The Golden Trio team from UTAR Faculty of Business and Finance (FBF), consisting of Bachelor of Finance (Honours) students Ong Seong Lik and Lau Hou Chun, and Bachelor of Economics (Honours) student How Chao Xun, won first place in the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) Riga Finance Challenge (FC) 2021. This Challenge was jointly organised by SSE Riga iFund, SSE Riga Student Association, Capitalia, and Financial Modelling World Cup (FMWC) and it was held from 25 May to 12 June 2021 via Google Meet to all international participants.
This SSE Riga Finance Challenge is an international competition for high-school and university students from all over the world and it is unique in the Baltics, and this competition has always been a summit of knowledge. The aim of the competition was to gather students and bring international competitive spirit into SSE Riga, and it serves as a milestone for checking the knowledge and comparing participants themselves against an international benchmark. It also provided a platform for participants to foster international friendship and knowledge sharing. The Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga) is a business school in Riga, Latvia, founded in 1994 by the Stockholm School of Economics and the Latvian Government.
This year, a total of 348 international participants consisting of 92 teams from 31 countries and 77 universities participated in the competition. This made it even more meaningful when the UTAR team of three FBF students, participating under their group name Golden Trio, emerged as the overall Champion in the grand final and won the 700 Euro cash prize.
The team, along with other contestants, were challenged to complete a range of tasks on Corporate Finance, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Valuation, Investment Banking and Portfolio Management. The competition consisted of two preliminary rounds and the grand finals. The top 12 teams were selected to take part in round two after the preliminary round, followed by the grand finals. The finalists had to present to the panel of judges.
Lau Hou Chun was excited with the win and praised his team mates, “I am grateful and fortunate to have such good friends as my teammates who invited me to participate in this competition. We did not expect to win any prizes, and we participated with the aim to gain experience. However, we all put in our best efforts and our teamwork was very good. With the strong fundamental basic knowledge in financial modelling provided through our programme studies and with sheer hard work, we were able to win. We are very happy with this victory.”
Ong Seong Lik added his comments, “I came across this competition from a recommendation by a UTAR alumni, Jeff, who is also the founder of UTAR Finance and Investment Society (FIS). FIS had previously invited him to conduct a workshop teaching financial modelling knowledge. Therefore, the knowledge we gained from the workshop, as well as the lessons we learnt from our degree programme has enabled us to apply our skills and knowledge very well, and made us stand out from the other contestants.”
Agreeing with Ong, was How Chao Xun, who said that, “I participated in one competition named CFA Institute Research Challenge, where the UTAR team was led by FBF lecturer, Mr Lim Chong Heng. He taught me a lot on valuation and financial modelling knowledge, which I think played a crucial role for us to secure this win in the competition. Through my degree studies, I also gained better analytical skills and knowledge on real-life business and finance cases. These helped me to answer the questions during the Q&A session of the competition. Therefore, I feel very blessed and happy with the victory and I could not have done it without my teammates. As a team competition, our teamwork, effort and past experiences we gained in UTAR are key factors that helped us to perform so well. However, this victory is not the end of the road, as we will continue to strive to improve ourselves.”
In the SSE Riga Finance Challenge, the Golden Trio team was tasked to present a case on the company “Provision of Pellets Inc”. They were required to solve financial problems based on the tasks given, and had to apply the knowledge and techniques of financial modelling to forecast and make valuation for the company. The Golden Trio team built an integrated annual model for the company for the next 5 years (2021-2025) using the historical data and assumptions given by the organiser. The team was then given 10 minutes in round two to present their main findings and defend their presentation to the panel of judges.
Online Education Fair 线上教育展
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)