March 11, 2020

Nicholls Financial Analysis Team Heads to Regional Finals

Nicholls Financial Analysis Team Heads to Regional Finals

The Chartered Financial Analysis competitive team at Nicholls State University competed in the Southwest U.S. Research Challenge at Rice University on February 22.

The competitive team for Nicholls included:

  • Breanne Cazenave, a senior accounting and finance double major from Luling
  • Megan White, a senior accounting and finance double major from Pierre Part
  • Preston Thibodeaux, a senior accounting and finance double major from Baton Rouge
  • Carlos Calderone, a senior finance major from Morgan City
  • Terry Dupre, an MBA graduate student from Houma

The other teams in the finals were Baylor University, Rice University, St. Mary’s University, Texas A&M University, Texas Christian University, the University of Dallas and West Texas A&M University. Among the teams that made it into the finals, Nicholls is the only school from Louisiana, as well as the only team that wasn’t located in Texas.

This year’s Chartered Financial Analyst competitive team was advised and sponsored by Dr. John Lajuanie and Dr. Shari Lawrence, who are both professors of finance.

“Our students are consistently able to compete against major universities. To be this successful, really speaks highly of our students and their abilities,” Dr. Lawrence said. “As a small teaching university, we have dedicated faculty who give our students a lot of 1-on-1 attention. This is not just myself and Dr. Lajaunie. It’s all of the teachers they have had at Nicholls to bring them to this point.”

The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute Research Challenge is an yearly international competition that provides students at various universities with hands on mentoring and training in financial analysis. Students are expected to work in teams to research and analyze a company, even going so far as to meet with company management.

Each team is then responsible for writing a research report on their company with buy, sell, or hold recommendations. Then, the teams are asked to present and defend their analysis to a panel of professionals.

In the first round, teams are judged based on their written work. In the finals, teams are further tested on their analysis and ability to effectively communicate their research.

Teams are given twenty minutes to discuss their results, then ten minutes to present, followed by a ten minute question session. The team who comes in first place will advance to the nationals in New York City and April 20-21 for the opportunity to compete globally.

This year makes the fifth time since 2011 that Nicholls State University Financial Analysis has made the regional finals, including making it into nationals in 2015.

“This is yet another great group of students. This is a very, very intense, comprehensive exercise and our students have done an amazing job,” Dr. LaJaunie said. “We’re one of the smallest public schools that compete. We’re one of those schools that’s not supposed to make it. But I tell my team that they can beat any school we’re matched up against because we have a history of doing just that.”

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