UQBS team reaches global financial analysis challenge finals

20 Oct 2015

A UQBS team came second in the annual CFA Institute Research Challenge – a global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis.

UQ Business students Daniel Murray, Alex Paton, Caroline Mullin, Philip Womack and Tom Trowse researched and reported on whether to buy, sell, or hold Sydney Airport Holdings (SAH) stock and presented their findings to industry experts at the regional finals in Sydney last week.

The team’s academic mentor, UQBS Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Australia Award – Endeavour Research Fellowship recipient Dr Rand Low, said he was extremely proud of the team’s performance.

“This is the second year we’ve participated,” Dr Low said.

“The competition is intense but - along with Bond University, University of Sydney and Macquarie University - we made the final four teams.”

Dr Low said team exemplified the calibre of UQBS students.

“UQBS finance courses provide students with problem-solving skills and training in practical, cutting-edge techniques that are crucial in the valuation of public-listed corporations,” he said.

CFA Charterholder and Associate Director of BDO Chris Catanzaro guided the team as industry mentor and said he was impressed by the effort the UQBS team put into preparing the report.

“The students successfully communicated their results clearly and concisely which is an extremely important skill for any analyst to have,” he said. “I commend them on their success.”

Daniel Murray said the competition provided a great insight into a career in equity research.

“Having the opportunity to produce a comprehensive sell-side report on Sydney Airport helped our team understand the key drivers of the business and the associated research required to evaluate a listed equity security,” Daniel said.

“The biggest challenge was delivering a robust valuation model for Sydney Airport. Using numerous techniques we were tasked to derive a price suggestive of our key assumptions. Challenges like this help us understand the importance of working effectively in a team environment.”

The CFA Institute Research challenge aims to promote best practice in equity research amongst the next generation of financial analysts. It tests the analytic, valuation, report writing, and presentation skills of university students whilst they are provided guidance from an academic mentor and an industry mentor.