Wilkes University Students Place Third In National CQA Investment Challenge

by Web Services

Students in Wilkes University’s Sidhu School of Business and Leadership placed third in the fifth annual Chicago Quantitative Alliance (CQA) Investment Challenge. The Wilkes team, called Wilkes Gold, competed against 50 teams, beating students from The University of Chicago, CalTech, Carnegie Mellon MBA, Duke University, Cornell University, University of Michigan, Washington University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Wilkes team received $1,000 for their third-place finish.

The University of Colorado, Boulder team finished first and the team from Temple University finished second. The competition is an equity portfolio management competition that offers students the opportunity to learn and apply stock selection and portfolio management skills in a simulated, real-life hedge fund experience. The challenge ran from the end of October 2018 through the end of March 2019.

The Wilkes team consisted of Sidhu School senior students Kyle Gattuso, Sam Eyler, Nicole Harmer, Noah Durnin, Austin Hackenberg, Jorge Gonzalez, Brady Wing and Michael Hauck. Team leader Kyle Gattuso attended the CQA Institute’s Advanced Investment Management Course. The institute, held at Wilkes in May, is a two-week course for undergraduates that is taught by the experienced professionals who are CQA members. 

Each team in the competition had an assigned CQA member who acted as a mentor and guide.  The Wilkes’ team’s CQA mentor was Dave Byrket.

“Serving as the CQA mentor for the Wilkes team, I was very impressed with the process the team developed and executed,” said CQA mentor Byrket. “The team combined a sound quantitative model to identify attractive stocks with a fundamental overlay to actually select the stocks for the portfolio.”

Byrket added, “The team was also very focused on managing their active risk in striving for strong risk-adjusted returns.  By developing a sound process, and most importantly sticking to it during periods of volatility, they were able to deliver outstanding returns. This is a great accomplishment for Wilkes University. Competing against 50 teams from the top schools in the world, the Wilkes squad should be very proud. “ 

CQA is a non-profit, professional investment organization composed of quantitative investment practitioners. The organization’s primary goal is to promote the interests of the quantitative investment community.

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