Nicholls students place top 10 at financial analyst competition

Photo: Dustin LeRay, Madison Thielman, Matthew Dupre, Taylor Boudreaux and Trent Brady at the CFA Institute Research Challenge regional in Dallas. (Dr. John Lajaunie)

THIBODAUX, La. — A team of five Nicholls State University accounting and finance majors placed in the top 10 at the southwest regional of the annual CFA Institute Research Challenge.

Seniors Madison Thielman, Matthew Dupre, Taylor Boudreaux, Trent Brady and Dustin LeRay represented the Nicholls College of Business Administration at the competition, which was held at Southern Methodist University in Dallas this past weekend.

Nicholls State University was the only Louisiana school to advance to Dallas, beating out schools from across the region, including LSU, Tulane and Southeastern.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Students work in teams to research and analyze a publicly traded company — sometimes even meeting face-to-face with company management. Each team writes a research report on their assigned company with a buy, sell or hold recommendation and may be asked to present and defend their analysis to a panel of industry professionals.

Nicholls has advanced to the regionals four times in the last seven years, including a trip to nationals in 2015.

This year’s Nicholls team was sponsored and advised by Dr. John Lajaunie, professor of finance, and Dr. Shari Lawrence, professor of finance.

“What I tell my students is that I will match them up against anyone and everyone, and they will win,” Dr. Lajaunie said. “We’re one of the smallest public universities that participate in this competition, but we’re also one of the most successful. The best kids at Nicholls can match up against anyone in the world and be most successful.”

CFA Institute is a global association of investment professionals with more than 150,000 charters worldwide in more than 165 countries and territories.


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