Article written by team member Brandon Larochelle, BCom Finance

January 14, 2016 marked the first time Telfer School of Management had been invited to the annual CFA Ethics Challenge held in Toronto. As a newcomer, there were obvious expectations set on us, as a school, to do well and to showcase the strengths and skills that can be gathered through our four-year undergraduate Finance program.

The third event of its kind was hosted by Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and the participants, albeit small in numbers (four in total), were very high in quality and consisted mostly of graduate students. The participating schools were:

  • Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto)
  • Schulich School of Business (York University)
  • Smith School of Business (Queen’s University)
  • Telfer School of Management (University of Ottawa)

The Competition

The CFA Ethics Challenge spanned from mid-October until mid-January. The purpose of the challenge was to read and identify underlying ethical problems in the provided case, as well as provide viable solutions to solve the issues moving forward for all parties involved with guidance from a Faculty Advisor (Pouya Safi). On January 14, 2016, all teams were required to present their findings in front of a panel of four judges, in addition to an audience filled with colleagues of CFA members, event organizers, and even friends and family of other teams. In the end, the three-month process dwindled down to a two and a half hour event filled with four ten-minute presentations and ten-minute question periods.

The Environment

As Telfer had been granted the honour of first presenting group, the reality of competition sunk in.  There was also an additional intimidation factor that we, as a group, had not taken into account. Where all of the students from our team were fourth year undergraduates, every other team had been composed of Masters’ students who had already made their way into the financial markets.  However, we did not let change our confidence going in.

After our presentation and question period was over, we had the luxury of sitting in to watch the remainder of the event. After listening to the next three presentations, we remained confident in our team’s chances to win based on the feedback we had gotten during the competition compared to the three other teams. We felt that as a group, we adequately demonstrated Telfer School of Management’s ability to cultivate outside the box thinking in its students, and it seemed to impress!

When the results were finally announced at the networking event that had taken place after the presentation period, we took the loss with pride fully knowing that we had just marginally been beaten out by Rotman School of Management. Judges and audience members alike came to congratulate us on our content, presentation skills, and team unity. I could not be more proud of my group, and to be a part of Telfer School of Management.

Photo caption - Left to Right: Eric Goneau, Jeanne St-Louis, Riccardo Najem, Brandon Larochelle