NCU final-year student creates history in JSE Market Research Competition
Twenty-two-year-old Chad-Anthony Coke created history by becoming the first student to win the annual Jamaica Stock Exchange Market Research Competition in its 18-year history.
The final-year business administration (finance) student of Northern Caribbean University (NCU) was declared joint winner of the competition along with Andre Rumble, portfolio officer at Proven Wealth Ltd, on Friday, October 2 at the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) office in Kingston. Both walked away with a cash prize of $300,000 each, plus a trophy for their winning efforts in the highly recognised competition.
Winning the finals was not the only history-making moment for Coke, as he was also the first student to have ever won a quarter’s award when he won the fourth quarter in September ahead of research analysts from some of the island’s top investment companies.
The JSE 2019/2020 Market Research Competition, which was formerly known as the Broker Analyst Competition, is one where each quarter the JSE invites analysts from the securities industry, tertiary institutions and the media to submit analyses of listed companies based on past performances and future expectations. Participants conduct research, perform analysis and prepare submissions on the selected company using the JSE’s required format.
Interestingly, both Rumble and Coke, winners of the third and fourth quarters, respectively, went into the finals with the same number of points. The points for the finals are 60 per cent for a written submission and 40 per cent for the oral presentation. After the written submission days before, both finalists faced off in an oral presentation and after their oral presentations, questions from each other and two question from each of the three panel of judges present, the two researchers were still not separated.
“The competition gave insight on how to construct and carry out detailed investment research and analysis, which is something I never did before up until this point, but had a general idea of how it should be done,” said Coke.
“It feels very humbling to be the first student to win the competition, in which I am nothing short of being extremely grateful. I would like to thank the JSE for extending the reach to not only industry professionals, but also tertiary education students to vie for the ultimate prize. I would encourage other students to enter the competition, as it gives one good experience and confidence,” Coke added.
Coke’s career aspirations are geared towards investment research and banking as well as asset management, and he is passionate about the financial and capital markets, macroeconomics and alternative investments. Along with his career goals, attaining the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations are also objectives of Coke.
For joint winner Andre Rumble, the overall competition was a good experience.
“Overall, the competition was a good experience. It required a lot of hard work, patience, refinement and time management to produce quality work. Winning the competition was a humbling experience. I appreciate being recognised for the work that I put into the research. Also, sharing the stage with a fellow investments enthusiast was a memorable experience.”
The 27-year-old CFA Level 3 candidate advises upcoming aspirants of the competition to give of their best. “It is as much a learning experience as it is one to showcase your knowledge and experience. Also, it is a great platform for persons looking to enter the financial industry and further their career. It is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded persons as well.”
JSE PLEASED WITH THIS YEAR’S OUTCOME
Marlene Street-Forrest, managing director of the JSE, was happy with the outcome of this year’s competition.
“This year’s competition was one with a difference,” Street-Forrest said. “I was extremely pleased that the competitors were made up of not only analysts who were working within their chosen profession, but the competition had entrants from the undergraduate level. It was even more surprising that a young undergraduate was able to win at the quarter-finals level with an impressive entry.”
“The market professional and undergraduate were well matched and the final match was keenly competed with each finalist displaying tenacity, grit and deep understanding of the subject matter. Definitely a pleasure to see the pitting of wits and how they dug deep. It was amazing that young Chad-Anthony Coke rose to the occasion. If ever a time I felt the investment in the competition was well spent, it was with this one, which shows the generational success and hope and sustainability for Jamaica’s Capital Markets.”
A select panel (drawn from academic institutions, the financial services sector, the investing community and the media) judged the submissions based on stated criteria and determine a winning entry and runner-up for each quarter and the finals.
“I think the questions by the judges and the responses from the finalists as well as the questions between the two competitors were the highlights,” said Karen Richards, assistant vice-president, investments and client services at Sagicor Investments and one of the judges of the competition.
“I found that both presentations were fairly good and both presenters had strengths which were sufficient to balance out the independent scores submitted by the judging panel. I appreciated the technical analysis and summary of the company by Chad-Anthony Coke. Andre Rumble was a confident speaker and was very comfortable in his assessment of the company’s performance and valuation method used in his analysis. He also handled the questions well,” Richards said.
“The judges are well respected, knowledgeable and experienced in the their field,” Street-Forrest explained. “They would have looked keenly at how they could possibly declare a winner. A tie means both finalists were evenly matched and an injustice would have been done if one was declared a winner.
“The Market Research Competition is seen as an important plank in developing the market through a focus on ensuring that players in the market are attuned to the securities listed and are able to analyse these securities to offer best advice to investors,” Street-Forrest added.