by Geoff Larcom, Published February 24, 2011
YPSILANTI – A team of finance students from Eastern Michigan University recently finished first during regional competition of the Global Investment Research Challenge, an event that tested the group's understanding of sound investment principles.
Eastern triumphed over four other universities during the event, held this month at EMU's College of Business. Competing schools included Grand Valley State University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Toledo and Heidelberg University.
EMU advances to further regional competition, to be held in Omaha, Neb. April 7. Team members are Michael Quantz, Van Pham, Chao Wang, Scott Winningham and Vachan Chruvatah. All are undergraduate finance majors.
In the competition, student teams assumed the role of a financial analyst making an investment recommendation. Members of each team met with senior executives of Wolverine World Wide, Inc., the subject company for this year's competition, to learn more about their business. The competition consisted of a written report and a presentation to investment professionals, who served as judges for competition.
The research challenge event is sponsored by the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute, which is a global, nonprofit organization of financial analysts, portfolio managers and other investment professionals. More than 400 colleges and universities around the world compete in the annual event. The CFA West Michigan Society sponsored the EMU competition.
"All of us at the CFA West Michigan Society congratulate the team from Eastern Michigan University, as well as the teams from all five universities represented in the competition," said Andrew Mason, president of CFA West Michigan Society. "The CFA Institute's Global Investment Research Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to gain real-life skills as they experience what it's like in the investment world, presenting your ideas and convincing others of the merits of a particular investment."
Jens Stephan, a professor and department head in accounting and finance who serves as the faculty advisor for the EMU team, said the competition represents an important learning experience for students.
"The Global Investment Research Competition offered a great opportunity for students to have a real-world experience in researching a public company and using fundamental valuation analysis to develop an investment recommendation," he said.
"This is a great accomplishment," said David Mielke, Dean of the EMU College of Business. "This competition, and our success, epitomizes the hands-on, global experience we seek to provide our students."