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Finance students win prestigious research competition

Boise State's 1st place CFA competition team
From left to right: Michael Whitney, Wesley Ripley, Jake Roper, Keith Harvey, Christian Nasser and Billy Shananberger.

A team of five finance students from Boise State won this year’s Chartered Financial Analyst Institute Research Challenge. Michael Whitney, Wesley Ripley, Jake Roper, Christian Nasser and Billy Shananberger prepared a financial analysis of a real-world company called LKQ Corporation. They presented their work to a panel of three judges, all chartered financial analysts, in a paper and an oral presentation.

The team beat competitors from Idaho State University, College of Idaho and Northwest Nazarene University to claim the title. This victory marks Boise State’s second consecutive win and its fifth win over the past eight competitions.

The chartered financial analyst designation is the highest credential for finance professionals. Their prestigious competition provides a unique learning experience for students. “Any time you’re doing real-world work, it’s a lot messier than classroom assignments,” said Keith Harvey, the team’s faculty coach. “This competition is a good exposure to real-world financial analysis.”

This experience and the relationships developed with members of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society of Idaho can open up job opportunities. Harvey noted that two of the student participants earned interviews following the competition. The interviewers were society members who were impressed with the team’s performance.

The team’s next step is a sub-regional competition, where they will face teams from all over the Mountain West. If they do well there, the team could advance to the Americas regional competition and then the global finals.