Alumni engagement and philanthropy


04 March 2020

A team of students from Queen’s Management School has won the 2020 Irish CFA Research Challenge organised by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, and with it a trip to the EMEA finals in Jordan!

Hosted by Davy Group in Dublin on 27 February, the four Queen’s undergraduates impressed the judging panel with their detailed analyst report and professional presentation outlining their investment thesis on First Derivatives.

It is the second time the Queen’s School has won the Ireland competition.

This year’s team of Megan O'Hanlon (BSc Finance), Matthew Bain (BSc Business Economics), Bogdan Golumbeanu (BSc Economics with Finance) and Owen McCaw (BSc Actuarial Science) all play leadership roles in Queen’s Student Managed Fund.   

Originally set up with the support of graduate donations to the Queen’s Annual Fund (QAF), the Queen’s Student Managed Fund (QSMF) provides students with the opportunity to manage and operate a real-money investment portfolio.

The winning students were guided by faculty mentor, Joseph Harrigan, and industry mentor Marie Gillespie, Senior Equity Analyst at Davy.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual worldwide competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Students work in teams to research and analyse a publicly traded company and then write a research report on their assigned company with a buy, sell, or hold recommendation.

They undertake detailed financial and valuation analysis in the form of an equity research report which is then presented to a panel of industry professionals. Students are then questioned on their proposal by the panel, and are expected to defend and explain their opinions and findings.

Each Research Challenge season leverages the efforts of over 150 CFA member societies, 4,000 member volunteers, and more than 6,000 students from over 1,000 universities.

The regional and global competitions are hosted by CFA Institute in the Americas; Asia Pacific; and Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions. The winning teams from each regional competition advance to the Global Final, where one team emerges as the global champion of the CFA Institute Research Challenge.

The competition allows students to put into practice what they learn in the classroom and gain valuable insights into best practice in industry. Students are able to demonstrate tangible technical and softer skills development to prospective employers, with the CFA Institute recognised as the leading global association for investment professionals.

Speaking about her experience in this year’s CFA event, Megan O’Hanlon said: “The CFA Research Challenge was a fantastic learning experience. It was challenging and team work was essential.

“It's a unique opportunity to combine industry practice and academic knowledge, while competing against some of Ireland's best students.

“Networking with Ireland's leading financial professionals was richly rewarding.”

The team now progresses to represent Queen’s Management School at the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) finals in the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa in Jordan, at the beginning of April.

Established in 2012, the QMSF transitioned to a self-sustaining real money fund in April 2016. Students currently manage funds in excess of £35,000 through Davy Group, Ireland's leading provider of wealth management, asset management, capital markets and financial advisory services.

The QMSF provides practical experience to members and ultimately enhances individual career opportunities. Using the FinTrU Trading Room, students make all investment decisions with guidance provided by the faculty Oversight Committee.

Active participation in the Fund has been instrumental in helping members secure highly competitive roles, with recent alumni moving into positions in companies such as Davy, Morgan Stanley, Blackrock, Rothschild & Co and BNY Mellon.

Queen’s is one of only a handful of UK and Irish Universities offering students such an experience, ensuring they have more of an edge in the global jobs market.

For further information on QMSF please contact Barry Quinn in Queen's Management School. To support student scholarships and philanthropic funding at the University go to the Queen’s Foundation web page or contact Aoife McNabb, Development Manager.

General enquiries about this news story to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Queen’s Development and Alumni Relations Office; tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.

Photo left to right: Owen McCaw, Bogdan Golumbeanu, Matthew Bain & Megan O’Hanlon (front)

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