The Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (JJCBE) Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Challenge team consisting of Phil Boyett, Grant Ganoom, Nick Tunell and Jake Weimer, took first place at the regional Spokane CFA Institute Research Challenge, in Spokane, on February 21.

As the first-place winner, the team earned a place in the March 18-19, 2014 Americas competition in Denver, CO. There, the students will compete against mostly MBA teams from programs like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, and other top business schools from 47 other regions spanning North and South America. The winner from the Americas competition will face off in the Global Final on April 25, 2014 against the Asia Pacific champion and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) champion.

Competition preparation began in October 2013 for the four JJCBE students when they were notified that the firm for their analysis was the Potlatch REIT. They submitted their written report for the competition just after the winter holiday break. Their report received extremely high marks, resulting in an invitation to Spokane for the regional CFA Institute Research Challenge presentation competition. Other schools that competed were: Boise State, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga, Northwest Nazarene, University of Montana, Washington State University, and Whitworth.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a competition between university-sponsored teams that research a designated publicly traded company, prepare a written report on that company, and then present their findings to a panel of judges. Business and finance students participating in the CFA Institute Research Challenge interact with investment professionals and top firms while gaining real-world experience in equity analysis, sell-side research report writing, and presentation skills.

The JJCBE team, coached by Peter Rubicam, adjunct instructor of finance, and Eric Flynn, JJCBE alumnus with Bitterroot Capital Advisors, LLC, spent many months and hundreds of hours preparing an analysis and presentation for the competition.

This is the fourth year that the JJCBE has fielded a team. In 2011, the JJCBE team placed 2nd at the Spokane competition and last year, 2013, the student team took 1st place in Spokane. Previous team members have said the experience was not only rewarding, but also provided them with invaluable experience. These students received support and funding from the Alderson Program in Entrepreneurship.

For more information about the competition, please contact Peter Rubicam, peter.rubicam@montana.edu or 406-994-6198.

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