|Left – right: Miguel Alfonso Solidum; Nigel Williamson Lee; Corrine Francesca Reyes; Geoffrey Archangel Bautista; Diego Mikhail de Ocampo|
The University of the Philippines Diliman has been declared champion of the eighth CFA Institute Research Challenge Global Final, on June 17, 2014 at the Palawan Ballroon, EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, having won the Global Final in 2010. It is an annual competition considered ‘the investment Olympics’ for university students. The UP Diliman team beat out strong competition from the other finalists, Politecnico di Milano of Italy (representing Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and the University of Missouri, Kansas City (representing the Americas.)
The victory in Singapore earned UP Diliman the distinction of being the only university to win the Global Final twice, recognizing the world-class talent of future finance professionals in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region.
“The UP Diliman team has proven again to be solid representatives of the future of our industry,” says April Lynn Tan, CFA, president of CFA Society Philippines.
“The team’s victory is an impressive feat as over 800 universities worldwide vied to make it to the finals and brings great honor to our country. We thank the team’s mentor and teachers who guided the team toward success. These aspiring financial professionals are the agents of the next era of finance – one of integrity, stewardship, and professional excellence. Through their strong leadership, knowledge, and ethics, we can move closer toward a more trustworthy finance industry.”
Commenting on nurturing financial professionals, Mr. Hans B. Sicat, President and CEO of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) said, “The PSE is committed to providing continuing education to market participants and investors. As such, it commends the CFA Institute for its efforts in supporting the development of the next generation of financial professionals through the Research Challenge. The future of investment research looks even better when students are exposed to the excellence and ethical standards observed by CFA charterholders, and the team from the UP Diliman is to be congratulated for being the best in the field.”
CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, and its over 140 member societies worldwide including CFA Society Philippines, host local and regional Research Challenge competitions leading up to the Global Final, where the winning teams from the three regional finals compete. In 2013-2014, more than 3,700 students from over 800 universities around the world participated in the Research Challenge.
The Research Challenge offers students the unique opportunity to learn applicable professional skills from leading industry experts and gain real-world experience as they assume the role of a research analyst. The UP team of Geoffrey Archangel Bautista, Diego Mikhail de Ocampo, Nigel Williamson Lee, Corrine Francesca Reyes, and Miguel Alfonso Solidum presented a buy recommendation on Meralco and defended their recommendation before an international panel of judges. Raymund Abara, CFA, of Vicsal Investment Inc. served as mentor, while Professor Daniel Vincent Borja served as faculty advisor.
“We are very honored to share this achievement with the Philippine finance community. Our rigorous preparation every step of the way has helped us learn what it takes to excel in the finance profession. Financial skills are important, but so too is adherence to the highest ethical standards,” says Professor Daniel Vincent Borja.
The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual educational initiative that promotes best practices in equity research through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills. Throughout the course of the competition, which requires hundreds of hours of preparation, participants receive mentoring from an industry professional as they analyze a publicly traded company, write a professional research report, and present their research results and recommendations to a high-profile panel of experts. Ethics and professional standards are at the core of the process and all participants are held to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. Points are awarded to teams on the basis of their investment case, poise, and ability to answer the judges’ questions.
The winning team is awarded a USD$10,000 grant for the university, and each team member receives a scholarship for the CFA Program.