Rutgers wins regional championship in CFA Investment Research Challenge

Monday, March 16, 2015

A team from Rutgers Business School captured the regional championship in the annual CFA Investment Research Challenge. 

In a competition that initially pitted them against 19 other business schools in the region, the Rutgers team – MBA students Matt Fishbein and Susan Smith; Newark undergraduate John George; and New Brunswick undergraduates Vikram Kesavabhotla and Greg Timko – presented a report on JetBlue, offering the type of analysis of the company that would be offered to prospective investors.

In the second and final round of the regionals, Rutgers faced off against Seton Hall, NJIT and Fordham to emerge as the champions.

Members of the Rutgers Business School team (with a Rutgers Alum) after winning the regional championship of the CFA Investmen Research Challenge.

John Longo, a clinical professor in the Department of Finance and Economics and the team's faculty advisor, said the students did a lot of original research for their report on JetBlue, including a survey that reflected the flying habits and sentiments of more than 300 people who have traveled with JetBlue. "They demonstrated a relentless work ethic and a desire to win," he said.

Team Captain Matt Fishbein said one of the most difficult things for the team leading into the competition was coordinating the schedules of students who attend classes on two different campuses. Three of the team members are students in New Brunswick and two attend classes in Newark. Two members of the team are MBA students, one of whom has children.

"It was incredibly difficult," Fishbein said.

The students each took on an aspect of the project and became an expert in that area. The students also continued to polish and refine their work. "When we finished our presentation in the first round, we felt it could go either way," Fishbein said. "Halfway through the Q&A in Round Two, we knew we had won."

"We had just come such a long way," he said. "We had such a level of comfort and confidence."

The team’s win on March 12 represented the fourth time in eight years that Rutgers Business School has finished as the regional champions in the CFA Investment Research Challenge. 

"The hard work, creativity and most importantly, the teamwork, was exemplary this year," said the team’s industry mentor Ed MaGuire. "The team offers a fantastic example of Rutgers students' commitment to excellence."

The students received $5,000 in scholarship money, and they will go on to compete in the next phase of the CFA Investment Research Challenge next month in Atlanta. The final phases of the competition - national and international - occur over two days, April 16-17.

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