Graduates win honors at research challenge

IUS Horizon

IU Southeast competed in the annual Certified Financial Analyst Institute Global Investment Research Challenge on Feb. 23, walking away with second place honors. The team from IU Southeast consisted of graduates Greg Darnell, Tim Crockett, Matt Yost, Jim Magill and Erica Lange.

According to the CFA’s Facebook page, the CFA Institute’s Research Challenge mission is to allow students the opportunity to produce an equity research report based off of the investment industry.

Kevin Ragland, professor of Investment Management and faculty sponsor of the group, elaborated on the research challenge.

“Essentially, each team writes an initiating coverage research report on a local company’s stock,” Ragland said. “The result of the report is to recommend an investor to buy, sell or hold the stock.”

This year’s subject company was from Brown-Forman, which is one of the largest American-owned companies in the spirits and wine business. Some of the corporation’s brands include Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, Woodford Reserve and Early Times.

“The teams present their analysis to a local group of portfolio managers,” Ragland said. “They are then graded on both their written reports and their presentations, with each being equally weighted.”

The team with the highest score wins the local challenge and goes on to represent the Louisville area in New York in April at the Americas Regionals Challenge.

From there, the winners move on to the final challenge to compete with the regional winners from Asia and Europe. The winning team earns a grant for its university. The winners are also recognized locally for a first or second place finish with a mention at IU Southeast’s Honors Day event.

Jay White, dean of the School of Business, said IU Southeast has had two first place and two second place finishes within the past four years.

“I think our participation and performance shows that IU Southeast has quality programs capable of producing students that can compete with much larger and better known institutions,” White said.

Ragland said they typically start putting a team together around September.

“We send an e-mail to the graduate group and generate a list of interested students based on their responses,” he said.

Students are then screened based on work experience and courses taken, and five students are chosen.

“We pick the five that we think will make the strongest team,” White said. “Usually the members have different strengths and skill sets, analytical, communication, etc.”

Alishia Adamson, business junior, said she has not decided on a concentration yet but being able to be a part of this experience in the future may help sway her.

“I’m not sure which concentration I’m heading into between management and finance,” Adamson said. “If I do decide to go with finance, I’m definitely going to try to be a part of the challenge. It’s a great opportunity.”