Digital adaption secured top five position out of 1150 teams
They all agree that this was another hurdle to overcome, in addition to polish their arguments and performance from the previous rounds of the competition, where they had already spent more than 300 hours of preparations.
The Research Challenge is one of the world’s largest of its kind with 1150 universites participating in 2020, equal to about 6000 students.
This year’s research case was Oslo listed fish farmer Bakkafrost, which operates in a market segment and industry many of the students were unfamiliar with.
BI’s team cheered both judges and company representatives with solid arguments for a big upside potential in Bakkafrost’s current shareprice due new megatrends, acquisition synergies and product qualities compared to its peers.
“We had no clue about how many details and information we needed to be comfortable with in order to be able to stand on our feet during Q&A sessions with industry experts, during the Norwegian local final, and investment banking professionals in the upcoming rounds. It took time, and it was not always easy, but learning so much about a completely new topic is always interesting, and we managed to become very informed about it after all, says Francesco Romagnoli.
First class in Norway
He says he appreciate the intensive personalized mentoring process with individuals maturing professionally at a highly accelerated rate.
“It’s a wonderful professional challenge for me to come up with new ways to push our students to perfection. Fact that truly global interaction between students, industry and academia works very well under current circumstances, he adds.”
For the third time in the last four years, a team from BI has made it to the global final, supported by Berzins and industry mentor Shirley Xiuyi Dong from investment banking firm Cleaves Securities.
“The knowledge and insights as well as network the students can gain from participating is hardly achievable elsewhere. So it is highly recommended to any students who wish to pursue a career in the financial industry,” Dong says.
Make their mark
“I am hoping to remain in Norway and find a job in equity research. The competition has made me realize that this is my passion,” says Mazen Younes.
Tiziana Fadda, which already has a foot inside the industry with her part time job in liquidity and risk management department in Norway’s biggest bank, DNB, hope to secure a full time position there after finishing her master.
“This course was amazing since, compared to other courses, we actually performed a task that is similar to a real job experience instead of just studying theory or coding in matlab."
About the competition:
- The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual competition that invites university students, competing in teams of three to five, to conduct an in-depth analysis of an assigned listed company.
- Hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics are delivered through the network of CFA Institute member societies.
- Students are tested on their analytical, valuation, research, reporting, and presentation skills, and gain real-world experience as they assume the role of research analysts.
- In total, more than 6,000 students from 1,150 universities around the world participated in the competition this year.