Finance Students Win 1st Place in CFA Challenge

February 13, 2024
Golden Griffin Fund

Buffalo, NY – A four-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 Friday, February 10.  Canisius finance students have dominated the CFA Challenge in WNY since the competition’s inception in 2010. This year marks the 14th consecutive first-place win for Canisius. 

The Golden Griffin Fund team overcame some strong competitors including SUNY Geneseo, University at Buffalo, University of Rochester, Ithaca College and St. John Fisher University.  The team now advances to the sub-regional challenge for the Eastern portion of the U.S.  Winners of that challenge will be announced in March.  

This year’s Golden Griffin Fund team is comprised of: Garet A. Long ’24 of Stillwater, MN;  Maura Jordan ’24, of Cleveland, OH; Max Kouznetsov ’24, of Voorhees, NY; and Team Captain Andrew Finnerty ’24, of Elmira, NY.  

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, reporting, 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 CFA Research Challenge is Paychex. Founded in 1971 by B. Thomas Golisano, Paychex is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for human resources, payroll, retirement plans, employee benefits and business insurance.  The company employs 16,000 people, maintains 740,000 business clients throughout the United States and Europe and recorded $5.0 billion in revenue in 2023.  

Housed within the Richard J. Wehle School of Business, the Golden Griffin Fund was one of the region’s first real-money, equity investment funds managed by undergraduate and graduate business 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.  

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 190,000 members in 160 markets around the globe.  

For more information about the Golden Griffin Fund win, contact University Communications at 716-888-2792. 

Canisius was founded in 1870 in Buffalo, NY, and is one of 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. Consistently ranked among the top institutions in the Northeast, Canisius offers undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional programs distinguished by close student-faculty collaboration, mentoring and an emphasis on ethical, purpose-driven leadership.