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NCU students make history in international business competition

Published:Saturday | March 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey

Mandeville, Manchester

With a need to consistently represent Jamaica on an international scene, students from the College of Business and Hospitality Management at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) recently entered the International Business Model Competition in Panama which saw the team finishing 10th out of 40 teams, and ahead of schools such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins University.

The students in seeking to gain further practical and advanced experience in the financial industry; entered the annual Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge for the maiden presentation of a local team. The team consisting of Daniel Morgan, a final year finance major; sophomores accounting majors, Delmas Brown and Andre Hibbert, along with their faculty advisor Dr. Audley Eccles, travelled overseas to achieve the team's goal.

The team, which presented an advanced analysis on the Foreign Trade Bank of Latin America, stood out not only as the first university team in Jamaica to have competed, but the second from the English-speaking Caribbean to participate in what is known as the most prestigious and internationally recognised Investment Research Competition which sees more than 600 universities and 3,700 competitors from universities around the globe.

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According to the faculty adviser, who worked with the young men during their preparation for the competition: "The team analysed the assigned subject company, its management effectiveness, the strength of its balance sheet, its core income drivers and the various investment risks that the company faces in its competitive environment. At the end of the analysis, an investment recommendation was made on the company's stock which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). From the comments made by the CEO and CFO of the company who were in attendance, it would appear that they were appreciative of the recommendations and praised the teams for their insightful analysis. They mentioned that they learned a lot about their company from the presentations," stated Eccles.

Having to meet at least 10 hours per week, team member, Hibbert expressed that it was all worth it.

"We had to meet at least 10 hours every week for the last five months to ensure that we had a rigorous report heading into the competition, but on introspection, the intellectual challenge was worth the benefits from our effort and toils."

For team member Morgan, the experience has given them the confidence and the knowledge they need to move on to winning in the future.

"The experience was motivational, and was able to not only challenge us in preparing and presenting our research to the panel of industry experts, but also allowing us to gain valuable experience which will propel us into keeping new ideas in the forefront of the minds of global investment professionals."

He ended, "The initiative, which is in keeping with our student culture, will serve to inspire future students to continue to push the limits in learning while integrating the pursuits of great things."