To know is to grow | CFA Society VBA Netherlands

CFA Institute Research Challenge

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an equity research competition among student teams from the world's top university business and finance programs. CFA Society VBA Netherlands introduced the Challenge to the Netherlands as a means to promote best practices in research among the next generation of analysts through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills.

In 2010 the Challenge was expanded to include Belgium and in 2013 Luxembourg was added to create the CFA Institute Research Challenge in the Benelux. 

To get a better picture of what to expect, read the following:  

How is the Challenge organized?

Upon invitation from CFA Society VBA Netherlands, local universities assemble teams of 3 to 5 persons each. Under guidance of a mentor, students write an equity research report on a publicly traded company, and present their findings to a distinguished panel of experts. 
The teams are judged on their written reports and the accompanying presentations and a winner is selected. All student partipants this year will receive a CFA program scholarship.  The team receives a €1000 check and presentation training to prepare them for the regional and, hopefully, global finals. The winner will advance to the Sub-regional Wetern Europe Finals and possibly even the global Research Challenge Finals. Throughout the competition, CFA Society VBA Netherlands' investment professionals volunteer as mentors and judges and teach students best practices in equity research and corporate analysis. 

For the 2021 competition year, all CFA Institute hosted Research Challenge events and the Benelux Research Challenge will be held virtually.

Learn more about the CFA Institute Research Challenge.


Schedule for Research Challenge 2021

  • 18 October 2020: Deadline for participating universities to register their teams
  • 9 November 2020: Company day; During this event the students will have the opportunity to fire questions at the representative of the company they will investigate, i.e. Alfen, (online), There will also be a presentation on ESG from sponsor NNIP and the student teams will participate in an investment game.
  • 18 January 2021: deadline for submitting the research reports by end of day
  • 5 February 2021: Local finalists will be announced
  • 3 March: Benelux Finals 
  • mid March: subregional Western Europe Finals. (The winning teams from each sub-regional competition advance to the regional competition)
  • 13-14 April 2021: EMEA Regional Semifinals (online)
  • 20 April 2021: EMEA Regional Finals (online)
  • 22 April 2021: Global Final (online)

The local events up to the Benelux Finals are organised and hosted by CFA Society VBA Netherlands. The sub-regional, regional, and global competitions are hosted by CFA Institute.

Participating teams in 2021 edition

  • University of Amsterdam - MIF
  • University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Business School 
  • Erasmus University of Rotterdam - Rotterdam School of Management 
  • Erasmus University of Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Economics
  • Maastricht University
  • ICHEC-LSM (Louvain)
  • Université libre de Bruxelles- Solvay BS 
  • HEC Liege
  • University of Leuven, KU Leuven


Maastricht University wins CFA Institute Research Challenge 2021 Benelux finals

For the first time since 2017, we've seen a Dutch team winning the Benelux finals of the CFA Institute Research Challenge. The competition ended in a tie between Maastricht University and ICHEC-LSM, but according to the rules of the CFA Research Challenge in this case the team with the highest score on the presentation wins the challenge, i.e. Maastricht University. The jury was especially impressed with their focus on ESG.
Read here the research report of Maastricht University on the Dutch company Alfen.
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