CFA Society Chicago Names DePaul University Champion in the CFA Institute Research Challenge Local Level Competition

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DePaul University team advances to Americas regional final in Toronto, March 20-21

The DePaul University team was selected as the winner of the CFA Institute Research Challenge, hosted by CFA Society Chicago on Feb. 20. The DePaul University team had the highest overall score, defeating teams from Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University Chicago, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Saint Xavier University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Notre Dame.

The DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business team will compete in the CFA Institute Americas regional competition March 20-21 in Toronto. The winner of the regional competition will then vie for the global title April 10-13 in London.

DePaul team members, Deepika Bhandary, Tim Bloklander, Chris Howe, Nick Khalaieff and Meng Yu, worked with DePaul faculty advisor Sanjay Deshmukh, CFA and industry mentor Grady Burkett, CFA on their winning project.

“The local competition was a fulfilling experience. It brought to light the tools taught through the CFA Institute curriculum. The investment research application and critique from highly regarded judges are aspects that I will carry with me on my career path,” said Chris Howe, DePaul Kellstadt Graduate School of Business student.

Nine teams were judged on a written equity research report, and the field was narrowed to four teams based on their scores. These final four teams gave an oral presentation that summarized their research and recommendation of AptarGroup, Inc (NYSE: ATR), a leading global supplier of a broad range of innovative dispensing systems for the beauty, personal care, home care, pharmaceutical, food and beverage markets.

A CFA charterholder and CFA Chicago member mentored each participating team, and all participants were introduced and held to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. The teams’ research and conclusions were based on interactions with senior executives at AptarGroup, Inc, investment thesis and risks analysis, financial modeling, valuation, comparable benchmarking and scenario creation.

The DePaul team winners and the first, second and third place teams received various prizes sponsored by CFA Chicago.

For more information on the Research Challenge and its participants visit

CFA Society Chicago
CFA Society Chicago,, aims to lead the investment profession by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence; to shape an investment industry that serves the greater good; and to serve as the premier local resource for Chartered Financial Analyst designees, candidates, other investment professionals and our communities. Founded in 1925, CFA Society Chicago has more than 4,000 members and is the world's oldest investment analysts' society.

CFA Institute
CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has more than 113,000 members in 140 countries and territories, including 102,000 CFA charterholders, and 137 member societies. For more information, visit

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Virginia Petrancosta
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