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FactSet Supports Participants of the CFA Institute Research Challenge

April 18, 2018

Each year, the CFA Research Challenge brings together 3,500 member volunteers and 5,000 students from over 1,000 universities globally in a competition designed to showcase the financial world’s rising stars. During the event, student teams research and analyze publicly traded companies, producing reports judged by members of the CFA Institute Society, and vying for a chance to become global champions. In an effort to empower these teams with the data and solutions to back up their best thinking, FactSet provides access to its workstation during the competition.

Earlier this month, one such team from the Labovitz School of Business and Economics’ Financial Markets Program, earned a historic win as the first upper Midwest regional participant to advance to the global finals of the Research Challenge.

Team members, Ryan Kimbrel, Reed Leonidas, Nawal Mirza, Frank Takkinen, and Ryan Woitalla, began their journey with a February win at the Upper Midwest Competition where they beat 16 other teams from four states. From there, LSBE’s team advanced to the Americas Regional competition in Boston. The team’s presentation (an extensive financial analysis of the Fastenal Company) beat out 26 others from schools in North and South America, and secured LSBE’s place in the global finals, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 27.

"One of the most pivotal moments in our program's learning process occurred when we elected to participate in the CFA Research Challenge,” said Joe Artim, Director, LSBE Financial Markets Program. “The depth and vast nature of the analysis required to sufficiently compete in this competition forced us to reevaluate our program resources and learning process. Through our initial involvement in the CFA Research Challenge, we were given access to the FactSet platform, and I immediately understood the power and value of this platform and the impact it would have on our learning process going forward.”

“It has been an absolute pleasure to help Joe and his team incorporate FactSet into their curricula. We are proud to see the team’s experience with FactSet helped it earn this well-deserved win,” said Kira Irchirl, Academic Sales Specialist at FactSet. “We wish the team the best of luck at the global finals!”

For more details about the Research Challenge and to view the global final round, visit: