DeVille School of Business Team Makes History at CFA Institute Research Challenge

Walsh University is celebrating a historic performance at the sub-regional Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge.  The team representing Walsh’s DeVille School of Business, which previously took first place in the CFA challenge hosted by the Society of Cleveland, has surpassed the performance of every other Ohio college team. 

Walsh, by far the smallest school to make it this far in the competition, is now in the top 17 in the Western hemisphere after beating the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota in the sub-regional competition. 

"Based on the feedback from the judges at the initial competition in Cleveland, I realized we had a very special team,” said Director of Graduate Programs and Associate Professor of Finance Dr. James Falter, who served as the team’s academic advisor. “They have continued to compete at a very high level and the university should be proud of their performance."

Each year, teams of three to five undergraduate and graduate students commit upwards of 200 hours to preparing and competing in a comprehensive and applied case study competition.  Walsh team members representing finance and accounting majors include Jessie Varnis, Cameron Gregory, Megan Maxim, Oskar Johannessen and Lucas Jorstad as well as academic advisor Dr. James Falter and industry advisor Nicholas Perini. 

“Being a part of this historic win is truly an honor,” said team member Megan Maxim, a senior majoring in accounting and finance.  “Not only have I learned to apply various financial models and metrics to evaluate a company, but I have also gained valuable soft skills such as teamwork, collaboration, attention to detail and presentation skills that will be transferable to my career. I believe the factors that led to our success were our strong collaboration, diverse backgrounds, positive energy, and a passion for the research topic.  I am also grateful for Dr. Falter and Nick Perini, advisors who supported us throughout the countless hours of research, preparation and each stage of the competition.”

The next round will include Butler University, Creighton, Johns Hopkins and three other highly competitive programs that also advanced from the sub-regionals to the regional semifinals. If Walsh wins the regional semifinals held on April 6 and 13, the team will advance to the global event in Washington, D.C. in early May.

 The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and tests the analytic, valuation, report writing, and presentation skills of university students. The Finance program at Walsh holds university affiliation with the CFA Institute. This recognizes our program, its outcomes and enables Walsh University to grant students/graduates scholarships for the CFA examination. 
Local level competitions are organized and judged by CFA Institute society members and volunteers who function as local hosts. The winning university team from each local competition advances to the sub-regional competition. The sub-regional, regional, and global competitions are hosted by CFA Institute in the Americas; the Asia Pacific; and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions. The winning teams from each sub-regional competition advance to the regional competition. Regional winners advance to the Global Final, where one team emerges as the global champion.