UCCI students win regional investment competition

From left, Richard Maparura, education chairman, CFA Society Cayman; Tom Rose-Innes, industry mentor; team captain Maria Pia Velasquez with team members Shamelia McPherson; Nina Robinson-Downs, Charles Lewinson Jr.; UCCI faculty adviser Dr. Kadeshah Swearing and competition head judge David Kamons.

University College of the Cayman Islands topped the Atlantic Islands regional CFA investment research competition for the first time on Feb. 22 in Miami, Florida.

By winning, the Cayman team qualified for a spot in the Americas regional final, which will be held in New York in April.

The UCCI team, consisting of Maria Pia Velasquez (team captain), Shamelia McPherson, Nina Robinson-Downs, Allison Tatum and Charles Lewinson Jr., joined more than 5,000 students worldwide in the 2019 CFA Research Challenge.

The CFA is a global body that certifies financial analysts and with the competition brings together students, investment industry professionals, publicly traded companies and corporate sponsors to promote best practices in equity research and company analysis.

In the competition, students research, analyze and report on a company as if they were practicing analysts.

Kadeshah Swearing, the team’s faculty adviser from UCCI, and Tom Rose-Innes of Dart Management Services Ltd, the team’s industry mentor, coached the students throughout the challenge and prepared them for the competition.

The students competed against teams from the University of the West Indies, Mona from Jamaica, the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill from Barbados and the University of the Bahamas. Each university team consisted of three to five students who presented their analysis, as well as their buy, sell or hold recommendations on Walt Disney, the entertainment company which conducts operations in media networks, studio entertainment, theme parks and resorts, consumer products and interactive media. The presentation was the culmination of conducting research, interviewing company management and refining presentation skills.

CFA Society Cayman Islands Education and Membership Chairman Richard Maparura, who traveled with the team, said he was thrilled with the students’ performance. “It was spectacular; the level of delivery was just first class and there was no doubt in my mind after the students made their pitch that history was in the making,” he said.

On behalf of the CFA Society, Mr. Maparura thanked the students and the mentors who worked meticulously and the local sponsor of the initiative, Wheaton Precious Metals.