Important Disclosure regarding Conflict of Interest
Disclosure: All participants in the CFA Institute Research Challenge, including Hosts, Teams, Team Members, Industry Mentors, Faculty Advisors, Judges and Graders have an obligation to avoid actual or potential conflicts of interest with their participation. A conflict of interest may exist when a participant or a participant’s family member or close friend is involved in activities that may impact the participant’s ability to perform their role fairly and impartially. A conflict may be actual or perceived. To avoid any actual or perceived conflicts of interest, each participant must disclose to CFA Institute Research Challenge in India in writing any potential conflicts, including but not limited to any ownership interest in the Subject Company and any close personal or professional relationships with employees at the Subject Company. Judges and Graders must further disclose any close personal or professional relationship with Team Members, Industry Mentors or Faculty Advisors
Role and Importance: Judges perform an important role in the challenge by giving scores to students presentations prepared by students. Moreover, judges also asks questions to the students based on their reports and gives scores on such answers. The presentation contributes to 50% of the total scores for each team. (see rules for more details)
Selection: Judges are selected by CFA Institute in India on a Volunteer basis.
Involvement: approximately 2-4 hours at the final event (excluding any optional prep time)
Judging Criteria: The criteria and maximum score for each criteria is as follows:
Financial, Valuation and other Analysis: 20
Team Involvement: 15
Judging Summary Report: Each judge should provide their scores in the template provided by the CFA Institute Research Challenge in India at the presentation event.
Research Reports/Handouts: Research reports will not be provided to judges at the final event and students are not permitted to provide any handouts to judges. Judges should give their scores on the oral presentation only.
Presentation Time: The student teams will present for 10 minutes. Please hold all questions until the presentation is finished. Judges will then have 10 minutes to ask questions.
Questions and Answers Session: Questions asked are at the discretion of judges. However, judges should refrain from asking questions that are not at the discretion of the students (e.g., reason for choosing the subject company etc.)
Your questions should feed off the team presentations; however it is a good idea to prepare one or two general questions in advance.
Many judges ask the same question of all teams so they can judge the students on a relative basis. The students are secluded in separate room prior to their presentations, so they will not hear the question or answer in advance. Try to avoid using 2-part questions and keep your questions short and concise.
Do not lead students to answers but rather, ask your question, let the students either answer correctly or not, and move on. It is advisable to make preliminary notes on each team as they present, but then go back once all of the teams have presented to review your scores and make any adjustments.
Judging Presentation: Each team should be assessed on a relative basis and judging should be consistent for all team. Judges will base their scores on the oral presentation only. Judges should view the presentations as a sell-side presentation either to the buy side or to a director of research listening to and critiquing a member of his/her team.
Judges Comments: At the end of all teams presentation, judges may be requested to provide comments to each team on their performance. Judges should view these comments as aims to help students improve and should refrain from using negative language.
University/Students Knowledge: (IMPORTANT) To ensure that fair judgement is used, students are not permitted to use their university name/students names/faculty name or any other marks and words that would lead the judges to know which university they represent. If (through any means) the Judges has knowledge of the team that the research report represent or any other information that would obstruct the objectivity of the judges, the judges NEED to immediately report such knowledge to the CFA Institute Research Challenge in India committee.
Analysis for Research: The rules state that "The research reports and presentations should be prepared from the perspective of a sell-side or independent research analyst". They can read research reports prepared by analysts on the company, but all analysis included in the research report should be their own. They cannot cut and paste analysis from another source into their research reports or presentations. The data sources for all tables, graphs, etc. must be cited.
Use of Reports by Judges: Reports are for educational purposes only, and the information contained in them may not be used by judges to make recommendations to clients or to the public at large.
Note on Team Composition: The teams typically consist of both undergraduate and graduate students. They are not CFA Charterholders and have not worked previously in equity analysis (subject to maximum 3 months of internship). Students should have full command of the company and the industry, and how the company compares to its competitors. Do not be afraid to ask difficult questions of the team as they have been preparing for several months.
The teams are assigned the subject company by the local society. All teams are subject to the same rules re: team composition, therefore, no team should be given special consideration based on its members. For example, a team consisting of all undergraduate students must be evaluated the same as a team consisting of all graduate students.
Team involvement in the presentation and Q&A is one of the criteria that the student teams are judged on. Please not that this category is worth only 15 points, or 15% of their total score. Some teams may include students whose native language is not English, and therefore not all team members may be as comfortable speaking. This does not indicate that they were not involved in conducting the research and preparing the presentation. This consideration should not influence your assessment of the other scoring categories, and teams should not be penalized beyond the 15 points assigned to this category.
Please grade each team privately and wait to share comments with other judges until after all final tabulations have occurred.