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PHBS Students Win Regional CFA Institute Research Challenge

Time:2019-03-22 16:44:00  Hits:[]
The trio representing PHBS at the 2019 CFA Institute Research Challenge in Shenzhen, came out as the winners of its South China Local Final, held in the end of February. Supervised by Professor Daniel Kim, known for his thorough corporate finance course, team members Yasong Nian, Huanchen Yao and ChenFeng Yu were elated at winning. All of them are finance students, Class of 2017. Said Yu, “I think I jumped off my seat when we heard our names!” 
The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition focused on equity research that provides students hands-on experience with close mentoring and training in financial analysis. Teams of three to five are presented with actual cases for which they act as research analysts to value the stock, write a report, and present their recommendations to a panel of experts.

From left to right:  ChenFeng Yu, Huanchen Yao ( Teresa)  and  Yasong Nian
As winners of the local competition, the team is ready to take on the next step of the challenge, the Asia Pacific Regional Competition. It will be held in Sydney Australia on March 29, (other regional events are held in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Africa), where they will compete against students from other top business schools in the region. Those winners then compete for the top award in the final global competition.
Nian, Yao, and Yu shared their experiences in the following Q&A.
Q: What was your motivation for joining this competition?
Nian: Firstly, it is a global competition. I have been studying finance for two years and hoped to apply what I have learned to the practice. At the same time, I hoped to learn more about stock research in the competition to enrich my graduate experience.
Q: What was your team formation process like?
Yu: Yasong and I are roommates and really good friends. Teresa is my classmate and I really wanted to work with her. She has strong research and presentation skills. When I was invited to join, I joined immediately.
Nian: Teresa and I attended UNLEASH together and I had a good impression of her. We are both familiar and interested in research equity, and so we also hoped to get a “free ticket” to Australia.(UNLEASH is a global innovation lab that each year brings together people from all over the world to transform 1,000 personal insights into hundreds of ideas, and build lasting global networks around the UN's Sustainable Development Goals ) 
Q: This is high profile competition where the best schools attend, so were you optimistic to win?
Yao: CUHK Shenzhen is really strong. We read their report in the last two competitions and they did very well, but we still had good hopes.
Yu: I was confident that we were going to win. We worked hard and put a lot of effort, plus we are a really good team.
Q: What was hard about the process?
Yao: We were only three, and we had to finish the report and PowerPoint, as well as prepare for the Q&A in a very short time. Other teams had five members, so the workload was better distributed. We spent two weeks on the report and one week on the PowerPoint and Q&A. Then, the judges – mostly fund managers and CFA charter holders – will grade the reports, and then decide what teams can participate in the presentation. Then, another team will judge your Q&A performance. The total score is based from these two parts. By the way, we won the first place in both the report and presentation.
Q: Surely, during this time you also had other responsibilities. How did you balance the work from the competition and the responsibilities at PHBS where the workload is pretty heavy too?
Nian: I think that having a clear list of priorities that are ranked by both urgency and impact helped us cope with the workload from both school and the competition. It was not easy, but we did what we thought was important at that time.
Q: How does it feel to have won such an important competition? What was going through your mind?
Yu: It felt great when we were announced as the winners. There was a feeling of pride to see that our hard work paid off. I think I jumped off my seat when we heard our names. From the very beginning we had trust in ourselves that we could be the winners, so it was joyful to see it materialized.
Q7: Are you looking to join more competitions like this one?
Nian: If there are good ones, I would like to participate. But my focus is now shifting towards my thesis and future career preparation.


 By Seimar Solano Nelson
Edited by Annie Jin 

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