Stillman team preps for Prague in global competition

When the SHU team was announced as the winners of the National CFA Institute Research Challenge, a competition in which teams are divided by regions and given a company stock to analyze. Members explained their feelings of excitement and pride.

“It was such a surreal feeling. I think we were all in shock, but we were all excited that we were able to accomplish this not only for ourselves, but for Seton Hall,” Katie McCarthy, a senior finance and management MBA student, said.

The Stillman team is gearing up to compete in Prague on April 28. Photo via Facebook/CFA Institute.

As a part of the New York regional team, the SHU group was assigned a construction company to analyze, considering its financials.
The CFA Institute Research Challenge, at the national level, tests 53 teams from North and South America on their ability to professionally analyze a company and present their research to a panel made up of Wall Street executives.

This January, Seton Hall was chosen as the winner of the challenge for the Americas and will be competing in the global competition in Prague on April 28. However, their success up to this point did not come without hard work and dedication from every team member.

Anthony Pescetto, team captain and a senior pursuing a MBA in finance, recounted the grueling six- month preparation process.

“We worked every Saturday from October until now,” Pescetto said. “We worked on the presentation and the paper and went from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and had meetings during the week to make sure we didn’t forget anything.”

However, according to Pescetto, being chosen to be one of the final four schools left from the 1,100 worldwide was worth every hour spent in the conference room.

“It means a lot because being able to represent Stillman and Seton Hall at such a big stage was really important,” he explained. “It’s really nice to see Stillman and Seton Hall supporting us, especially Professor [Tony] Loviscek, our adviser. We couldn’t have done it without him.”

Loviscek, who has been the faculty adviser for the challenge for 12 years, believes this competition benefits the team members as much as winning it benefits Seton Hall. “I am a firm believer that while concepts provide the foundation for learning, the application in a real world setting drives home the concepts, showing the realism and relevance of them,” Loviscek said.

This competition provides students with realworld experience for theorems and concepts learned on campus. Pescetto explained the uniqueness of the competition.

“It’s unlike anything else Seton Hall can offer you because it’s a real life conflict and you’re selling it to real world people,” he said. “They’re not going to accept any academic paper or presentation.”

The team kept this in mind as it prepared for the global competition in Prague this week.

“For the global competition, we’ve met a few times to continue to practice our presentation,” McCarthy said. “We’ve also continued to update any numbers so that we have the most up to date numbers to be going off of and have been following the stock very closely.”

Pescetto further explained how the team is continuing the meticulous preparation process.

“We only had a couple weeks to prepare,” he said. “If there are any shortfalls, we want to check those and make sure that we’re ready to go.”
Loviscek noted the power of their success and how hard work got the team to this point.

“It’s a reminder that ‘gumption’ and God’s grace can make for ‘the little train that could,’” he said.

Alyssa Schirm can be reached at alyssa.schirm@student.shu.edu.

Author: Alyssa Schirm

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