GRA 6562 CFA Research Challenge

GRA 6562 CFA Research Challenge

Course code: 
GRA 6562
Department: 
Finance
Credits: 
6
Course coordinator: 
Janis Berzins
Course name in Norwegian: 
CFA Research Challenge
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc in Finance
Semester: 
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Level of study: 
Master
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

The course focuses on developing valuation skills to produce an equity analyst report on a company, presentation skills to develop an effective presentation based on the report and debating soft skills to effectively conduct a Q&A session. The skills developed in the course will allow students to successfully compete in CFA Institute Research Challenge- a personal challenge previous BI teams undertaken and performed at the top level.

The course is seminar-based, and students will focus on understanding one company in depth: working on business description, industry and competition analysis, evaluating the ESG performance, developing report of the target company's expected financials, risk analysis, fundamental and relative valuation. Students will be challenged to understand company well enough to come up with a compelling economic investment thesis of company future developments. 

The course is a combination of regular meetings, which will start in October and end at the end of December (slowing down for the exam period), visits from various industry and academic guest lecturers on valuation topics, soft skills such as presentation and communication skills, and visits of previous competition groups on key competition skills. Internal elimination round is in December/January.

Students are expected to compete, but it is not necessary for the course. Priority will be given to those who want to compete. The course grade is independent of the competition.

For further information about the Research Challenge, see

CFA Institute Research Challenge

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • Ability to identify sources of value in a business, transform them in investment thesis, communicate the result via written report, påresentation, Q&A session by using curent industry standard tools and best practices.
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Develop, structure, and continuously improve the following hard and soft skills related to
    • Writen equity analyst report
    • Equity analyst pitch
    • Handling Q&A sessions
  • Value the ethical issues and conflicts of interest that arise in finance
  • Create a detailed map between ESG and SDG taxonomy and the forecast of cashflow and the cost of capital.
  • Synthesize in-depth tools taught in Applied Valuation, Economics, Research Methodology, Investments, and Quantitative Methods to create concise story about the potential firm value.
General Competence

Master

  1. Digital modeling skills, in depth Excel modeling of valuation models,
  2. Internationally recognized analysis skills,
  3. Recognize value of sustainable business model,
  4. Soft presentation and Q&A skills.
Course content

Full valuation of a real-life case by integrating knowledge from previous copurses,

Financial statement analysis, 

Equity analyst report,

Review of valuation methods/theory,

Soft communication skills.

Link ESG, SDG and valuation.

Teaching and learning activities

The course is applied, industry- and skills-oriented, and applicable to many career paths in finance and is a fantastic opportunity to enhance your CV and overall marketability. The structure of the course will prepare you for the CFA Research Challenge- one of the toughest international case competitions- organized by the CFA Institute and based on the best international practices in finance. As part of the course, you will compete for a chance to participate in a national elimination round. The winner of the national round earch possibility to participate in the subregional round, EMEA regional round, and the Global final round. The BI competition team has been at the EMEA final round four times and at Global round three times. The expetience is trully memorable. As part of the preparation, you will work with an industry mentor to fine-tune your analysis, presentation, and Q&A setup.

You will have weekly meetings with faculty and\or industry mentor or guest lecturer to develop the report and to rehearse the presentation. Guest lecturers will focus on communication skills, valuation topics, competition skills, or will conduct practice presentations.

The course builds on the valuation skills developed in the Corporate Finance, Applied Valuation, Economics or similar courses. The course will introduce you to the work of financial analysts by conducting an in-depth analysis of one company. You will learn how to produce an efficient analyst report and how to communicate your results by presenting your findings and arguing for buy or sell recommendation based on your case. You will:

  • By integrating skills from the previous courses develop investment thesis to understand how the company makes money, what potential it has and at what risk.
  • Review how valuation approaches such as Enterprise Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), Adjusted Present Value, Equity DCF, and multiples relate to the value of a company.
  • Communicate concisely an economic argument of your valuation thesis.
  • Incorporate overall business analysis in the company valuation.
  • Understand how to focus you report to efficiently communication your findings.
  • Master sensitivity analysis to support your arguments.

    This is one of the very few opportunities to enhance your Excel modeling skills in the manner demanded by the industry.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course starts.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.

Honor Code

Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honor code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honor code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

Any violation of the honor code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honor code and academic integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honor code, please ask.

Qualifications

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Covid-19 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.

Teaching 

Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Required prerequisite knowledge

Corporate Finance and/or Applied Valuation course.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA65621
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
45No8 Week(s)Group (2 - 5) Written report
Exam category:
Activity
Form of assessment:
Presentation and discussion
Exam code:
GRA65621
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
45No1 Semester(s)Group/Individual (2 - 5)
Exam category:
Activity
Form of assessment:
Class participation
Exam code:
GRA65621
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
10No1 Semester(s)Individual
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:45
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (2-5)
Duration:8 Week(s)
Comment: Written report
Exam code:GRA65621
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Presentation and discussion
Weight:45
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group/Individual (2-5)
Duration:1 Semester(s)
Comment:
Exam code:GRA65621
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Class participation
Weight:10
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration:1 Semester(s)
Comment:
Exam code: GRA65621
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
ECTS
Total weight: 
100
Sum workload: 
0

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.