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WHU Studierende auf Platz 1 beim Deutschland-Finale der CFA Institute Research Challenge

WHU Team Wins German Finale of CFA Institute Research Challenge

Five WHU students impress at the competition with their financial analysis of Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Luca Barboni (MSc 2025), Rong Chen (MSc 2024), Moritz Habetha (BSc 2025), Carl Köster (BSc 2022, MSc 2024), and Aaron Wrenger (BSc 2024) had much to celebrate when the jury of the CFA Society Germany, a renowned trade organization, announced its decision. With their financial analysis and valuation of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, this group of five students, all enrolled at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, bested the seven other teams competing at the German finale of this year’s CFA Institute Research Challenge, held on February 15, 2024, at Lufthansa’s headquarters in Frankfurt. Alongside the winners in the final round were teams from the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and RWTH Aachen University, both of which also presented their work to the panel of experts.

“The team from WHU, from our perspective as jury members, stood out from the crowd thanks to the particularly well-balanced presentation of their findings, consisting of the analysis and valuation of the target company,” noted Kirsten Baumbach, CFA. “Their assessment of the company’s potential and its risks, while also considering current macroeconomic conditions, regulations, and ESG-related factors, were solid. And each team member remained highly professional throughout the report, the presentation, and the subsequent Q&A session.”

Professor Nic Schaub (Chair of Household Finance at WHU), who acted as the team’s faculty advisor, sees this competition as a major opportunity for all participants. “In working on a case study that is so close to the corporate world, the students gain valuable practical experience and connect with professionals active today,” he said. “And that is an ideal way for them to prepare for the start of their future careers in this field.”

For now, the WHU team is looking forward to the next sub-regional round and, if they prove victorious, to the regional EMEA finale and, eventually, the global finale, the latter of which is to be held in Warsaw in May. The team that wins in Poland will net their university a grand prize of US$10,000. Professor Schaub is convinced that “our team is going to place high in the next round. Their studies at WHU have prepared them well to handle such tasks. And, above that, they are all highly motivated. After all, they have proven this throughout the previous rounds.”

CFA Institute Research Challenge

This annual collegiate competition, first held in New York in 2002, brings the next generation of financial experts from all over the world together with experienced mentors, including professors and professionals active in the investment sector. Participating teams perform an analysis of a listed company and draft a report outlining their recommendation. Since 2010, the CFA Society Germany is organizing the Research Challenge in Germany. Last year’s competition saw over 6,300 participating students from 1,100 universities based in 100 different countries.

This year’s participating schools from Germany: 

  1. European Business School
  2. Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
  3. Heilbronn University
  4. Humboldt University Berlin
  5. RWTH Aachen University
  6. Technische Hochschule Nürnberg
  7. Tübingen University
  8. WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management

CFA Institute & CFA Society Germany e. V.

The CFA Institute is an internationally active non-profit trade organization for the investment sector known as a reputable source of information for all things concerning the capital market. In addition to advocating ethical and professional standards for the financial industry, the institute’s primary objective is to provide an environment where the investors’ interests are given priority and where the market’s functionality and economic growth can thrive. Worldwide, the CFA Institute can boast ten offices, 160 local chapters, and nearly 200,000 individual CFA Chartholders across 160 different markets. Since 2000, the CFA Society Germany has represented the organization domestically, and, thanks to its some 2,800 members to date, has become the country’s largest professional association for investors and investment managers.

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