Finance Team crowned CFA Institute Research challenge winners for the third time

National University of Science and Technology (NUST) has been crowned winners of the national CFA Institute Research Challenge and now advances to compete with countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics.

The winning university team from each local competition advances to the sub-regional and finally to the global competitions.

To advance to the sub-regional competitions, NUST Finance team shrug off competition from other participants who included University of Zimbabwe, Midlands State University and Chinhoyi University of Technology.

Representing NUST were students from the Finance Department, Rufaro Hozheri, Belinda Chivandire, Nonsikelelo Mangena, Tinotenda Njowa and Desire Muchipisi.

Mr Alden Muhoni of Ernst & Young mentored the team while Mr Nobert Mungwini, a lecturer at the University advised the team.

The students went through a four-month mentorship programme on equities research, report writing and presentation. The Subject Company was OK Zimbabwe.

NUST has won this year’s competition, which was held virtually to bring their total wins to three since the contest started three years ago.

For the students it was a great moment with some seeing that as a big step towards the professional life.

“The whole process was not only challenging but enriching as well,” said one of the students, Rufaro Hozheri.  

He said the competition also taught him team work and commitment.

Belinda Chivandire, another student from the winning team was very excited that she made it into the NUST team.

“It was good to be in the competition; we developed a lot in terms of academic skills. I got the reassurance that I am in the right field and as a young woman I can also make it along-side my male colleagues,” she said.

The competition was a chance for the students to put the finance theory they learn into practice.

The local host coordinator, Mr Ranga Makwata, said hosting the competition online for the first time was a new experience.

“Moving the challenge online was something we had to do, we could not postpone the competition because we wanted to keep up the momentum and in any case no one knows what will be the future of learning so we had to embrace it,” said Makwata.

He stressed that despite the challenges that came with the new system, the level of competency and understanding of what is needed within the students showed marked improvement.

He was also hopeful that the winning team will do well at the next level of the competition.

A lecturer at NUST, Mr Norbert Mungwini admitted that the exposure which the students got was also a way of evaluating the University’s Corporate Finance department in particular to see if the students could apply the valuation methods they are taught.

“We are excited as a team, Department, Faculty and NUST family, it gives us more energy to improve each and every time,” said Mr Mungwini

This year’s CFA Institute Research Challenge, hosted by Investment Professionals Association of Zimbabwe (IPAZ) was supported by Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) whose head of investor education Farai Mpofu was the guest of honour.

Other sponsors were Morgan & Co, Intellego Investment Consultants, Bulls and Bears and Platinum Group while ZFN was the media partner.

The winning team’s trophy and medals were presented by Mr Ranga Makwata and Mr Takudzwa Mpunzi to the Chairperson of the Department of Finance, Dr Edson Mbedzi and the winning team.

The next calendar cycle for 2021–2022 will kick off in July 2021 globally. – Online.

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