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Walker College of Business team wins CFA Institute Research Challenge

BOONE—Five students from Appalachian State University’s Walker College of Business have won the N.C. CFA Institute Research Challenge, besting student teams from Elon University, N.C. State University and UNC Wilmington.

View larger imageWalker College of Business students Zachary Lavasque, left, Cameron Newell, Madison Bigham, Jack Bishop and Clark Featherstone won the N.C. CFA Institute Research Challenge. (Photo by Sabrina Cheves)

Team members are Madison Bigham, Jack Bishop, Clark Featherstone, Zach Lavasque and Cameron Newell. All are finance and banking majors and members of the college’s Bowden Investment Group. The group is funded by the Elbert V. Bowden Student Managed Investment Fund, which was established in 2000 to provide students the opportunity to gain investment experience.

The students presented their analysis and buy/sell/hold recommendations on Krispy Kreme Corporation. Their presentation at the CFA Society North Carolina was the culmination of months of research, interviews with company management, competitors and clients and presentation training. They were mentored by CFA member Chris Pavese.

“I am proud of these students. They are great representatives of Appalachian State University,” said Dr. Delbert Goff, a professor of finance in the Walker College of Business. “Their victory makes three in a row for Appalachian in the North Carolina competition. Appalachian teams have won in four of the six years that the competition has been held in North Carolina, and Appalachian is the only university in the state to have a team in the finals in all six years.”

Appalachian’s team, part of the business college’s Bowden Investment Group, advances to the Americas Regional competition March 18-19 in Denver, Colo. The students will compete against teams from the United States, Canada and Latin America. The winners of the three regional competitions (Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific) will compete in the Global Final in Singapore on April 25.

About the CFA Institute Research Challenge

The CFA Institute Research Challenge gathers students, investment industry professionals, publicly traded companies, and corporate sponsors together locally, regionally and globally for an annual competition. In order to promote best practices in equity research and company analysis, students research, analyze and report on a company as if they are practicing analysts.

Local CFA member societies and other affiliated groups host local level competitions of the Research Challenge in conjunction with the participating universities. The universities assemble teams of three to five business and finance students who work directly with a company in researching and preparing a company analysis. The team’s final presentations are locally evaluated by high-profile panels of heads of research, portfolio managers, and chief investment officers from the world’s top firms.

About CFA Society North Carolina

CFA Society North Carolina was established in 1971 to provide education and support to the area’s investment professionals. The CFA NC membership consists of portfolio managers, security analysts, investment advisors, and other financial professionals. It is one of the world’s largest societies of investment professionals. As of 2013, CFA NC was ranked No. 11 in the United States among CFA Institute societies, making our society one of the largest in the nation; CFA NC ranked No. 23 globally among all CFA Institute societies, again making it one of the largest internationally.

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