The rivalry between New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico found a new arena recently as the universities’ financial management students presented their investment analysis of a company in the CFA Society New Mexico Research Bowl.
NMSU won the first-ever event where the students made an investment management portfolio buy-sell recommendation of Grand Canyon Education’s publicly traded stock. Grand Canyon Education is a regionally accredited provider of online post-secondary education services focused on offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs in its core disciplines of education, business and healthcare.
Thornburg Investment Management offices in Santa Fe hosted and helped underwrite the research bowl. Thornburg investment professionals judged the teams’ written reports and 10-minute presentations.
“This friendly competition gave our students an opportunity to use the knowledge and analytical tools they have learned in classes,” said Kenneth Martin, NMSU College of Business finance department chair. “The event was spurred by interest of the CFA Society New Mexico to become more engaged with both NMSU and UNM.”
Representing NMSU were seniors Dominic Maldonado, Albuquerque; Andrew Garcia, Las Cruces; and Tristen Foley, Rio Rancho; and juniors Kellirae Reynolds and Arielle Sedillo, both of Las Cruces.
UNM students participating were Katherine Brunner, Rachel Darnell, Hieu Le and Mark MacGrath. Reilly White, UNM assistant professor of finance, was the team’s faculty adviser.
The competition was the brainchild of White, CFA Society New Mexico’s university relations committee chair. He and the society have worked for several years to bring about the event.
“CFA goals and mission include focusing on the next generation of financial professionals,” said J.J. Milder, president of CFA Society New Mexico. “The competition was designed to give the students the experience of thoroughly analyzing a traded security, defending their analysis and being judged by professional CFA charter holders.”
Following the competition, the judges critiqued the teams.
“The judges gave us advice on how to improve ourselves,” Foley said. “It was great to hear from people in the industry who have done this for years.”
“Talking to the judges, I learned how to properly analyze securities,” Maldonado said.
Garcia learned the importance of team work and quantitative analysis.
“While preparing for this competition, we applied what we have learned in our classes to real-world situations,” Reynolds said.
“I’m an accounting major so I learned how to value stocks and analyze a company in its full depth to better understand if it should be invested in or not be invested in,” Sedillo said.
CFA Society New Mexico is an organization of investment management and finance professionals who have earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation through the CFA Institute.
The research bowl is the New Mexico society’s foray toward having an official CFA Institute Global Research Challenge for state university students.
“For a team to qualify for the Global Research Challenge, a state society must have a competition between at least three schools,” Milder said. “This is our first step in that direction. We now need to get other universities to participate.”
Following the competition, Thornburg Investment Management provided overviews of various aspects of the investment industry including fixed income, equity, settlements, global distribution, trading, enterprise data services and marketing.
“Both of our schools have outstanding students who are forming the next generation of finance leaders for New Mexico and beyond,” White said. “Thornburg gave the students an opportunity to see the diverse opportunities and potential career paths that are available to them after graduation.”