For the second year in a row, a team of undergraduate and graduate students advanced to the finals of the Chartered Financial Analyst Investment Challenge.
Lauren Adams

(left to right) Tatiana Cepkova, Gregory Coats and Twisha Maskey

A team of four selected undergraduate and graduate students from Rider’s College of Business Administration was recently named one of the four finalists in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of Philadelphia’s 5th Annual CFA Institute Investment Research Challenge. This was the second time Rider’s CBA team has been named a finalist in just its second year of competition.

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, some 3,000 students from more than 650 universities in 55 countries participated and learned best practices from leading industry experts.

In the fall, the Rider team, composed of Tatiana Cepkova ’11, M.B.A. ’13; Gregory H. Coats ’13, a Finance major and Certificate in Investment Analysis (CIA) Program student; Twisha Maskey M.B.A. ’13; and Zhengming Rui M.Acc. ’12, worked with Cynthia Jones CFA, managing director of Financial Markets Analysis, who was assigned to the Rider team. Jones mentored the students during the research process and reviewed the team’s investment report about the subject company, Crown Holdings, the world’s leading manufacturer of metal beverage and food cans.

The Rider team, along with finalists from University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and the University of Scranton, presented to a panel of judges on February 21 in order to advance to the 2013 Americas Regional Final of the CFA Institute Research Challenge on March 20 in Toronto, which will include schools from across the Americas. The champion will continue to the Global Final in London on April 12.

“It is really exciting that our Rider team was selected as a finalist for the second year in a row, competing amongst this group of highly qualified teams in the Philadelphia area,” said Rider’s team adviser, Dr. Feng-Ying Liu, professor of Finance. “All team members worked extremely hard to research and to analyze the subject company as well as its competitors and the global market of its products. The team’s outstanding research report demonstrates their excellent research, in-depth analysis, and insightful valuation of the subject company. I cannot be more proud of our Rider team.”

The February 21 presentations were given at the Union League of Philadelphia. The judges included Bud Haslett, CFA, former executive director of the Research Foundation of CFA Institute; Rauiri O’Neill CFA, senior vice president and portfolio manager for PNC Capital Advisors; and Erin Arvedlund, financial journalist from The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“The CFA Institute Investment Research Challenge has been an extremely enriching experience,” Maskey said. “I started with a desire to learn, to work and to win, and with this I found that I was willing and able to do much more than I thought I was capable of. It gave me a true sense of achievement and affirmed my passion for a career in investments.”

Eight schools from across the region participated in the Philadelphia CFA Society’s Research Challenge. The other schools included Villanova University, Delaware State University, Drexel University, and Saint Joseph’s University.