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San Diego State University

Fowler College of
Business Administration

SDSU Student Team Advances to American Finals for CFA Challenge

A team of five SDSU finance and accounting students reached the national finals of the CFA Institute Research Challenge after emerging victorious in the San Diego local competition. The SDSU students bested five other teams from four universities in the San Diego area.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is hosted by the CFA Institute as a global “intercollegiate competition that promotes best practices in equity research.” With over 136,200 members in 145 countries and territories, the CFA Institute is the association of investment professionals that sets the standard for “professional excellence and credentials” and is a noted source of information and authority within the global financial community.

During the CFA Institute Research Challenge’s local competition, all teams analyze a publicly traded stock (in this instance, the San Diego-based WD40 Company) and create a report indicating a buy, sell or hold recommendation which they present to a panel of judges.

They are left with an exceptional educational experience in their chosen field, making them more well-rounded and ready to pursue successful business careers.
Dr. Babak Lotfaliei

The winning teams from each local challenge – including SDSU - advance to the regional finals in Chicago on April 15 – 16, 2016 to compete against the other winning teams located in the Americas. The top team from the Americas will face winners from the Asia Pacific and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) regions in a three-team global competition held in Chicago on April 17.

“Not only does the team from SDSU have a very real chance of winning the global competition, they also exposed to investment industry professionals, a real-world business experience and their peer students on a global basis,” said SDSU finance professor, Dr. Babak Lotfaliei, who served as the team’s academic advisor. “They are left with an exceptional educational experience in their chosen field, making them more well-rounded and ready to pursue successful business careers.”

The team also received coaching and assistance from SDSU alumnus and CFA, Ethan Turner (’02, finance), who is currently an analyst and assistant vice president at Allianz Global Investors.

6 people with large trophy/cup

From left to right: Dr. Babak Lotfaliei, Viktoriya Demina, Hongliao Xiong, Paul Lamb, Olga Grigorchuk, Ryan Neumann