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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Business Graduate Students to Compete in Investment Research Challenge

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Oct. 15, 2010) – Graduate students from the University of Central Missouri Harmon College of Business Administration have an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in competition as participants in the Kansas City Investment Research Challenge. The challenge promotes the best practices in equity research and company analysis, and includes local and regional contests leading up to the Global IRC set for April 2011 in Omaha, Neb.

The local IRC is sponsored by the Kansas City Chartered Financial Analyst Society, and takes place Oct. 16. UCM’s team is coordinated by Arthur Young, associate professor of finance, and is composed of five student members, Hani Al Bukhaitan, Chris Colesworthy, Jenny Everette, Bikash Gupta and Babak Mammadov. Colesworthy, Everette and Gupta are pursuing the Master of Business Administration degree with a finance concentration, while Mammadov and Al Bukhaitan are seeking Master of Arts in Accountancy degrees.

“This is the first time the KC CFA society has sponsored this competition. Hopefully, it will be continued in the future,” Young said, adding that UCM will be competing against much larger schools. “Just to be invited is really exciting for our students.”

Other teams invited to the competition are the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, and University of Missouri-Columbia. The winner will advance to the regional, with a goal of making it to the global competition. Last year, more than 425 universities from around the world began the IRC Global Challenge, which was won by a team from the Philippines.

The challenge is made possible through the cooperation of students, investment industry professionals, representatives of publicly traded companies, and corporate sponsors.  A time-consuming endeavor, student team members will work directly with a company to conduct research, then prepare a company analysis in cooperation with an investment professional who will serve as team mentor. The team’s presentation will be evaluated by a panel of judges, which includes heads of research, portfolio managers, and chief investment officials.

According to the Certified Financial Analyst Institute, judges will consider criteria such as effective use of materials, argument, poise, ability to field questions, and use of resources. The judges will also evaluate each team’s ability to communicate and support its recommendation to buy, sell or hold equity in the assigned public company.

Young said UCM’s student participants are required to take two courses that develop their ability to write investment research reports. These consist of an accounting course on Controllership and the Treasury Function taught by Nick Fessler, associate professor of accounting, and a finance class with the same title taught by Jose Mercado Mendez, professor of finance. 

“These courses are taught together as a single block,” Young said. He added that the courses, as well as the Harmon College of Business Administration’s accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International, contributed to UCM’s selection for the competition.