Winning students say valuation without BVR data is like 'an accountant teaching astrophysics'

BVWireIssue #117-2
June 13, 2012

The winner of the first annual BVR/SPU Valuation Challenge was “hard to call,” says Prof. Herb Kierulff, who reported on the competition held May 31 at the School of Business and Economics, Seattle Pacific University. The four student teams were judged by three senior managers from Moss Adams:  Clayton Cafferata, Wayne Fjeld, and Diane Anderson Murphy. "We were impressed with how poised the teams were and the professionalism of their presentations,” one of the judges said, after the competition:

We also thought their understanding of finance was quite good. If the performance of these teams is any indication, we will have some good individuals entering the finance industry in the years ahead. We liked how the winning team put the extra effort into developing its own forecast. That demonstrated additional foresight and research into the industry outlook, and then synthesizing that with the company’s outlook and historical performance.

The students were just as enthusiastic in their feedback.  “BVR was a tremendous help in our forecasting,” wrote one. “Without access to this specific data, there is no doubt in my mind that our valuation would have had about as much credibility as an accountant teaching astrophysics without any prior knowledge.” At the end of the day, the student team of Johnathan Koc, Anders Isaksen, Cody Nesbitt, and Matthew Norgren took home the prize.

“Thank you BVR for your considerable contributions to our joint efforts to prepare students for the challenges they will face in the world of finance,” Professor Kierulff writes.  “Because of the success of the first, we are at work planning the Second Annual BVR/SPU Valuation Challenge next year, and plan to invite 12 other universities to join us in the competition.” Stay tuned … And in the meantime, if you’re interested in championing a similar learning experience for local university finance students that harnesses the power of BVR data, contact Adam Manson, BVR’s financial research manager, at

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