April 18, 2016


Buffalo, NY – Congratulations to the Golden Griffin Fund (GGF) team, which advanced to the Americas Finals in the 2016 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Institute Research Challenge. The competition was held in Chicago, IL.

More than 4,000 students from nearly 1,000 universities around the world competed in the challenge to show they have what it takes to be a successful investment management professional. Competing in the Americas Finals puts the team in the top 2 percent in the world.

The Canisius team is comprised of five members: Richard Kubiak ’16 (team captain), Mallory Murdie MBA ’17, Daniel Suarez ’16, Lee Huber ’16, and Alexander Vienne ’16. 

The team advanced to the Americas Finals after winning the semi-finals.

“This competition provides our students with an opportunity to integrate their academic training in a team environment and become polished professionals at the very start of their careers,” says Richard A. Wall, PhD, professor of economics and finance and faculty advisor to the Canisius team. Wall is joined by Matthew Krajna ’12, MBAACC ’12 who is serving as the Canisius team’s CFA mentor throughout the competition. Krajna is a portfolio advisor with Nottingham Advisors.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university-sponsored teams with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Specifically, the competition tests the analytic, valuation, report writing and presentation skills of students studying business, finance and economics. Teams are challenged to research a publicly-traded company and write a written report with a buy, sell or hold recommendation. Teams must then present and defend their analysis to a panel of industry professionals who serve as judges in the competition.

The subject company for this year’s Golden Griffin Fund team is Financial Institutions Inc. (FISI). It is a financial holding company for Five Star Bank, a New York State chartered community bank and Scott Danahy Naylon, LLC, a full service insurance agency. FISI recently acquired Courier Capital for private wealth management. Through these banking, insurance and investment management subsidiaries, FISI provides a wide range of banking and financial services to individuals, municipalities and businesses through its network of more than 50 offices and an extensive ATM network in Western and Central New York. The company’s stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol FISI and it is a member of the NASDAQ OMX ABA Community Bank Index.

Established in 2003, the GGF is one of the region’s first real-money, equity investment funds managed by undergraduate and graduate finance majors. GGF students select potential companies in which to invest, manage and analyze portfolio holdings, and evaluate and recommend companies to add to the portfolio.

“Certainly, we want students and investors to see a return but at its core, the GGF is an experiential learning program, says Steven Gattuso ’87, MBA ’89, CFA, CFP, director of the GGF. “Our objective is to prepare students for what they’ll experience in the job market in a much more effective way than traditional academics.”

The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute is a global association for investment professionals. It administers the CFA and Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) curriculum and exam programs worldwide; publishes research; conducts professional development programs; and sets voluntary, ethics-based professional and performance-reporting standards for the investment industry. The institute has more than 100,000 members, including the world’s more than 100,000 CFA charterholders, as well as 135 affiliated professional societies in 58 countries and territories.

One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York.