This was the University’s first year to compete in the competition where university-sponsored teams that research and analyze a designated publicly traded company, prepare a written report and then present their findings to a panel of judges.
Meaghan Haugh

From left, Elizabeth Williams, Damien Hughes and Imola Bordas participated in the CFA Institute Investment Research Challenge.

A team of four selected graduate students from Rider University’s College of Business Administration was recently named one of the four finalists in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of Philadelphia’s 4th Annual CFA Institute Investment Research Challenge.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a global competition between university-sponsored teams that research a designated publicly traded company, prepare a written report on that selected company and then present their findings to a panel of judges. Last year about 2,500 students from more than 546 universities in 45 countries participated and learned best practices from leading industry experts. This was Rider’s first year competing in the competition.

In the fall, the Rider team, composed of Imola Bordas M.B.A. ’12, Damien Hughes ’09, an M.B.A. student, Elizabeth A. Williams ’10, M.B.A. ’12, and Li Li M.Acc. ’11, worked with Cynthia Jones CFA, managing director of Financial Markets Analysis. Jones, who was assigned to the Rider team, mentored the students during the research process and reviewed its investment report about the designated company, Endo Pharmaceuticals.

“It is phenomenal that our Rider team was selected as a finalist among 10 high quality teams in the Philadelphia region. This shows that our Rider students can compete equally with top business school students,” said Rider’s team adviser, Dr. Feng-Ying Liu, professor of Finance. “I am very proud of our Rider team. They worked very hard and did a fantastic job in writing the report and presenting their research.”

The Rider team, along with finalists from Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Scranton, presented to a panel of judges on February 23 in order to advance to the 2012 Americas Regional Final of the CFA Institute Research Challenge on April 9 in New York City, which will include schools from across the nation. The team from the University of Pennsylvania was selected to compete in regionals.

The presentations on February 23 took place at the Union League of Philadelphia. The judges included Shari Reams-Henofer CFA, Esq, senior vice president and relationship manager at PNC Real Estate; Mark Shultz, D.Phil. CFA, portfolio manager at MTB Mid-Cap Growth Fund; and Erin Arvedlund, business columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer and author of Too Good to be True – The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff.

“My teammates and I worked really hard from the beginning to the very end, each contributing in our areas of strength and doing our part to ensure that the final report was our best work,” Williams said. “The experience was a lot of work but also a lot of fun, and we learned a lot from the entire process. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such high quality people, including our professional adviser, Professor Liu.”

Ten schools from across the region participated in the Philadelphia CFA Society’s Research Challenge. The other schools included the Pennsylvania State University, Drexel University, Villanova University, Saint Joseph’s University, La Salle University and Widener University.