Four undergraduate students from the UW Oshkosh College of Business competed in the local competition of the Global Investment Research Challenge on February 24, a prestigious competition sponsored by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute.

The UW Oshkosh students, who all are part of the college’s Student-Managed Endowment Fund program, competed against four other teams; Carthage College, UW-Madison, UW-Whitewater and UW-Eau Claire. Members of the UW Oshkosh team include Jonathan Dudzinski, Wesley Merk, Luke Schroeder and Aaron Spaulding. The UW-Madison team of graduate students from the Applied Security Analysis program, won the local competition, by the CFA Society of Madison and the CFA Society of Milwaukee to advanced to the final round, April 6-7, in Omaha, Neb., competing as one of the final four teams of 41 teams from North and South American. (

“Like last year’s team, this year’s team was made up of talented and extremely dedicated students, who volunteered to participate without receiving any class credit or funding,” said Dr. Stephen P. Huffman, professor of finance. “The students did more than just conduct traditional research on the financials of Briggs and Stratton. They also met several times with their mentor, Chris Merker, from Robert W. Baird, attended a mock earnings call with Briggs and Stratton’s CEO, Todd Teske (BBA ‘87), and participated in a conference call with Briggs and Stratton’s CFO, Dave Rogers, reviewing pensions, international strategy, and hedging of inputs as they compiled their written report.

Based on the scoring of the written report, the UW Oshkosh students were in the lead going into the oral presentation, however, the graduate students from UW Madison proved to be superior presenters. After the competition, the students were able to talk with the judges, gaining valuable insights on how to present research findings. We are grateful to the CFA Society of Milwaukee and the CFA Society of Madison for jointly hosting this event.”

UW Oshkosh and the other student teams analyzed Briggs & Stratton (ticker: BGG), a producer of air-cooled gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. The CFA Society of Madison arranged for all of the participating students to meet with members of the company’s management.

The competition was established in 2007 by CFA Institute as a means to promote best practice in research among the next generation of financial analysts and to provide students with an insight into the investment industry. With the completion of its fifth year, the 2011 event saw more than 100 CFA Institute member societies hosting local competitions with more than 2,500 students from more than 500 universities worldwide participating.


About the Global Investment Research Challenge

The challenge gathers students, investment industry professionals, publicly traded companies and corporate sponsors together locally, regionally, and globally for a world competition. In order to promote best practices in equity research and company analysis, students research, analyze, and report on a company as if they are practicing analysts. Local CFA societies host and launch an Investment Research Challenge in conjunction with the participating universities. The universities assemble teams of 3-5 business and finance students who work directly with a company in researching and preparing a company analysis. The team’s final presentations are locally evaluated by high-profile panels of heads of research, portfolio managers, and chief investment officers from the world’s top firms. The local champions advance to regional competitions in the Americas, Asia, and Europe and then to the global finale.

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association for investment professionals. It administers the CFA and CIPM curriculum and exam programs worldwide; publishes research; conducts professional development programs; and sets voluntary, ethics-based professional and performance-reporting standards for the investment industry. CFA Institute has more than 100,000 members, who include the world’s 90,000 CFA charterholders, as well as 135 affiliated professional societies in 58 countries and territories. More information may be found at