SAN LUIS OBISPO — A team of students from Cal Poly Orfalea College of Business has won the 2021-22 Northern California Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge sponsored by the CFA Society of San Francisco.
This is the third time Cal Poly has won the competition since 2017. The team progresses and then competes against 11 universities from across the western United States in the annual global challenge.
The students competed in February against teams from 16 universities in Northern California and Nevada, including: Santa Clara University; San Jose State; University of Nevada, Reno; University of San Francisco; and UC Santa Cruz. A panel of industry professionals and CFA charterholders judged the presentations.
The research challenge is different from a “stock pick” competition, as students complete an in-depth analysis of a single company and produce a comprehensive stock research report. The winning team is chosen based on the rigor of their analysis and knowledge of that company, rather than the accuracy of their stock price predictions.
Cal Poly analyzed and made buy/sell/hold recommendations for PayPal Inc., a San Jose-based multinational corporation that provides financial transaction processing services. PayPal, a former subsidiary of eBay Inc., provides secure electronic payment processing services to customers worldwide.
Five finance students represented Cal Poly: team captain Alexandra Joelson of San Diego; Cameron Wong and Dominic Juliano, both of San Francisco; Shingo O’Flaherty of Walnut Creek, California; and Samuel Paik of Orinda, California. Finance professor Cyrus Ramezani and Cal Poly alumnus Scott B. Kirk (Business Administration, Financial Management, ’05) served as team advisors.
“We are fortunate to have such an exceptional and dedicated group of finance students representing Cal Poly in this year’s competition,” said Ramezani, who has advised teams since 2012. “Participating in CFA-IRC allows our students to demonstrate that they can compete with the students of the best universities in the world.These competitions also offer them the opportunity to compare their education with peer institutions.”
More than 5,000 graduate and undergraduate students representing more than 900 teams from universities from over 91 countries participated in the 2021-22 competition.
The Cal Poly team formed in November. The members believe they each spent hundreds of hours working on what Paik said “simulates a real-world project.”
“Our analysis focused on PayPal and the payments industry,” said the 21-year-old, who plans to graduate in June. “The research is used to generate an investment recommendation and a one-year price target for the company’s stock. The teams then write a 20-page report and present their research and assessment.
Wong, who will graduate this spring, was one of the writers and editors who also created charts and tables for the report. O’Flaherty, 21, was responsible for the visual design and organization of the slides as well as research and analysis. Juliano, 21, worked with Excel models to determine an actual target price that could tell a PayPal story.
And Joelson said she led the intensive analysis and evaluation effort to determine whether they wanted to buy, sell or hold the shares, complete the report and give a 10-minute presentation to a panel of stockholders. CFA charter.
“I work with an incredible team where we have all put in over 300 hours each on this project,” said the 21-year-old, who plans to graduate next year. “To put that into perspective, we spent two to three months every night working on this project until 3 a.m. We are extremely dedicated to representing Cal Poly and continuing to win. »
The CFA Institute Research Challenge usually begins in September and ends in May, meaning the team that wins the Global Finals can dedicate up to nine months to the effort. The competition has four stages: local, sub-regional, regional and global.
Organizers say participating students benefit in several ways: gaining access to financial industry experts; demonstrate analytical skills in research; gain exposure to new financial networks; improve their curriculum vitae; take part in travel opportunities; and gain a better understanding of a CFA charter that provides real-world expertise and skills in investment analysis.
“This project was probably the greatest learning experience I’ve had here at Cal Poly,” said Wong, 22. “I believe the project provided insight into the level of commitment and dedication required to produce this type of report. It also tested our ingenuity when researching and determining inputs for our model.
“As I really enjoyed this project, I would be interested in a job that requires similar tasks.”
OCB team.jpg – A team of five Orfalea College of Business students have advanced to the next stage of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute’s 2021-22 Research Challenge. Finance students, left to right, Dominic Juliano, Samuel Paik, Alexandra Joelson (team captain), Cameron Wong and Shingo O’Flaherty represented Cal Poly at the annual global competition. In the next stage, the team will face other universities from all over the western United States.
Photo by Austin Ma.
March 24, 2022
Contact: Cyrus Ramezani
805-756-1168; [email protected]