Loyola Business Blog

Team Loyola wins regional 2016 Global Investment Research Challenge

Loyola University Maryland undergraduate students won the CFA Institute’s 2016 Washington, D.C. - Baltimore region’s Global Investment Research Challenge in February.

The team was assigned The Advisory Board Company for the challenge. “We had to conduct a financial and market analysis, as well as financial modeling, in order to create an investment recommendation and presentation,” said Kat Podlovits, ’16, a double major in finance and international business. “We presented our research and recommendation to judges and other CFA designation holders.”

Loyola undergraduate business students at the regional 2016 Global Investment Research Challenge Loyola competed against five schools in this year’s challenge: George Washington University, Towson University, University of Baltimore, and two graduate teams from University of Maryland’s MBA and Master of Science in Finance programs. Typically, all major business schools in the state participate in the regional competition, including teams comprised entirely of graduate students. Aggregation data platforms like Bloomberg, Capital IQ, and Morningstar are essential to compete.

Professor of Finance Frank D’Souza has been the faculty advisor for all CFA Institute challenge teams. “I am so proud of the effort that these students put in, researching during their winter break, late into the evenings, and then working to put together a fantastic report and presentation to win the regional round.”

The team unanimously agreed the amount of time and effort put into this challenge was more than they originally expected.

Demanding tasks for the challenge required the students to work from November through early February to gather information, make their predictions, build a model, write the report and create a presentation. They dedicated time during winter break and many all-nighters in Sellinger’s Student Experiential Learning Lab (SELL), working until 6 a.m. getting everything together.

“It was difficult, but I felt we had great team chemistry which helped us get through the challenge,” said team member Antonio Cartolano, ’17, a double major in accounting and finance.

Connor Pietrak, ’16, a business administration major, commented that he could not think of any other school project or academic assignment that he has put in a comparable amount of work into. “I am so proud of what our group has been able to accomplish,” he said.

The team will travel to Chicago on Wednesday, April 13, for the national finals. The winning team from the nationals will compete in the global finals the next day.

In preparation for the nationals, the team plans to stay updated on developments of The Advisory Board Company and refine aspects of their original presentation. Cartolano said they plan to implement more sensitivity and scenario analysis to make their presentation’s conclusion stronger. “We are practicing the presentation through various test-runs with different faculty members to ensure the team is ready for any questions that could be asked,” said Pietrak.

Each team member said they have gained an appreciation for being persistent, perseverant, and a team player throughout this experience.

Congratulations to Team Loyola and good luck in Chicago!