18 November 2020 | Story Dr Nitha Ramnath | Photo Supplied
The UFS team, from the left: Monique Harcourt, Dawid Potgieter, Atalanta Watson, and Zoe Travers.

One of two teams from the University of the Free State (UFS) performed exceptionally well and made it to the top four in the extremely competitive local Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) University Challenge.

The CFA Society South Africa recently hosted the 12th annual local edition of the CFA Institute University Research Challenge. The research challenge is an annual global competition in equity research hosted by the CFA Institute, a global representative body for chartered financial analyst (CFA) charter holders. During the research challenge, teams from different universities locally and internationally compete on three levels – more than 1 000 universities compete annually.  

"Taking part in the CFA challenge was a wonderful opportunity where we learnt new skills and gained industry-specific experience, which will be invaluable to us as we graduate and embark on our journey as professionals. We are proud to have represented Kovsies in the finals and this proved to us, once again, that hard work pays off, " said the UFS team.

Two teams of four were selected to represent the UFS during the 2020 challenge. Team selection was based on students’ performance during the first semester of their BCom Honours (specialisation in Financial Economics and Investment Management) in the Department of Economics and Finance. During the challenge, students assumed the role of a (sell-side) research analyst and had to write a concise report that covered various aspects related to the company’s business activities, structure, governance, finances, etc., which was presented via Zoom to a panel of judges from the CFA Society South Africa. 

Dr Ivan van der Merwe, the team’s adviser from the Department of Economics and Finance, commented: “It was a pleasure to work with a team that showed so much dedication and was willing to go the extra mile. The experience they gained during this challenge will stand them in good stead and it was a real confidence builder for them to successfully complete a very stressful live presentation and subsequent question session. They made us proud and set the standard for aspiring Finance students at Kovsies.” 

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