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 2018-2019 Research Challenge Kickoff Meeting

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a worldwide investment challenge which tests the analytic, valuation, report writing, and presentation skills of university students. This year, teams from 23 universities in the Philadelphia area are participating in the competition. The winner from the local level tournament will proceed to the regional competition and have the opportunity to be at global finals. 

The CFA Society Philadelphia had the Annual Research Challenge kickoff meeting on October 3. The event was hosted by Hirtle Callaghan at their offices. It aimed to give an overview of the CFA Institute Research Challenge to students and faculty. There were 75 students, faculty and CFAP members in attendance. Rob Norton, the President from CFAP, and Bill Hagan from Hirtle Callaghan gave an informative presentation regarding the purpose, the process, and the rules the Research Challenge. They also gave inspiring recommendations on analyzing business model and writing investment thesis. Finally, they answered questions from the students and the faculty.
The CFA Society Philadelphia hopes all the student participants can learn about best practices in research and report writing, and obtain valuable real-life learning experience as an Equity Analyst. We would also like to thank all the faculty advisor, industry mentors, and graders for their support and contribution to the Research Challenge. ​

Download the slides here.

 CFA Institute Research Challenge

​The CFA Institute Research Challenge offers students the unique opportunity to learn from leading industry experts and compete with peers from the world's top business schools. This annual educational initiative is designed to promote best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills. Additionally, all participants are introduced to and held to the standard of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

Over the course of the competition, university teams of 3-5 students each are mentored by industry professionals in writing an equity research report on a publicly traded company. The teams then present their findings to a distinguished panel of experts. 

The Challenge consists of the following components:

  • Analysis of a Public Company: Teams research a publicly traded company. Company management presents to the teams at the Kick-off event and participates in a Q&A session.   
  • Mentoring By a Professional Research Analyst: Each team works with an investment professional, who mentors the team on research process and reviews and critiques their report.
  • Writing a Research Report: Students produce an initiation of coverage report on the chosen company. The report is reviewed and scored by a group of judges.
  • Presentation of Research to a High-Profile Panel of Experts: Teams present their research to a panel of experts from top financial institutions. The team with the highest combined report and presentation score is the winner.
  • Advancement to CFA Institute's Global Challenge: The winners of the local competitions will advance to compete against teams within their geographic region, culminating in a global finale competition.​

 Winners from Past Years

2018 Local Challenge Winner
University of Delaware

2017 Local Challenge Winner
University of Delaware

2016 Local Challenge Winner

2015 Local Challenge Winner