AUBG Team Wins Bulgaria’s CFA Research Challenge and Goes to the Finals in Chicago

March 07, 2016

AUBG Seniors Iva Gabrakova, Stancho Stanchev and Elena Georgieva won Bulgaria’s CFA Research Challenge and together with their mentor and professor Andrey Gurov will represent Bulgaria on the finals in Chicago this April.

Organized for the first time in Bulgaria this year, the competition included nine teams from different universities in Bulgaria. Each team did an investment evaluation of the pharmaceutical company Sopharma AD and a panel of CFA Institute representatives and leading Bulgarian investment and fund management companies judged the students’ findings and papers.

“What helped our team win, in my opinion, was the dedication and hard work of each member, as well as the constructive feedback we received from our faculty advisor and industry expert Andrey Gurov,” Stanchev said.

The three seniors, who are all majoring in Business Administration and Economics with a concentration in finance and accounting, are not new to financial analysis. Stanchev is the president of the AUBG student club Assets Trading and Management (AT&M), Georgieva is its treasurer and Gabrakova participated in the club’s valuation challenge in spring 2015 semester.

“My experience from AUBG’s AT&M Club was, in fact, more useful than I expected,” Stanchev said. “From our club’s Valuation Challenge I was already familiar with the general steps required for a quality analysis, including many technicalities which are essential for examining the industry.”

“Even though [the club’s challenge] had a competitive structure, it’s very different than trying to win the right to represent Bulgaria on an international level,” Gabrakova said.

The three students were up for the national challenge and over the winter break applied the knowledge acquired at AUBG to the real-life case. All the effort paid off when on Feb. 19, 2016, the AUBG team was selected to represent Bulgaria on the regional competitions and compete for a place on the global final.

“While preparing for the local level of the competition, I not only improved my understanding of business strategy and fundamental analysis but also had the chance to be mentored by top faculty and research analyst and be part of an outstanding team of AUBG students who like me are ambitious and passionate about finance,” Georgieva said. “We all have different strengths and managed to apply them in the most efficient way.”

All selected participants will be presenting the project they have worked on at the local level of the competition. “You stick to what you did for the month you had at the beginning – you can’t change anything,” Gabrakova said. Because of the 10th global anniversary of the challenge, the regional and global finals will both take place in Chicago April 13-15.

“[We want] to make winning the national CFA Challenge a tradition for the AUBG students,” Gurov said. “This would require hard work both in the regular courses offered in the Business program, as well as in the numerous extracurricular finance-related activities, which help the students polish their skills and expand on the material covered in class.”

The CFA Institute is a renowned global professional network in finance which offers certification for financial analysts. The institute has also developed a number of educational programs aimed at acquainting students with the professional standards for providing investment analysis and portfolio management skill. The CFA Research Challenge is one of the institute’s key programs.

Story by Tsvetiana Zaharieva
Photography by Dimana Doneva

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