RBS runner-up in CFA Institute's Global Investment Research Challenge, gain meeting with Warren Buffet

Over 500 schools from around the world competed

OMAHA, NE – By competing with universities from Italy, Thailand and California in the global finals of the CFA Institute’s Global Investment Challenge, Rutgers Business School (RBS) symbolized the Rutgers mantra “Jersey Roots, Global Reach.” The RBS team consisting of a mix of undergrad and MBA students from Newark and New Brunswick was runner-up along with the Thai team from Thammasat University and the University of Southern California to the winning Italian team from Politecnico di Milano.

“Many of us at Rutgers have long believed that our best students could effectively compete with the best students from top ranked schools around the world,” said John Longo, clinical associate professor, finance and economics at RBS and the team’s faculty advisor.

“Finishing in the ‘Final 4’ out of 500+ schools worldwide, in an intensive case study competition, certainly proves this point.  This unique and talented group of students represented Rutgers with great skill and honor on a global stage,” said Longo.

“It was an honor to represent Rutgers on a global stage and compete against student teams from across the world,” said Russell Miller (senior, New Brunswick). “Under the guidance of our advisors we worked incredibly well as a team and it was our team effort that stood out to the judges and ultimately set us apart for our competition.”

The RBS team received one honor that the other schools didn’t: they met Warren Buffett and were given a tour of his office by the sage of Omaha himself.  “Getting to personally meet Warren Buffett and visit his office at Berkshire Hathaway was beyond incredible,” said Anil Bhatia (MBA 2012, Newark). Buffett, a huge sports fan, had priceless sports paraphernalia all throughout his 14th floor office in downtown Omaha including a signed jersey from New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriquez hanging on the wall.

Buffett talked with the students about how fortunate we are to live with all of the conveniences we take for granted. “JP Morgan couldn’t watch the Yankees every night from 1,000 miles away,” Buffett told the students according to Longo.

The Investment Research Challenge asked student teams to present their research and analysis of a publicly traded company and make a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the company’s stock. The RBS team investigated the energy company New Jersey Resources.

"The experience of the investment competition was challenging, yet very rewarding,” said Joshua Cohen (junior, New Brunswick). “Each team member had the unique opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to see how we could compete as a team in a global competition. Our performance truly reflects the valuable guidance of all of our academic and non-academic advisors."

In-depth field research distinguished RBS to help get to the global finals (see senior Andre Mendoza’s student perspective).

“The Global IRC was a practical outlet for investment analysis and teamwork, and an unforgettable experience,” said Dmitry Malinsky (MBA 2011, Newark). “I am proud of our team's run to the global finals and walk away knowing our hard work taught us how to analyze a public company.”

Allan Campbell, CFA, who was the industry advisor for the RBS team, said that participating in the Global Investment Research Challenge turned five RBS students into Wall Street research analysts for half a year. “Starting from scratch, they produced a research report that was more thorough than most that I have seen from professional analysts,” he said. “Then they had to sell their recommendation to a skeptical panel of judges with years of experience in the investment industry. In the end, they proved that they were among the top four teams of student analysts in the world.”

Teamwork was the underlying theme among the RBS team. “In order to succeed in the challenge, you must be a cohesive group,” said Andre Mendoza (senior, Newark).  “We were stronger than the sum of each individual’s skills and strengths.”

-Daniel J. Stoll

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