Our students, Jakub Bobysud, Matej Leško, Peter Palovič and Ondřej Rosický represented the Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, and Charles University at the 12th edition of the prestigious international investment competition, CFA Research Challenge.
In this annual global challenge, the participating teams of university students get hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and a chance to test their analytical thinking in the task of writing an equity report of a specific publicly - traded company. They then have to present and defend their analysis in front of a jury of professionals from the financial sector. This year's assignment was to prepare an analysis of the company Pilulka.cz.
The IES team, who consulted with the faculty advisor, Dr. Jiří Novák, and the assigned mentor, Jan Hájek, first won the Czech and Slovak Local round by 17.5 points over the second place team. With this victory, our students followed not only the success of their colleagues in the last year's edition, but also the previous successes of Charles University teams in the history of this competition - IES students also won the local round of this challenge in 2016 and 2018.
In addition, they also managed to win the challenging sub-regional (Central and Eastern European) round, and eventually became also the winners of the EMEA region semi-finals (in the competition of teams from Europe, Middle East and Africa). In the history of the competition, only one team from the Czech Republic has managed to do so - Masaryk University team in 2017. Finally, our students also took part in the EMEA finals, where according to the jury they placed 3rd - 6th overall.
The competition, taking place from autumn to spring, is very time-consuming, requiring hundreds of hours of time spent on the analysis, presentation preparation and team coordination. We are delighted that even in the challenging pandemic times, when on the one hand it was impossible to travel abroad for the international rounds abroad, and on the other hand it was necessary to arrange most of the collaboration and presentations online, students had the motivation to accept the challenge and the determination to achieve an admirable result.
The Faculty Advisor, Dr. Jiri Novak, commented: "I believe that this year's success is all the more valuable because Pilulka.cz is a very difficult company to valuate, given its “youth” and its specific business sector. It is also valuable, because the team of students still worked on the evaluation report in a time of restrictions resulting from the receding coronavirus pandemic."
Last week the CFA winners were invited to join a meeting with JUDr. Tomáš Karásek, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, at the Hollar building, where he presented them with the reward - a special scholarship of 20 000 CZK for each of the team members. Together they discussed, among other things, how the experience from the competition and their studies can help develop their current and future careers.
You can read more about the Challenge and recommendations for the future participants from this year's winners in a detailed interview here.
Photos: Barbora Součková
Autor - Barbora Holková