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Bond competes in prestigious CFA Institute Research Challenge

A team of Bond University business students have made the prestigious national final of the CFA Institute Research Challenge, where they will compete for their place in the regional round of the competition held in Chicago, USA in April 2016.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual international competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis, promoting best practice in equity research among the next generation of analysts.

Bond University's team of Mark Johnman, Lauren Hutchinson, Barry Newell, Michael Hall and Luke Barker have advanced to the final round of competition with the assistance of industry mentor, Jason Sedawie, and academic mentor, Dr Simone Kelly.

Also competing in the national final at Colonial First State Global Asset Management in Sydney on October 14 will be Macquarie University, University of Sydney and University of Queensland.

Each team will give a ten minute oral submission on their financial analysis of the Sydney Airport followed by ten minutes of questions and answers, with the overall winner decided from the presentations made on the night.

Dr Simone Kelly, Associate Professor and Head of Finance at Bond University, said she was incredibly proud of the dedication and teamwork displayed by the students thus far.

"Bond first joined the CFA Research Challenge in 2013, however this is our first time making the national final so it is a very proud achievement for the students and the faculty," she said.

"This year's team possess a wide range of expertise among them - of the five members we have a commerce/law student, commerce student, finance student, actuarial science student and post-graduate accounting student.

"This has really equipped the team with a broad array of skills to be successful in the competition.

"I am so proud of how far the group has come, and especially of how cohesively they have worked as a team. Individually, they have all been confident and convincing in their submission, and shown incredible poise.

"The students have worked together under tense circumstances, and with different skill-sets you often get vastly different opinions, however their teamwork in successfully pulling their submission together has been a real credit to them."

Dr Kelly said the skills the students had learnt along the way would be of enormous benefit to them post-graduation.

"The first ever CFA Institute Research Challenge competition was held in 2002 and involved just five teams from the New York area. Since then, the competition has grown to involve tens of thousands of students from over 800 universities in more than 55 countries," she said.

"It is a fantastic avenue for students to gain access and exposure to leading industry professionals and hand-on experience working with, and managing the data for, a real company, in this case the Sydney Airport.

"I know this particular group of students really enjoyed the chance to go to the Sydney Airport company briefing earlier in the year and seeing what a real analyst's briefing looks like. It was an opportunity very few students have whilst at university and a huge perk of participating in the competition.

"The CFA Institute Research Challenge is just another example of the competitive industry opportunities available to students to do extracurricular activities related to their areas of study.

"It teaches them to be truly professional and work at a higher intensity than what they are used to in class, which puts them in good stead for their future careers.

For more information on the CFA Institute Research Challenge, visit

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