CFA Institute Research Challenge Sri Lanka 2023/24: Recognizing Excellence in Financial Analysis: University of Colombo shines

CFA Society Sri Lanka was pleased to announce Team A of University of Colombo as winners of the 17th edition of the annual CFA Institute Research Challenge Sri Lanka competition; a platform that nurtures the talents of aspiring financial professionals. In this year’s finals, four outstanding student teams comprising teams from University of Colombo, University of Sri Jayawardenepura and two teams from University of Kelaniya showcased their prowess in financial analysis, vying for the prestigious title. Team B of University of Kelaniya emerged runners-up.

The winning team comprised of Manusha Kandanaarachchi, Sajini Kaushalya, Hasna Imtikhab, Melissa Ranathunga, and Pramitha Perera and were mentored by industry mentor, Chathun Heiyanthuduwa, CFA, and faculty advisor, Senani Thenuwara. They will now progress to the sub-regional stage, where they will compete against teams from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. The journey doesn’t end there; successful teams will then advance to the Asia-Pacific regionals and thereafter to the global final competition, showcasing their analytical competence on an international platform.

Aruna Perera, CFA, President of CFA Society Sri Lanka, emphasized the significance of the CFA Institute Research Challenge in honing essential skills for budding finance and investment professionals. “The challenge serves as a crucial avenue for students to develop technical proficiency, effective writing, and presentation skills,” remarked Perera.

Each student team was mentored by experienced CFA charterholder industry professionals and guided by their respective university faculty advisors. The participating teams underwent rigorous training on equity research and analysis supported by Acuity Knowledge Partners, training on presentation skills supported by Advi Academy as well as technical analysis training supported by the Colombo Stock Exchange. This year’s subject company was hSenid Business Solutions PLC.

Senior Prof. Sampath Amaratunga, the Chairman of the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka and Chief Guest for the occasion, commended the participants for their commitment to excellence and encouraged them to continue striving for professional growth and innovation in the finance industry. Dilshan Wirasekera, Chairman, Colombo Stock Exchange graced the occasion as the Guest of Honor.

Eneeshya Perera, CFA, Chairperson of the Research Challenge Committee acknowledged the overwhelming response from universities across Sri Lanka which was encouraging, stating “We received over 20 applications this year, reflecting the growing interest and commitment of students towards advancing in the field of finance. This is encouraging as they are the backbone of the competition”.

The local finals, held at the Colombo Stock Exchange on Tuesday, 27th February 2024 saw each team presenting their comprehensive analyses to a distinguished panel of judges, comprising of Dr. Buddhika Fernando, CFA, Assistant Director, Acuity Knowledge Partners, Shiluka Goonewardene, Principal, Head of Deal Advisory, KPMG Sri Lanka and Tharinda Jayawardana, CFA, Director, Advisory Services, TWCorp (Pvt) Ltd.

Reflecting on their journey, Manusha Kandanaarachchi, Team Leader of the winning team shared, “Participating and winning the CFA Institute Research Challenge Sri Lanka 2023/2024 was a transformative experience for me and my team. We delved deep into equity valuation complexities, honing skills and embracing industry best practices. This journey spurred significant personal and professional growth, deepening technical understanding and enhancing vital soft skills. Grateful to CFA Society Sri Lanka and the organizers of the Research Challenge for an intellectually stimulating and rewarding season. Thanks to all stakeholders for this life-changing opportunity.”

The CFA Institute Research Challenge Sri Lanka 2023/24 was hosted by CFA Society Sri Lanka and the Colombo Stock Exchange, serving as the Platinum partner for the competition.

Runners-Up: University of Kelaniya Team B (L-R: Dilum Fernando, CFA- Industry Mentor, Darshana Yapa, Vinodya Sithumini, Team Leader-Mechale Martis, Thisaru Amath, Pasindu Samadhith and Nethmi Herath, CFA- Faculty Advisor

Eneeshya Perera, CFA- Chairperson, Research Challenge Committee, CFA Society Sri Lanka

Aruna Perera, CFA- President, CFA Society Sri Lanka

Senior Prof. Sampath Amaratunge- Chairman, University Grants Commission


Image Caption : Winners: University of Colombo Team A (L-R: Senani Thenuwara- Faculty Advisor, Hasna Imtikhab, Melissa Ranathunga, Manusha Kandanaarachchi- Team Leader, Sajini Kaushalya, Pramitha Perera and Chathun Heiyanthuduwa, CFA- Industry Mentor)

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