A team of business students from the University of Kansas won the inaugural Kansas City CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Investment Research Challenge on Feb. 26 in Kansas City, Mo. The win qualifies them for the North and South American finals in April where they will compete against 40 teams to win $10,000 for school programs.
The three students, all studying finance at the KU School of Business, defeated the University of Missouri, Kansas State University, and University of Central Missouri in a competition that judged teams’ ability to write and present a buy-side / sell-side report on a specific company.
“I think it [the team’s win] says great things about the School of Business, especially given that the competition was against other regional schools,” said team member Thomas Freeman.
The teams’ final products were a result of multiple months of work as the teams were selected last October. The students worked with Kansas City CFA Society members on various topics from October to February that eventually helped the teams with their final reports and presentations.
This year’s specific company was Great Plains Energy Inc., the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Co. The judges were local financial and investment professionals and also Kansas City CFA Society members.
“It was interesting to learn more about an area with no previous exposure, in this case the regulated utilities industry.” Freeman said.
Freeman, along with team members David Larson and Tom John, were supported by KU School of Business faculty members Dieter Schrader, the team’s faculty advisor, and Steve Ligget, the team’s presentation coach.
Schrader praised the team’s high-quality buy-side / sell-side report.
“If you told someone that a team of professional financial analysts wrote this report [the students’ report], they would believe you,” Schrader said.
Student competitions that focus on real-world subject matter are one of the many ways KU School of Business students learn in and out of the classroom.
“It clearly shows how far the School of Business has come over the last five to ten years,” Freeman said when commenting on his team’s win.
These opportunities factor into the School’s ranking in the top 14 percent of public schools of business in the nation.