Thursday, February 28, 2013

Press Release - Wisconsin School of Business MBA Students Named Winner of Milwaukee CFA Institute Research Challenge

Madison, Wis. – The CFA Society of Milwaukee announced today the Wisconsin School of Business team from UW-Madison has won the local competition of the CFA Institute Research Challenge and now advances to the Americas Regional Challenge next month in Toronto.

Members of the team: Dan Sosnay, Ashley Ditmarsen, Ali Gardoi, Cairn Clark and Casey Karbowski – each of whom are currently participating in the Wisconsin MBA’s Applied Security Analysis Program. Drew Justman, CFA, an equity analyst at Madison Investment Advisors, served as Mentor to the team. Brian Hellmer, CFA, who is Director of the Hawk Center for Applied Security Analysis, served as the group’s faculty advisor. The panel of judges included Adam Sweet, CFA of Madison Investment Advisors, Mark Prusha, CFA of Musser Capital Advisors and Jean Wangard, CFA of Wangard Investment Consulting.

The CFA Society of Milwaukee competition was the first round of the CFA Institute Research Challenge. All of the student teams in this round of the competition presented a detailed analysis and investment recommendation on Harley-Davidson Corporation, a leading producer of motorcycles based in Milwaukee. The presentations at the Milwaukee finals were the result of three months of research, interviews with company management, discussions with competitors and dealers and presentation preparation.

The students from UW-Madison will now travel to the Americas Regional challenge to be held on March 20-21 in Toronto, Canada where they will compete with student teams from Canada, the United States, and South America. The winners of the four regional challenges (Americas, New York, Europe, and Asia Pacific) will advance to compete in the global finals on April 12, 2013 in London.

“I’m extremely proud of this talented group of students” said Brian Hellmer, who serves as Director of the Hawk Center after a long career of managing institutional equity portfolios. “In addition to the normal demands of their classes, they voluntarily devoted many hours researching this company and preparing both a written report and a slide presentation highlighting their conclusions. We are privileged to represent the CFA Society of Milwaukee at the next round of competition in Toronto, and thank the CFA Society of Milwaukee and all of their volunteers for putting on this event. I also want to recognize and thank all the teams from around Wisconsin that competed in the competition this year – it was a fantastic event and gets better every year”.

About the CFA Institute Research Challenge
The CFA Institute Research Challenge offers students the unique opportunity to learn from leading industry experts and their peers from the world’s top business schools. This annual educational initiative is designed to promote best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills. This year, more than 100 CFA Institute member societies will host local competitions with more than 3,000 students from more than 650 universities in 55 countries participating.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge consists of the following components:
• Analysis of a public company – Teams research a publicly traded company, and company management presents to the team and participants in a question-and-answer session.

• Mentoring by a professional research analyst – Each team works with an investment professional who mentors the team on the research process and reviews their report.

• Writing a research report – Students produce an initiation of coverage report on the chosen company. The report is reviewed and scored by a group of graders.

• Presentation of research to a high-profile panel of industry professionals – The team with the highest combined written report and presentation score is the winner.

The challenge gathers students, investment industry professionals, publicly traded companies and corporate sponsors together locally, regionally, and globally for a world competition. In order to promote best practices in equity research and company analysis, the students are asked to research, analyze, and report on a company as if they are practicing analysts working for an investment firm. Local CFA societies host and launch a Research Challenge in conjunction with the participating universities. The universities assemble teams of three to five business and finance students who work directly with a company in researching and preparing a company analysis. The team’s final presentations are locally evaluated by high-profile panels of heads of research, portfolio managers, and chief investment officers from the world’s top firms. The local champions advance to regional competitions in the Americas, Asia, and Europe and then to the global finals.

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association for investment professionals. It administers the CFA and CIPM curriculum and exam programs worldwide; publishes research; conducts professional development programs; and sets voluntary, ethics-based professional and performance-reporting standards for the investment industry. CFA Institute has more than 107,000 members, who include the world’s 97,890 CFA charterholders, as well as 135 affiliated professional societies in 58 countries and territories. More information may be found at

CONTACT: Brian Hellmer, (608) 262-9039,