March 27, 2013
Four business students travelled to Halifax, NS to represent Memorial University at the Atlantic Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Investment Research Challenge recently.
Lead-up to the competition involved months of prep work, which culminated in a presentation before a panel of judges in February.
Major Drilling International, a publically-traded company, was selected as the subject company for the competition in November. The Memorial team extensively research the company's published financial reports and obtained various industry and financial markets information using the Bloomberg terminals in the White Trading Lab at the Faculty of Business Administration.
The team also had access to its faculty sponsor, Luke O'Brien, who is a chartered financial analyst, and industry advisor Josh Quinton. A Memorial alumnus, Quinton works with Bloomberg in New York City and was recently awarded the university's Horizon Award for exceptional achievement for alumni under the age of 35.
Memorial's team members found the challenge, particularly the level of involvement from Major Drilling International, to be rewarding.
"A unique aspect of this competition was that all universities participated in an analyst conference call with senior management of the company," said Tulk, who captained Memorial's team.
"We were able to question the CEO and CFO directly about the company's business model and its financial prospects – not something a student gets to do every day," added Hiscock.
After months of research, the team consolidated its analysis into a 15-page report that valued the company using various financial techniques, including a complete discounted cash flow analysis. They presented their findings to six chartered financial analysts at the regional competition, which took place at St. Mary's University.
Seven universities, representing all Atlantic provinces, participated in the event, which also included a day-long Valuation Conference at which numerous industry representatives presented to the students.
Grading for the competition was equally weighted between the written report and oral presentation. Memorial's presentation, particularly its Q&A component, was well-received by those in attendance.
St. Mary's University won the competition and will represent the Atlantic region at nationals in Toronto, ON in April. Only one team is selected to move on to nationals and the remaining competitors don't receive a placement ranking.