A deep sense of ethics led Concordia University students to win CFA Societies Canada's 2022 Ethics Challenge

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Published 07 June at 08:00AM, inArticles


On May 9, Hector Fernandez Ramirez, Juliana Whamond and Laura Tiberiu from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business won the title of national champions of the 6th Annual Ethics Challenge presented by CFA Societies Canada.

The organizers of the competition want it to promote the development of presentation skills and to be a practice for debating and analyzing the ethical challenges faced by finance professionals. The goal is also to promote the mission of the CFA Institute, its high ethical standards and professional excellence. It is also meant to prepare the next generation in using assessment tools to resolve actual ethical dilemmas and find solutions. Finally, the challenge also makes it possible to put future finance professionals and to forge links with professionals who evolve within the industry.

“Participating in the challenge was a very positive, rewarding, and interesting experience. Working on a case study that reflects the reality of the world of finance teaches a lot about the complexity of ethics in the field,” said Juliana Whamond, teaching assistant and student researcher, graduate of a bachelor’s degree in international trade and finance. The same goes for his teammate Hector Fernandez, also a student in the Baccalaureate in commerce, finance, and accounting, for whom "the experience was unique, because the competition was a mix between learning codes and standards and taming the team workflow. We had a good synergy, which allowed us to perform. This competition was above all a chance to make interesting professional encounters and to expand your network”.

Their team advanced to the final after qualifying in the regional round jointly presented by CFA Quebec and CFA Montreal. During the final, the team was presented with a case study, formulated around a potential ethical dilemma, in which they had to identify in just 23 hours, ethical violations, analyze them and make recommendations. The panel of experienced CFA charterholders evaluated them on their ability to incorporate the CFA Institute's Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct into their analysis and decision-making process, as well as the line of recommended driving.

Despite the amount of work required to prepare for the challenge, as well as the short deadlines for completion, the team agrees that it was a very beneficial experience for them. “The experience was intense and even more difficult because it was all happening virtually. But our team had the same goal in mind: performing. We identified the strengths of each member and began dividing the work so that we would use the full potential of each person. We were able to significantly develop our teamwork and presentation skills,” said Laura Tiberiu, Bachelor of Commerce and Marketing student.

When we asked the three winners if they would recommend other students to participate in the next CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge, their answer was unanimously “yes”!