Associate Professor Russell Gregory-Allen, Alex Gurr, Tim Kirkpatrick, Annie Zhang, Katie Brown and Jordan Taylor.


Hard work pays off for triumphant finance team

A team of finance students has triumphed in a competition that showcases stockmarket skills.

Katie Brown, Alex Gurr, Tim Kirkpatrick, Jordan Taylor and Annie Zhang won the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute Global Investment Research Challenge at KPMG in the Viaduct Harbour on Tuesday night.

They beat teams from five other universities in the "real life analysis" competition, where they predicted share value of NZX-listed carpet company Cavalier Corporation to within a cent of Tuesday’s closing price. They will now represent New Zealand and compete for the Asia-Pacific title in Bali in February.

The challenge involved researching, analysing and reporting on Cavalier as if they were practicing analysts and presenting a stock report to a panel of top fund managers. Ms Zhang, a finance PhD student, says they recommended a buy strategy to the judges based on a valuation of $3.20. “We recommended Cavalier with a target price of $3.20, from $2.64 at the start of the competition,” she says. “When we were presenting it was at $3.19 – one cent short of our recommended price.”

The presentation involved explaining how the team had reached that valuation to a panel including Paul Richardson of BT Funds, Guy Elliffe of AMP Capital Investors and Mark Brighouse of Brook Asset Management.

Team members were mentored by Matthew Goodson, of BT Fund Management, and Associate Professor Russell Gregory-Allen, a lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance on the Albany campus.

Dr Gregory-Allen says the team worked extremely hard, putting in up to 200 hours each, and were well prepared for questions. “What they have learned, you simply cannot learn from a text book,” he says. “This win is significant for their job prospects in New Zealand, but if they go all the way then it will open doors to the top jobs in the world.”

Mr Gurr and Mr Taylor are both third-year students, while Mr Kirkpatrick is a fourth year honours student and Ms Brown is completing her master's. Other universities taking part were Auckland, AUT, Canterbury, Otago and Victoria.

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