Walsh Wins CFA Institute Research Challenge


School News

Walsh University was named the winner of the 2016 CFA Institute Research Challenge, hosted by Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of Cleveland. The DeVille School of Business team included junior accounting students Joshua Ippolito, Matthew Strobelt, Iagos Lucca and Jerad Kitzler. 

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a competition which tests the analytic, valuation, report writing, and presentation skills of university students. Walsh was one of nine universities that participated in the February 20th event, including Case Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, Heidelberg University, Hiram College, Kent State University, University of Findlay, University of Toledo and Youngstown State University.

A team consists of three to five members and may include undergraduate and graduate students.The Walsh team took first place in both presentation and overall scores and will advance to the Americas Regional of the CFA Institute Research Challenge in Chicago on April 13-14.

"It was definitely one of the most challenging and rewarding things I've done at Walsh," said Joshua Ippolito.

Nicholas Perini,CFA, Portfolio Manager and Vice President at Beese Fulmer Private Wealth Management served as the Team’s CFA Mentor. Faculty team advisors were DeVille School of Business Professor Michael May and Assistant Professor of Business Chase Senk. May introduced Walsh to the CFA Institute Research Challenge in 2009 and served as Faculty Advisor for Walsh’s 2012 Victory and 2nd Place finishes in 2011 and 2015. Professor Senk stepped in as the team’s Advisor in January when May took a medical leave of absence.

"This victory for the 2016 Team Walsh is a very 'Big Deal.' Our Team of underclassmen defeated a 'Business Week's Top 5 Nationally Ranked Business School, e.g. Case Western Reserve University comprised of MBA candidates," said May. "Once again the DeVille School of Business has shown that we can produce students that can compete at the highest level with any ranked business school. I am overwhelmed with pride of our team and the prestige they bring to the DeVille School of Business of Walsh University."

Besides offering students a real-world experience in financial analysis, the competition also provides an opportunity for students to network with some of the top professionals in their field. As the team Mentor, Perini worked directly with the Walsh students to offer valuable insight and guidance.

"Team Walsh won in a year that saw more teams competing than ever before. Not only were there more teams, many of participating students were also graduate level students. All four of these young men have bright futures ahead of them, no matter what they decide to do," said Perini.  "All of us at Beese Fulmer are proud to be associated with such an outstanding group of students. It was a privilege to be the industry mentor for such a strong team."

Perini’s unique expertise with the CFA competition includes winning the competition in 2010 as an MBA student at Case Western Reserve. In recent years, he has served as a competition judge and is now a CFA Society team mentor.

The Institute Research Challenge is an annual contest sponsored by the CFA Institute. For the past eight years, regional universities have assembled teams of business finance students to research and prepare a professional company analysist’s "sell-side" written report and oral presentation for a publicly traded Ohio company. This year, participants were challenged to prepare a company analysis of Signet Jewelers.

The CFA Society Cleveland was founded in 1950 and provides investment related programs and services to its Northeast Ohio-based membership. The CFA Society Cleveland has 479 members, and is a member society of CFA Institute.