This year each team researched Panhandle Oil & Gas (PHX), an energy company headquartered in Oklahoma City. Based on the quality of the written stock recommendation report, eight teams were chosen as finalists to participate in the oral presentation round at the regional finals. During the oral presentation competition, the WTAMU team faced competition from Texas Tech University, University of Houston, Southern Methodist University, Nicholls State University, Saint Mary’s University, Texas State University and University of Texas – Dallas. Previous Southwest regional champions include Rice University in 2014, Texas State University in 2013, University of Texas – San Antonio in 2012, Rice University in 2011, University of Houston in 2010 and Texas A&M University in 2009.
“The students analyzed and valued the company, wrote a 86-page recommendation report, presented their recommendation and answered questions from a prestigious industry-judging panel,” Dr. Barbara Wang, Gene Edwards Professor of Banking and faculty sponsor, said. “We are really proud of our students and the opportunity to move to the finals will be a great experience.”
The team of five students worked for five months on the valuation.
“I think from the very beginning we viewed the CFA Challenge as an incredible opportunity to learn and to gain real-world experience,” Tyler Young, an economics and finance graduate student from Canyon, said. “We viewed the competition as a chance to showcase what we have learned during our time at West Texas A&M and represent our University.”
“It helped to synthesize what I am learning in the classroom and makes the field of finance more approachable,” Hunter Ham, an economics and finance graduate student from Houston, said.
“A lot of hard work went into winning the regional championship, which is probably the proudest collegiate achievement for each of us as individuals and as teammates,” Vitaliy Skorodziyevskiy, an economics and finance graduate student from Kazakhstan, said.
George Cason, CFA, general partner of Cason Capital Management, served as the industry mentor for the students. “George has served as the industry mentor to our CFA Research Challenge team for several years, and we appreciate his valuable insight,” Dr. Anne Macy, Gene Edwards Professor of Finance and faculty adviser, said.
Team members are listed by hometown or country, classification and major.
Tyler Young—graduate student pursuing the M.S. in Finance and Economics
Hunter Ham— graduate student pursuing the M.S. in Finance and Economics
Vitaliy Skorodziyevskiy—graduate student pursuing the M.S. in Finance and Economics
Robert Snider—graduate student pursuing the Master of Business Administration
Phuc Hong Nguyen—graduate student pursuing the M.S. in Finance and Economics