AUBG students Elena Kalinova, Jose Emilio Valverde Dominguez, Kaloyan Ivanov, Katrin Dyulgerova, and Stanislav Todorov have won the CFA Institute Research Challenge 2022. As part of the competition, they had to evaluate a company and offer a forecast for its future. This year, the students dived into the world of Allterco, a Bulgarian company that delivers innovation through designing, producing and distributing high quality IoT products in over 100 markets. The team analyzed Allterco’s business model and finances.
Every year, the professional organization of Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA), gives the opportunity to many students to take part in a university competition, the CFA Research Challenge, and test their skills with intensive training in financial analysis. The global competition each year attracts more than 135 thousand people from all over the world.
The AUBG team’s academic advisor, professor Ali Termos, explained that the company evaluated is different each year and that it should be listed on the stock exchange so that the students have access to the company’s financial information.
Stanislav Todorov said that he would definitely remember the constant flow and exchange of ideas about how to approach the analysis of Allterco that accompanied every team meeting. He held the first level CFA exam in February 2022. “The expectations put on us were big,” Stanislav said. “Especially given the fact that AUBG hadn’t won for a couple of years. However, the team that was put together was as capable and as knowledgeable as a team could be and we managed to pull through. It was an amazing experience, and I am grateful I got the chance to be a part of it.”
“Being selected to participate in the CFA research challenge felt incredible,” said Katrin Dyulgerova who studies Economics and Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. She says the team worked hard and dedicated a lot of time and effort to achieve this recognition. “During the project, I broadened my horizons in terms of finance, became better at research, learned how to prepare well-designed report and presentation, and improved my presentation skills. However, the competition was anything but easy – for me, the most challenging parts were related to evaluating company risks and deriving assumptions for the future growth of the company.”
“The CFA Research Challenge was a dream of mine ever since my freshman year,” said Elena Kalinova. “The challenge itself was an experience for a lifetime which required a whole month of dedication and hard work till 3 a.m. It gave us the opportunity to learn, grow and challenge our limits at times when “the batteries were running low.” Nevertheless, the motivation to succeed and always strive for the best was ever-present throughout the journey and this is what kept us going. At the end of the day, all the efforts and long nights turned out to be worthwhile after we received the e-mail saying: ‘Your team is the winner of the CFA Research Challenge 2022- Bulgaria’. We proved to ourselves and the community that hard work pays off and represented AUBG as an institution where individuals never stop pursuing their personal best.”
Jose Emilio Valverde Dominguez, CFA level 1 holder
“It requires a lot of commitment,” Termos said. He said that the team had to put into practice all of the skills that they have gained during the four years at AUBG – they had to make a critical analysis, submit a well-structured report, make a concise presentation and cover the full analysis in 10 minutes in front of a jury of experts. “The team had less than a month to prepare the full analysis and all of this was parallel to their academic assignments for classes.” Termos said he was proud of the preparation that the students receive in their classes in Economics and Finance. He pointed out that completing even only the first level out of the three that a person needs in order to obtain the CFA certificate normally requires a lot of preparation and professional experience. However, one of the team members, Jose Emilio Valverde Dominguez, was able to pass the exam in the fall of 2021.
Following the big news that the AUBG team won of the CFA Challenge in Bulgaria, the students are now headed to the Regional competition. The presentations there will cover different companies thus the focus will be on the depth of the analysis.