State champions in CFA Institute Research Challenge

Griffith Business School students Navrubina Dhillon (centre), Stuart Farmer, Austin Tsang, Joshua McBrien and Fang Cui.

A team of finance students from Griffith Business School has beaten counterparts at UQ, QUT and Bond University to win the Queensland final of the CFA Institute Research Challenge.

All four university teams pitched an investment thesis on AfterPay (APT.AX), regarded as one of Australia’s leading fintech companies offering “Buy-Now-Pay-Later” payment services.

Team captain Navrubina Dhillon, who is in her final year of a dual Bachelor of Commerce / Law, said she was conscious of all those that had gone before them.

“Griffith has a very strong record in this competition and we’ve made the final for this competition five years running now”

“Griffith has a very strong record in this competition and we’ve made the final for this competition five years running now,” she said.

“I don’t think any other Queensland team has that kind of record.

“It was actually a good foundation to start with and it really shows the quality of the education we are receiving.”

Navrubina said she was also proud of the team’s hard work and commitment to the competition and conceded there was little they didn’t know about the stock now.

“You could ask me anything about Afterpay now. When we first got together as a team it was June, so for about three months all we were doing was thinking Afterpay… Afterpay… Afterpay.

“One of the biggest parts of the Challenge is the report you have to submit, which is 10 pages with 20 pages of appendices and each appendices page has about 7-8 graphs on it.

“Collecting all that data and information gives you an holistic view of a company.”

As part of the competition, Rubina and teammates Stuart Farmer (BCom/BSc), Austin Tsang (BCom), Joshua McBrien (BCom) and Fang Cui (MFin) were quizzed about their thesis by three local industry leaders, who were anonymous for equity reasons.

Dr John Fan

Senior Lecturer in Finance within the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Dr John Fan said the judges were particularly impressed by Griffith’s report.

“The judges acknowledged that the quality was above and beyond the industry standard,” Dr Fan said.

“This year’s competition marks our eighth national finals appearance in the last nine years.

“These students have shown extraordinary effort, passion and top-quality work.

“Through this intensive experience over four months they have developed industry-ready skills, learned about teamwork, how to deal with competing deadlines and more importantly, adversities.”

Senior Client Advisor at Morgans Financial and a long time industry advisor to Griffith, Ken Howard, said culture had been a differentiating factor in Griffith’s success in the challenge over many years.

Griffith will now represent the CFA Brisbane Chapter in the new Sub-Regional competition, facing winners from Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand.

CFA is a globally-recognized professional designation given by the CFA Institute and stands for Chartered Financial Analyst.

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