After winning the local stage of the CFA Institute Research Challenge in Sydney late last year, a formidable Griffith Business School team recently contested the Asia Pacific regional final in Singapore.

As a global educational initiative, the CFA Challenge promotes best practices in equity research among the next generation of financial analysts, through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills.

GBS students John Fan (team captain), Andrew L’Estrelle, Euan Orsini and Jason Rayment had already proven themselves against the best young business minds in Australia, and the regional final would allow them to show their wares once more in international company.

As expected, it was a very intense environment for the Griffith team in Singapore, surrounded by the best of the best in the Asia Pacific, confirmed Griffith University Academic Adviser, Dr Alexandr Akimov.

Among the 19 teams assembled representing their CFA societies, was an impressive team from University of Philippines, Diliman that would eventually go on to claim regional and global honours; becoming the first university to ever claim the trophy twice.

The Griffith team was unlucky to face the eventual winners in the first round of the regional format, performing exceptionally well to claim the spoils in the report score and finishing on-par in their overall presentation.

The University of Philippines were succinct and comprehensive in the all-important Q+A session, showing exceptional confidence and smoothness in their response delivery which propelled them through to the ultimate prize.

Dr Akimov commented that, “With the timing of the regional final our team had to put in a lot of work to refresh their data, but overall in just our second year of CFA Challenge competition I was extremely proud of the effort.”

Griffith Business School will look to make it third time lucky in the prestigious CFA Research Challenge with plans underway to establish another formidable team, in order to continue momentum in the competition.

The experience and exposure to the regional and global formats is sure to hold Griffith University in good stead with moves afoot to maintain the expert involvement of Ken Howard from Morgan’s as the team’s industry mentor.

Dr Akimov commented that support from an industry mentor is crucial to challenges of this kind. “Ken’s excellent contribution helped the team to get so far in this year’s competition and his continued involvement would be a huge bonus,” added Dr Akimov.

The objective of each team is to produce an initiation-of-coverage report on their assigned stock with a buy, sell, or hold recommendation and may they then be asked to present and defend their thesis to a panel of industry veterans.

The CFA brand has global recognition and for the entire team a winning item in the CV will place them in good company for any future equity research related job throughout the world.

GBS team captain John Fan has just completed his PhD thesis on momentum investing and commodity futures markets. His teammates Andrew, Euan and Jason are Bachelor of Commerce students at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus.

Griffith Business School’s new Dean (Academic) Professor Linda Trenberth commended Alexandr, Ken and the team for such a meritorious result and for all their hard work in helping to put Griffith on the global map. “We look forward to taking the big prize next year!”, said the Dean.