School of Business Students Reach Final Four of Competition

Team reaches regional final of the CFA© Institute Research Challenge

Photo: Richard Lord

The Montclair State team from the left: Vilma Solano, Richard Jimenez, Max Felderhoff, Khalil Abdulnour and Mario Brzyzek.

The New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) announced that for the second year in a row, a team of students from Montclair State University’s School of Business has won a coveted spot as one of the final four in this year’s New York Regional Final of the CFA© Institute Research Challenge.

“I am very pleased with the team making it to the final four,” said Department of Economics and Finance Professor Richard Lord, who is the team’s faculty advisor. “They worked very hard, and I knew they were well prepared.”

On February 8, 2013, team members Max Felderhoff, Vilma de los Angeles Solano Jarquin, Khalil Abdulnour, Mario Brzyzek and Richard Jimenez advanced to the next round by besting teams from schools such as Columbia University and Rutgers University with their written report and presentation on multinational software giant Microsoft Corporation.

Sponsored by the CFA Institute and locally hosted by the NYSSA, the annual global educational initiative is designed to familiarize the next generation of financial analysts with best practices in equity research through hands-on training and mentoring. Noted industry professionals teach students how to research and report on a publicly traded company.

The Montclair State team gave a ten-minute presentation of their recommendations and findings to a panel of high-profile Wall Street professionals. “They made an excellent pitch, recommending a strong buy on Microsoft,” recalled Lord. “The fearful part is the questions from the judges – you never know what they will ask. But the group’s responses were flawless. After that presentation, I would have been more surprised if they had not made the cut.”

The Monclair State team will face off against teams from Fordham University, Pace University and Seton Hall University in the Final Four Competition on March 4, 2013. The winner of that round will head to London to compete against teams from around the world on April 12, 2013.

Department of Economics and Finance Professor Hermann Sintim-Aboagye is the faculty advisor to the MSU Chapter of the NYSSA, acting as liaison on NYSSA-MSU related matters, including the development of the MSU CFA Challenge team.  Industry mentor Rick Seto of investment adviser firm Flaherty & Crumrine is reviewing and critiquing the students' work.

Expectations are running high that this year’s team will make it to the world finals. “We’re definitely hoping for the best this year,” said Lord.