Five School of MEM students, dubbed the KingsMEM team, have entered the Chicago Quantitative Alliance (CQA) Investment Challenge. No matter how this team does in the contest, they will come away winners with real-world experience in making investment decisions and then having to explain those choices to a panel.

The KingsMEM team includes:

  • Andy Caragaceanu – first year, Finance and Wealth Management
  • Kyle Keller – fourth year, Finance
  • Jordan Lunick – fourth year, Honours Accounting
  • Serge Muhirwa – third year, Economics
  • Mathew Vanderhoeff – second year, Finance

They received assistance from faculty sponsor Jordan Kotick, School of MEM Lecturer, mentor Jeff Brown, President and CEO of 18 Asset Management, Inc., and Dr. Josephine Gemson, Assistant Professor from The School of MEM.

This is the first year that King’s has entered the prestigious competition which includes teams from Ivey Business School, the University of Chicago, the University of Toronto, Cal Tech, Cornell University, Brown University, Duke University, the University of South California, etc. 

In its fifth year, the CQA Investment Challenge is an equity portfolio management competition, offering students the opportunity to learn and apply stock selection and portfolio management skills in a simulated, real-life hedge fund experience. Each team selects a minimum of 80 stocks from a list of 1000. The team is judged both on the portfolio’s performance and the creation of a ten-minute video, explaining their decisions to a panel of CQA reviewers.

The ten-minute video for the competition was produced by King’s Communications Interns from Fanshawe College, Lourdes Hurtado, Zirda Kikki, and Aysenur Ece Kurt with videography assistance by Spenser Henstock, Communications Intern and a current King’s student who is studying Business Writing.

When Brown, a member of the Board of Directors of the CQA, reached out to King’s, Dr. Grigori Erenburg, Director of the School of MEM, saw it as “an invaluable opportunity for the students to learn directly from the industry experts that we could not pass up. Overall, the takeaway for all parties involved is tremendous. The student team has been extremely dedicated and their understanding of the markets has been exemplary.”

When putting together their investment portfolio, the KingsMEM team created a criteria and analyzed data to determine which industries are growing, which are not and what stocks from those industries to invest in. They learned how to research stocks, read cues through economic events, and develop their presentation skills - formulating stock pitches and writing analyst reports.

“Managing assets is only one side of the coin in the industry, the other is being able to communicate and building relationships with your clients,” says Lunick.

They were able to put many of the skills learned at King’s into practice. “I’ve learned to perform thorough research, develop an analytical mindset while leveraging the extra-curricular resources at King’s to mold myself into an effective communicator. The world of finance is one of constant change. What I hope to learn is how to quickly adapt within such an environment,” says Muhirwa. 

Brown says creating the video gave the students experience in telling their story in front of an audience. In creating the video, the team worked with King’s communications interns to create what Muhirwa calls “a unique, cinematic experience for our reviewers. We’re very lucky to have such dedicated professionals working with our team who want to see students excel beyond the classroom.”

For more information on the CQA Investment Challenge, please visit https://www.cqa.org/investment_challenge.