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AUBG Students Devise a Unique Project in Financial Analysis

May 20, 2015

Nothing is impossible at AUBG and two students once again proved that when they not only realized a complicated project in financial analysis but also succeeded in turning it into a one-credit class, bringing real-life professionals on campus and receiving funding.

All started in the beginning of fall semester 2014 when Andrei Pavlenko and Tornike Mchedlishvili, the presidents of the student club Asset Trading and Management (AT&M), were brainstorming ideas on the club’s activities during the academic year.

“In the past years AT&M Club used to organize lectures for students on various finance topics but we wanted to initiate a project that would require more involvement from students and will offer more opportunities for students,” Pavlenko said.

This is how the idea of the AT&M Valuation Challenge -- a project that would include both theoretical and practical parts-- was born.

The two students introduced the idea to AUBG professors Andrey Gurov and Marenglen Berisha who agreed to supervise the project. The two students and the two professors then worked with the chair of the business department Robert White to turn the project into part of the curriculum. At the end, all student participants in the project received one additional credit to their transcripts.

After the successful organization of the project in the fall, Pavlenko and Mchedlishvili proceeded with its implementation in the spring of 2015. AT&M club members of all standings formed five teams of four to five students. The participants of the Valuation Challenge selected two companies from different industry sectors and performed a semester-long financial analysis on them.

The teams submitted four progress reports to Berisha and Gurov during the semester and presented their final project April 26 in front of a panel that consisted of experts from the financial industry. The presentation was held as part of the Corporate Financial Analysis course taught by Gurov and Berisha.

Gurov, Berisha, head of Risk Management Department at Societe Generale Bulgaria Nickolay Nedelchev, investment banking associate at New Europe Corporate Advisory (NECA) Mariyan Rangelov, general manager and founder at Melon Finance and financial analyst & investment consultant at Beta Corp JSC Tihomir Kaundzhiev and CEO at Alaric Capital AD and CEO and founder at Alaric Securities Anton Panayotov were the members of the jury that was to select the winning team.

The presentation was a valuable experience both for the students and the financial experts, Gurov said. “It gave the students a different perspective from what they usually get in the classroom and I think that benefited them enormously,” he said. “It also benefited the people from the industry because they saw the talent that we create here in AUBG. That led to a lot of opportunities for future career development and internship opportunities.”

Having heard the presentations of all teams, the panel chose AUBG students Nekruz Mamadalizoda, Timur Huseynov, Artem Eremin, Vyacheslav Babayan and Todor Boyadzhiev as the winners of the challenge.

“Our team successfully combined the financial experience of our team-leaders with the passion to learn from our freshman,” Huseynov said. “We worked hard together as a team and were very glad to see our work recognized.”

Impressed with the student work, Panayotov singlehandedly decided to award 1000 leva to the winning team and 1000 leva to the club and promised to host the students of the club in the trading floor in Sofia.

“Students should not be restricted by the fact that something has never been done at AUBG,” Pavlenko said. “We faced many challenges on the way, but the results surpassed our expectations, thus we want to urge all students to implement their ideas in practice since it only takes hard work.”

Story by Dimana Doneva
Photo Courtesy of Andrey Gurov and Andrei Pavlenko

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