A group of Master in Finance students won the Spanish finals of the annual CFA Institute’s Research Challenge and advanced to the upcoming EMEA semi-finals. This triumph marks a record-breaking 6th time that IE Business School wins the CFA Challenge, making it the academic institution with the most victories in the history of the competition in Spain.
The challenge required the students to produce a professional equity report for this year's company: Banco Santander.
Team members Anna Kopytina, Kevin Matsuo, Raúl Ortega, Paul Rouviere and Christopher Saliba will also represent IE Business School and Spain in the European semi-finals April 7 & 8.
Finance Professor Susana Martínez advised the team of students, providing guidance and professional insights for the project.
“The purpose of the challenge is for students to experience a real-life challenge where they prepare a professional equity research report,” said Martínez. “I worked as an equity research analyst so bringing this practical knowledge into the academic world is very enriching.”
Team members praised the challenge’s demanding hands-on experience and said it has impacted their professional training.
“In class, we rarely have the opportunity to go as in-depth as we did for this competition where we truly developed a thorough understanding of the banking sector and Santander,'' said Rouviere. “If you do it right, the CFA Research challenge teaches most of the things you need to analyse a real company, create an investment thesis, and present it to industry professionals.”
Ortega said the experience offered a real working environment that complements a classroom experience.
“We spent several weekends in the trading room and I think that pressure from the competition has been very good to test our skills and resilience,” said Ortega.
“We were confronted with the reality of the field. Developing an investment thesis, searching for relevant dates but also putting our opinion on the line against investment professionals.”
Christopher Saliba, team member
The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a global annual competition where students from multiple business schools compete in a financial analysis project. The students are evaluated on their analytical, valuation, report writing, and presentation skills.
The group shared their expectations and excitement for the next stage of the competition.
“I am confident that with the hard work we put in the Spanish competition we can get a good result. We have worked incredibly well as a team, everyone played a vital role and I believe that this makes us a very strong team for the European finals,” said Ortega. “We still can improve some parts of the presentation and CFA Society Spain is going to help us prepare for the next round.”
The CFA Institute is one of the most prestigious finance associations. It acts as a not-for-profit organisation that provides financial education following ethics, education, and professional excellence standards.