A Champion’s Welcome & Salute

Stock Analysis Team's Top National Finish Applauded By Bauer Leadership

Published on June 15, 2008

Gold Medal Win. Bauer team's John Keeton, Mauricio Franco, Quyen Nguyen and Joe Corkin with Men's Wearhouse CFO Neill Davis.

Gold Medal Win. Bauer team's John Keeton, Mauricio Franco, Quyen Nguyen and Joe Corkin with Men's Wearhouse CFO Neill Davis.

Recognition of a C. T. Bauer College of Business team that was recently judged the top American team in the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute's Global Investment Research Challenge brought Bauer supporters together for a celebration of the students' amazing achievement.

The team, which also placed third in the world, beat out teams from powerhouse schools like MIT and Carnegie Mellon University. The finish took on added significance since it was Bauer's first year to compete in the Challenge.

Members of the winning team include graduate students Joe Corkin, Mauricio Franco, John Keeton and Quyen Nguyen, who are all part of the Cougar Investment Fund, a multi-million dollar private fund managed by select Bauer students.

John Keeton, the team leader, noted that faculty members who advised the team over long months of preparation, said that they thought of themselves as coaches working with a team of Olympic athletes.

When the UH Bauer College of Business was named the U.S. winner at the competition in New York City, the team felt a thrill similar to what those award-winning athletes must feel, he said.

"To know you are representing a larger group of people, the University of Houston, Bauer College, the Cougar Fund, was just a great feeling," he said.

"I'm sure Ted Bauer must be smiling on us today," said Chris Matlock ('82, MBA '93), representing the Board of Managers for the Fund. "Our student success might have caught some people off guard - a little commuter college winning this national competition. I am not surprised, having seen firsthand what Bauer students are like. They're mature, they're experienced, and most importantly, they're hungry."

Dr. Latha Ramchand, Associate Dean of Programs and Administration, echoed Matlock's comments, saying, "We'd like to celebrate and acknowledge everyone who made this possible, including Ted Bauer, who left behind not just $40 million, but a legacy of ideas and values."

"We are proud of our students' achievements; we are prouder that our students have a very strong will to learn", she added. "We call it Ivy League smarts without the Ivy League attitude."

Dean Arthur Warga also congratulated the students, and extended thanks to Dr. Tom George, director of the Cougar Fund; Finance Chair Praveen Kumar and professors Ron Singer, Bill Kretlow, and GuojunWu, for their efforts on behalf of the fund and this team.

"The Cougar Fund has really been about one success leading to another success," he said, noting that unlike many student-run funds, Bauer's is not funded by an endowment but is a limited liability fund.

Neill Davis, the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President for Men's Wearhouse, the company the students were assigned to analyze less than three months before their winning presentation, praised "the community of Bauer supporters" who make its programs so successful. Academic leadership, faculty, supporters of the Cougar Fund and others have all helped to create "a unique platform for their talents," he said.

"These students were able to take this complex business model that on the surface may look like a simple business -selling suits - and they were able to analyze and distill detailed financial information and make recommendations - it's something I've been spending the last 10 years trying to get the guys on Wall Street to do."

Representatives from CFA were also on hand at the celebration. In addition to funding the students' trip to New York City for the May 1 competition, the CFA Institute will waive team members' fees for the Level 1 Financial Analyst exam, and Texas CFA representatives presented the students with $100 American Express gift cards.

Team member Mauricio Franco noted that while all of the students work full time while going to school, and put a great deal of work into the Challenge, "This wasn't an assignment. We enjoyed it from beginning to end. It was fun."

Combined with their academic work, the competition was also educational and has exposed he and the others to incredible opportunities, he said.

"In this past year I've learned more than in many years past," he said, beaming.

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

About the Bauer College of Business

The C.T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than 60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully accredited by the AACSB International - the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the college was renamed the C.T. Bauer College of Business.