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Grand Valley State team wins CFA challenge

February 20, 2015
| By Pete Daly |
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A team from Grand Valley State University won the 2015 CFA Institute Research Challenge local competition and now advances to the Americas Regional financial analysis competition in Atlanta April 15-16.

Five universities provided a team of three to five students for the competition, under the guidance of a faculty advisor and industry mentor. The other teams were from Eastern Michigan University, Michigan Technological University, University of Toledo and Western Michigan University. Each team did research, presented written reports and made presentations on Lansing-based Neogen Corp., the subject of this year’s local competition at GVSU.

The GVSU team included Matthew Brandon, Tyler Petersen, Thomas Preston, Morgan Norwood and Linsey Meister. The GVSU faculty mentor was Eric Hoogstra and the CFA industry mentor was Kathy Vogelsang of Van Andel Institute.

The annual CFA Institute Research Challenge is sponsored by the institute in cooperation with its local societies and more than 775 colleges and universities around the world. CFA Institute is a global association of chartered financial analyst investment professionals. It provides continuing education seminars, webcasts and publications so members can stay current on developments in the investment industry.

In addition to the CFA Society of West Michigan, financial sponsors of the local event included ClearArc Capital and Kaplan Schweser.

Jay Wisentaner, CFA Society of West Michigan president, said this is the fifth year it has sponsored the local competition. He said it presents a unique opportunity for students to gain real-life skills as they learn what it’s like to analyze a company and make investment recommendations to a team of professionals.

The students made presentations to judges: Kurt Arvidson, Norris, Perne & French; John Koczara, LaFleur & Godfrey; Hunter Lewis, Legacy Trust; Roger Norkoli, Chemical Bank; Timothy Schauer, Docsa Capital; and Michael Storms, Green Leaf Trust.

Andrew Mason and Daniel Lupo were the society’s co-chairs for the event.

“Each year we have seen the quality of the research and presentations improve on those of previous years, so it’s clear that every student who participated in the competition should be proud of their achievement,” said Wisentaner.

Hoogstra said each of the team members met with Neogen senior executives, who took questions from students just as they do from Wall Street analysts.

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