Faculty of Mathematics, Physics
and Informatics
of the Comenius University in Bratislava

FMPI students succeed in the CFA Institute Research Challenge in Prague

On 6 february 2017, The University of Economics, Prague, hosted the 7th annual local finals of the CFA Institute Research Challenge. The Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Comenius University in Bratislava (FMPI CU), was successfully represented by four students of the third year of Economic and Financial Mathematics: Richard Gramblička, Samuel Horváth, Michal Martoňák And Andrej Remák.

24. 03. 2017 13.13 hod.
By: Daniel Ševčovič

The host of the competition, CFA Institute, is an international association of professionals from the banking and investment sector. The Institute enables those who are interested to gain a globally recognized qualification of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). A successful candidate has to pass three examinations particularly covering the areas of investment management, financial analysis, stocks, bonds and financial derivatives.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge was started to raise the awareness about the CFA program and to attract talented students interested in finance; the main prize in the local round is free access to the first of the three aforementioned examinations. Furthermore, the winners of the local rounds advance to three regional rounds, which take place in the Americas, Asia and EMEA - Europe, Middle East and Africa. The winners from the regional competitions advance to the Global Finals.

Last year, the competition involved over 4250 students from 925 universities. The university teams, composed of three to five students, were expected to prepare a written financial report on a local company publicly traded on the exchange. This year, the subject company was the Czech MONETA Money Bank. In the first round, the competing teams prepared a comprehensive written report comprised of the analysis of the subject company and the respective industry, financial analysis, valuation, risk analysis and investment recommendation (buy, hold or sell), with the closing submission date 21 December 2016.  The teams then presented and defended their reports in English to a panel of professionals from the financial sector, such as Portfolio Manager for Erste Asset Management and Investment Analyst for ČSOB Asset Management.

This year, thirteen Czech and Slovak universities entered the competition. Each university was allowed to be represented by at most one team, ten of which submitted their reports and subsequently participated in the local round in Prague. In the first round, teams were divided into two groups of five; the teams were ranked independently, based on their written reports and presentations. The two best teams in each group then advanced to the local finals to give yet another presentation, allowing to determine the overall winner. In the finals, the judgment depended entirely on the presentation. After the first round of presentations, the CU team (Team J) advanced to the Top 4, and, following the final presentation, took an excellent second position.

"The competition presents a very good example of linking theory with practice, for such tasks are routinely performed by the employees of investment banks. We would like to extend our thanks to our department and to Dr. Zuzana Chladná for the opportunity to participate in the competition, to Marcel Imriška, our Industry Mentor, for his professional supervision, as well as to the entire CFA Society Czech Republic and the sponsors for hosting the competition. This was a great opportunity for us to use the knowledge gained during our studies“, say students. 

prof. RNDr. Daniel Ševčovič, PhD.
Guarantor of the Master’s programme in Economics and Financial Mathematics at FPMI, Comenius University