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March 7, 2023Print | PDF
Congratulations to three Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) double degree students from the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University who earned a finalist spot in last month’s Local CFA Institute Research Challenge Finals. Students Dipal Doshi, fifth-year Business Administration (BBA) and Math (BMath) with UW, Natalia Rusu, fifth-year BBA and Financial Math Double Degree, and Violeta Shabatura, fourth-year BBA and Financial Math Double Degree travelled to Toronto on Feb. 16 to present their research findings at the CFA Institute Local (Toronto and Ottawa) Final Round and Awards Reception.
According to their website, “The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics. Each student will be tested on their analytical, valuation, report writing, and presentation skills. They gain real-world experience as they assume the role of a research analyst.”
Supported by faculty advisor, Bruce Everitt, and industry mentor Sean Patterson, the team had been preparing their recommendation since November.
We caught up with the team after the event to hear more about their experience:
Q. What was the role of the faculty advisor or coach and how did they help your team prepare?
A. Our Faculty Advisor and Mentor met with us throughout the competition to give us feedback on our assumptions, our financial model, and to prepare us for the judge’s Q&A. Professor Everitt provided us with CFA resources that guided our analysis and calculations. They were both available through email or Zoom to answer any questions we had in preparation of our presentations and final research report.
Q. Tell us about the equity research questions. What concepts were you exploring? What solutions did you present?
A. The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global equity research competition, consisting of in-depth analysis on a single company and the production a full equity research report and investment pitch. This year’s subject company was Payfare Inc., A zero cost payout solution that allows workers to choose how and when they want to get paid.
As a team, we prepared a research report and presentation that conveyed our investment theses, our target price and implied upside, our financial model and valuation, and our qualitative analysis regarding Payfare. This included our analysis of Payfare’s ESG score, their management team, external risks and catalysts, and how they perform against their industry peers.
Q. Where was the competition held, and what other schools did you compete against?
A. The preliminary round was conducted over Zoom and we travelled to Toronto to compete in the finals at the Arcadian Lofts.
The preliminary round included 13 universities across Ontario, and we competed in the final four against:
Q. How did you get involved in competing in equity research competitions? What interested you and/or who inspired you to join the Laurier Equity Research Team?
A. Professor Everitt initially reached out to the Laurier Women Investment Society to promote the competition and this inspired us to join and get involved. We are all interested in a career in the capital markets; from equity research, to investment banking and this inspired us to gain more hands-on experience.
All members on the team have previous experience that further pushed us to get involved and use our foundation of skills. Violeta and Natalia were previously Equity Research Analysts on the Laurier Student Investment Fund and Dipal has Investment Banking experience at Origin Merchant Partners. Overall, we were all very excited to hear about this competition and were eager to represent Laurier.
Q. Without giving away any secrets, how much time is involved in preparing yourselves to be ready for an Equity Research competition?
A. The subject company was presented to us in November 2022 and our final report and presentation was due by the end of January 2023. We had three months to gather research, stay updated on company news and developments, create our financial model, write our initiation of coverage report and prepare our presentation.
Our first step included gathering as much information and resources that we could find, which included the CFA textbooks and previous course notes. To prepare, we met on a weekly basis at minimum and brainstormed ideas with ourselves and our faculty advisor and industry mentor. When it was crunch time, we met daily until we were confident in our final output.
Q. To end things off, can you tell us a fun story, or something interesting about your teammates?
A. Our team was very nervous about presenting so we made a plan to get to the final competition location hours before we needed to. We got there around 11:00 a.m. when the competition started at 4:00 p.m. and used that time to practice as much as possible. We practiced on the stage, did a microphone check and became good friends with the staff organizing the event!
Congratulations again to Dipal, Natalia, and Violeta on their success. Learn more information about the double degree options available in the Lazaridis BBA program and the Laurier Women Investment Society.
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