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UB School of Management students to compete in CFA Research Challenge

By Matthew Biddle

Release Date: February 12, 2014

“The competition is intense, and only one team can win, but I believe anyone who participates has won already.”
Thomas A. Labert, adjunct instructor of economics
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – A team of students from the University at Buffalo School of Management will compete in the local finals of the 2014 CFA Institute Research Challenge on Feb. 14 at the University of Rochester.

Five students from the Master of Science in Finance program make up the UB School of Management team: Matthew Budzinski (captain), Wenqing Gao, Xin Meng, Xuanheng Tan and Xiang Wang.

The squad is one of six that will present at the local finals, in hopes of winning a cash prize, trophy and an all-expense-paid trip to the regional finals in Denver against teams from across North and South America. Regional champions then advance to the global final in April.

The CFA Research Challenge is a global competition in which student teams research and analyze a publicly traded company and write an initiation-of-coverage report with a recommendation to buy, sell or hold the company’s stock. Students gain real-world experience as financial analysts and receive hands-on mentoring and training from an investment professional.

The School of Management team researched the Rochester-based company Transcat Inc. and was coached by Thomas A. Labert, CFA, vice president and wealth management advisor in the Labert/Farber Wealth Management Group at Merrill Lynch. Labert is also an adjunct instructor in the Department of Economics in the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

“The competition is intense, and only one team can win, but I believe anyone who participates has won already,” Labert says. “The students have worked extremely hard. They had an opportunity to meet industry professionals, while also meeting face to face with a public company’s management team.”

Selected from 10 candidates, the team’s high score on its written report qualified it for the local finals, where it will deliver a 10-minute presentation and field questions from a judging panel of CFA charterholders.

Open to the public, the Research Challenge presentations will begin at 1:30 p.m. in 318/418 Gleason Hall in the Simon School of Business at the University at Rochester, followed by an awards ceremony and reception.

The daylong event will also feature educational lectures on manager selection and asset-liability management for high-net-worth investors, as well as a keynote address by Robert Novy-Marx, assistant professor of finance in the Simon School of Business.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.

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