March 25, 2010
Jenifer Shockley, 404-413-7078
ATLANTA - A team of five students representing Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson College of Business was first runner-up in the final round of the Americas Regional competition of the Global Investment Research Challenge held March 18 in New York.
This is the second year that the college has participated in the program, which is an initiative of the Charted Financial Analyst Institute. Robinson's team was one of 28 to advance to the Americas Regional from an original field of 185 university groups that competed throughout Canada, Latin America and the United States. The college secured its berth by winning the Southern Classic Investment Research Challenge in February.
Robinson defeated teams from MIT, Wharton's San Francisco Executive MBA program and local teams in preliminary rounds. Brigham Young University students were the winners.
The five-person team is composed of three undergraduate students - Patrick Boot, a dual major in accounting and finance; finance major Krisztina Katai; and Mariya Skovardanova, a dual major in finance and risk management and insurance - and two graduate students-George Connaughton, who is in master's of finance program, and Chris Klein, whose master of business administration degree is in finance. The group is not only a mix of graduate and undergraduate students but also a mix of nationalities. Patrick Boot is Dutch; Krisztina Katai is Hungarian; Mariya Skovardanova is Bulgarian.
Stephen P. Davenport, vice president and head of equity risk management at Wilmington Trust, mentored the team, which progressed through the competition due to the strength of the written and oral presentations of a sell-side equity research report that they prepared on Cbeyond, Inc. - a publicly traded Atlanta-based Voice over Internet Protocol service provider.
"Our team's achievement is testament to the caliber and dedication of Robinson College students," said Dean H. Fenwick Huss. "It also speaks to the excellence of our finance faculty, whose curriculum and instruction provided the team with the tools necessary to win."
Jonathan Godbey, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Finance who served as the team's faculty advisor, attributes the students' series of victories to "their enormous talent, hard work and maturity," and "the insights, leadership and motivation provided by their practitioner mentor, Steve Davenport. He was critical to our team's success."
The CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals. It confers the Chartered Financial Analyst and Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement designations. A leading voice on global issues of fairness, market efficiency and investor protection, the organization has nearly 100,000 members in 134 countries and territories and 137 affiliated professional societies in 58 countries and territories.
The largest business school in the South and part of a major research institution, Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson College of Business has 200 faculty, 8,000 students and 70,000 alumni. With programs on four continents and students from 160 countries, the College is worldwide and world class. Its part-time MBA is ranked among the best by BusinessWeek and U.S. News & World Report. Its Executive MBA is on the Financial Times list of the world's best EMBA programs. Located in Atlanta, the Robinson College and Georgia State have produced more of Georgia's top executives with graduate degrees than any other school in the nation.