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Millsaps Team Named to Final Four of Mid-South Research Challenge


The Millsaps-Louis Wilson Fund team made the final four in the local competition of the CFA Institute's Mid-South Research Challenge held in Memphis on February 11.

The Millsaps 2012 team members include seniors Ryan Schultz, Shaka Moody and Ben Cooper along with MBA student Andrew Hatten. The team was advised by Walter Neely, professor of finance for the Else School of Management. Tim Frye, current MBA student, competed for Millsaps in 2011 and observed the competition. Julius Ridgeway, CFA and Millsaps MBA graduate now working with Medley and Brown, acted as industry mentor for the Millsaps team.

The competition required a written report which counted half and oral presentations with Q&A representing the remaining part of the judges' scoring.

Universities and colleges competing in the research challenge were: Harding University, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Texas A&M, Corpus Christi, Mississippi College, Henderson State, University of Memphis and University of Central Arkansas. Harding University won the competition.

Sponsors of the local Mid-South Research Challenge are the CFA Society of Arkansas, CFA Society of Memphis, the CFA Society of Mississippi, and FactSet.

Each university sent a team of three to five students to participate in the challenge, which is hosted by CFA Institute, the global association for investment professionals. The Mid-South Research Challenge competition was the first step for a local team to advance to the Global final. The students from Harding University will now travel to the Americas regional challenge, held on April 10, 2012 in New York, where they will match wits and their analytical, presentation, and research skills with student teams from Canada, the United States, and South America.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge offers students the unique opportunity to learn from leading industry experts and their 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. This year, more than 100 CFA Institute member societies will host local competitions with more than 2,500 students from more than 500 universities worldwide participating. Read more at the CFA Institute website.

The Mid-South Research Challenge students presented their analysis and buy/sell/hold recommendations on Polaris. Their presentation at the Mid-South Research Challenge finale was the culmination of three months of research, interviews with company management, competitors, and clients, presentation training, and evaluation.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge consists of the following components: 

  • Analysis of a public company - Teams research a publicly traded company, and company management presents to the team and participants in a question-and-answer session.
  • Mentoring by a professional research analyst - Each team works with an investment professional who mentors the team on the research process and reviews 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 industry professionals - the team with the highest presentation score is the winner.

The winners of the four regional challenges (Americas, New York, Europe, and Asia Pacific) will advance to compete in the global finale on April 10, 2012, in New York.

CFA Institute is the global association for investment professionals. It administers the CFA and CIPM curriculum and exam programs worldwide; publishes research; conducts professional development programs; and sets voluntary, ethics-based professional and performance-reporting standards for the investment industry. CFA Institute has more than 102,000 members, who include the world's 92,000 CFA charterholders, as well as 135 affiliated professional societies in 58 countries and territories. More information may be found at www.cfainstitute.org.