Canisius Wins First Place in CFA Challenge

February 21, 2017

Buffalo, NY - For the seventh consecutive year, a five-person team from the Canisius University Golden Griffin Fund (GGF) took home first place in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge of Western New York, held at Canisius University on Monday, February 20.  Canisius secured its latest win over the University of Rochester (second place) and SUNY Geneseo (third place), as well as Cornell University, Syracuse University, SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Oswego. 

“The Canisius team is to be congratulated for such a remarkable accomplishment,” says Richard A. Wall ’78, PhD, CFA, professor of economics and finance and faculty advisor to the Canisius team.  “Our students work extremely hard and their success speaks to the in-depth, forward-thinking training that they receive in equity research at Canisius.”

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.  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 Canisius GGF team is Columbus McKinnon Corp.  The company is a leading worldwide designer, manufacturer and marketer of material handling systems and services, which efficiently and ergonomically move, lift, position or secure material.  Key products include hoists, cranes, and lifting and rigging tools.  Columbus McKinnon is listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the CMCO ticker symbol.

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. 

“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 Steven Gattuso ’87, MBA ’89, CFA, CFP, CMA, director of the GGF and CFA mentor to Canisius students. 

 The Golden Griffin Fund team that took home first place in the Western New York CFA Institute Challenge was comprised of Jesse Caulkins ’16, MBA ’17 (team captain), Cory Cullen ’17, Meghan Federico ’17, Auston Ingram ’17 and Jeffrey Spencer ’17.    The team now advances to the America’s regional competition in Seattle, WA, on April 6-7, where it will compete with college and university teams from North and South America.  The winner of the America’s regional competition then vies for the global CFA championship in Prague, Czech Republic on April 28, 2017.

In 2015, Canisius University won the global championship title, placing first over more than 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 865 universities in 70 countries. 

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 approximately 142,000 members in 159 countries, and membership societies in 73 countries around the world. 

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