Volunteer Spotlight

    Volunteer Spotlight April 2015

    The Final Round

    Southern Classic Research Challenge Judges

    The Atlanta Society of Finance and Investment Professionals has just wrapped up year 7 of hosting the Research Challenge, and Rex Macey has been a Final Round Judge for each of those seven events. For the first year, there were only Atlanta schools involved but since 2010 Atlanta has partnered variously with South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama.  David Allison, President of CFA South Carolina and committed to promoting the Challenge among South Carolina schools, arranged for Kendall Anderson to come from South Carolina to join the panel in Year 2.  Aki Pampush came on board a year later in 2011, and this triumvirate reigned until 2014, when more judges were added as the number of teams in the final round increased.   Anuja Singha joined the gang in 2014 and Randy Loving in 2015.

    The original triumvirate - L-R:  Kendall Anderson, CFA, Rex Macey, CFA, Aki Pampush, CFA

    Rex Macey has been volunteering in various roles with the Society since he got his charter in 1986, including teaching - the ASFA’s Foundations of Investing and later CFA exam review courses, serving as Trustee on the Society’s Board and currently on the Strategic Advisory Board. He stresses the importance of networking and advocates continuing education and promoting local CFA member societies.  Being an active volunteer member is how he fulfils this objective.  Pondering the growth and success of the Research Challenge over the time of his tenure as judge brings to mind other ideas for collaboration between local societies and universities and/or the public, and more fun networking opportunities – how about stock market trivia/”Jeopardy” type competitions, or our own local “Shark Tank”?

    Rex P. Macey, CFA is Chief Allocation Officer for Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors, the investment advisory arm of M&T Bank. He is a senior member of the firm’s Investment Strategy Team.  Before joining Wilmington Trust, he served as the director of research at KPMG Investment Advisors, where he led the development of investment policies and asset allocation research. Earlier, he was chief investment officer for American Financial Advisors, LLC, and developed the only financial software program that projects future wealth by using Monte Carlo simulation to model both investment and mortality risk. Macey is also a co-founder of Möbius Group, a leading third-party provider of information on money managers.  He holds an MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Vanderbilt University.

    Kendall Anderson rode his Moto Guzzi  Norge  motor bike from Rock Hill, SC - where he’s the only CFA charterholder -  to Atlanta in 2010 to join the panel, and he’s done the trip on his bike every year except this one (the bike needs work, he says).  That trip from Rock Hill, SC to Atlanta is a leisurely drive compared to the thousands of miles he rode during the Iron Butt Rally in 2013. Judging the smart kids in the Research Challenge at the end of it might move the balance a little bit though. Kendall is a long time board and society member of CFA South Carolina and credits David Allison for getting South Carolina involved in the Challenge and finding good people to carry the torch.  He is gratified to notice great improvement in the quality of the event over time. 

    Kendall J. Anderson, CFA, is President of Anderson Griggs Investments in Rock Hill, SC, where his family firm provides “Common Sense Portfolio Management for Intelligent Investors”.  He is proud to have his son and daughter working in the business with him.

    Aki Pampush got involved with volunteering through the Research Challenge. She enjoys coming back every year as a judge and has great appreciation for what today’s students are capable of.  Their commitment and the quality of their work is definitely worthy of our support in the Challenge, she says.  And one way to support the students more, she suggests, is to make the oral presentation longer.  Currently teams have only ten minutes to make their case to the judges.  She suggests increasing the time to 15 minutes to allow three distinct five-minute segments covering:  1) company and industry, 2) financial analysis and 3) overall recommendation.

    Aki Pampush, CFA overseas Equity Investment Strategy for the Private Wealth Management division of SunTrust Bank.  She holds both the Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst designations.  A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Aki has been with the SunTrust organization for over 20 years.

    Anuja Singha got her PhD in Economics at Emory University.  As a graduate student, she enjoyed teaching and helping students.  After having spent 17 years in the asset management industry, she is excited to be volunteering to work with students and universities through ASFIP.  Volunteering in education with ASFIP – liaison with Georgia State University, grading reports for the Americas Regional Research Challenge, and judging the Southern Classic Challenge – provide additional exposure to university life.  Her work on the panel with the other judges has been a great enjoyment, she says, as that is another avenue to work with students and bring her experience in the industry to help and inspire those who want to pursue a career in the financial industry.

    Anuja Singha, PhD, CFA is a Senior Investment Analyst at Herndon Capital Management, where she focuses on international and emerging market equities. Prior to joining Herndon she spent 16 years at Invesco, in various roles in risk management, quantitative research, Developed and Emerging market equity investments as well as Head of Small Cap Equity and Head of Equity Valuation Model.

    Randy Loving has had numerous volunteer roles with ASFIP.  Currently a Trustee of the Board, he has also been involved in University Liaison, and as both report grader and judge on the Research Challenge.  He has fun volunteering, he says.  And thinking back to some advice he got which set him on the investment/finance/CFA charterholder path, he thinks it is incumbent upon us professionals to be supportive of anyone willing to put in the extra effort at this student level to take the CFA path.  This includes ensuring that student teams learn from and act on the feedback they receive from graders in order to improve their presentations, and doing all we can to help improve “weaker” teams.

    James R. Loving, CFA is a Sector Portfolio Manager with information technology responsibilities at Silvant Capital.  Prior to that he was an Equity Analyst covering large cap equities at SunTrust’s Personal Asset Management division.  He earned his BSc in Economics from American University and his MBA in Finance from Emory University.

    The Atlanta Society of Finance and Investment Professionals is honored to spotlight the Research Challenge Final Round judges and  looks forward to continuing involvement with these and all other judges.  Thank you all for volunteering!

    L-R:  Rex Macey, CFA, Anuja Singha, PhD, CFA, Kendall Anderson, CFA, Randy Loving, CFA, Aki Pampush, CFA

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