Continuing from previous years’ achievements, MiF students, representing IE Business School, became champion in the Iberian Regional Final of the prestigious CFA Investment Research Challenge 2014. As part of the competition, students must work in teams to research and analyze a publicly traded stock (ENCE).

Recently we caught up with the winning team, consisting of 5 nationalities across 3 continents. Here’s what they had to say about the competition so far:

Coming from Heidelberg, Germany, Fabian Dienemann has thoroughly enjoyed the experience thus far. He revealed how interesting it was to read/ understand two different industries, i.e. pulp & renewable energy for the competition. Not to mention, the recent regulatory changes that posed big challenges for DCF assumptions and industry outlooks. With his prior internship at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, Fabian felt the competition gave a glimpse into a real-life equity analyst’s work. For the EMEA finals, Fabian believes it’s more about convincing the judges with an amazing presentation rather than focusing on technical details. In his own words, “Honestly, I just wanna have fun in Milan ;)”

Next we have Viktor Stoichkov from the charming city of Sofia, Bulgaria. Having studied in Amsterdam for his bachelors before coming to Madrid, Viktor is “a reputable gentlemen with an Amsterdam touch” as described by his fellow team members. For Viktor, the most intriguing part was working with the rest of the team and sharing the entire experience so far. Viktor believes the team overall learned a lot about valuation techniques apart from improving the communication skills. The competition will be tough but he is sure that the team is well-prepared and can perform great.

Akshay Dalmia, the only Asian in the winning team, has spent most of his life in Dubai, UAE. The actual process of working with the team in unravelling, step by step, the process of valuing a company which was undergoing a turbulent time in its business cycle was fantastic. During the process, as Akshay articulated fluently, he had been able to refine his ability to work in a team and effectively present the findings to a panel. In addition, he felt that the team has worked hard in knowing as much of ENCE (the company) as possible. Akshay remains confident in the ability of the team to deliver quality work for the next round, regardless the final outcome.

Jumping to the other side of the World, we have Dan Mirolli, originally from The Lake City – Acworth, Georgia, United States. With his passion for travelling that has taken him from Shanghai to Paris, Daniel told us about his experience in the competition – differentiating the team from the competition. Thinking on a macroeconomic level from the viewpoint of the Company, the analyst, and the investor has been, in Daniel’s opinion, the most creative and rewarding experience. He feels his teamwork skills has improved as a result of limited preparation time – and it definitely helped the team “eat/sleep/breath the competition”. Dan insists on being cautiously optimistic about the EMEA finals, as to have reached this far has been a blessing in and of itself.

Any guess where our next interviewee is from? 🙂 With an analytical mindset, Yehor Serdiuk represents the very best of modern Ukraine. For Yehor, ENCE provided fascinating challenges – in the time when the market anticipated results, the team had the chance to do analysis, take an opinion and see the differences from the market consensus. He mentioned how crucial it was to efficiently organize teamwork since the research work was quite extensive. It also was the first time he built a full-fledged financial model from scratch. “That was anything but easy”, Yehor remarked smilingly. For the Finals, Yehor is focusing on enhancing their presentation skills for the juries.

All in all, it was obvious during the interview that the team is thrilled about reaching the finals. We offer the best wishes for the EMEA finals in Milan! : )

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