Cal Poly Students Win Third Consecutive Local CFA Institute Research Challenge

CFA Challenge team and their advisors at Activision.

An interdisciplinary team of Cal Poly students has won the local CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute Research Challenge for the third year in a row.

This year, students from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences also competed with those from the Orfalea College of Business. Agribusiness seniors Jordan Goldie (Riverside, Calif.), Brian Pocock (Roseville, Calif.) and Paul Boortz (Coarsegold, Calif.) collaborated with finance seniors Robert Surane (Newbury Park, Calif.) and Miles Wix (Simi Valley, Calif.) at the event in Los Angeles.

The Cal Poly students competed against teams from USC, Loyola Marymount University, UC Santa Barbara, and Claremont Graduate University. The teams were charged with analyzing and making buy/sell/hold recommendations for video game publisher Activision. After visiting Activision in the fall, the team prepared an extensive written report and presentation. A panel of eight industry professionals and CFA charter holders judged the presentations.

Cal Poly’s team will advance to the Americas Regional competition in April in Chicago, where it will compete against universities from the U.S., Canada, Central America and South America. The winners of the three regional competitions (Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Asia Pacific) will compete in the Global Final.

Cyrus Ramezani, finance professor and interim Agribusiness Department chair, advised the students. San Luis Obispo financial advisor Phillip Cohl and Scott B. Kirk, a 2005 business administration graduate, served as industry mentors. David Larsen, a 2014 business administration graduate who led Cal Poly’s CFA team in 2014, also consulted with the team.

“I’m proud of the success and collaborative efforts of our team. Each student contributed more than 300 hours of preparation ahead of this competition,” Ramezani said. “With our third win, Cal Poly has built a tradition of excellence, which is a tribute to our faculty who believe in preparing career-ready graduates. We’re proud to represent Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy on the global stage.”

The CFA Institute Research Challenge provides an opportunity for students to learn from industry experts and compete with other top finance programs. The event promotes best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills. Participants are introduced to and held to the standard of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

For more information about the CFA Institute Research Challenge, go to:

L to R in the photo: Jordan Goldie, Brian Pocock, Miles Wix, Cal Poly alumnus Scott B. Kirk, advisor Phil Cohl, Cal Poly alumnus David Larsen, Paul Boortz and Robert Surane.