Lally Student Team Named CQA Investment Challenge Finalist

Lally Student Team Named CQA Investment Challenge Finalist

March 15, 2022

A student team from the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been named a finalist in the Chicago Quantitative Alliance (CQA) Investment Challenge.

Lally students Jarod Acanfrio ’21, ’22G, Brandyn Sigouin ’22, Alex Ding ’21, ’22G, Abel Hagos ’23, and Ryan Stabile ’23 recently competed against more than 30 other teams from top schools. The students created market neutral portfolios designed to outperform the S&P 500 without taking market exposure.

The team, guided by Professor Aparna Gupta, had to follow strict portfolio construction rules and was judged by the combination of its returns, compliance to diversification rules, and evaluation with an emphasis on the risk-adjusted returns. Lally Leadership Council member Pankaj Patel, managing director and head of quantitative research at Cirrus Research LLC, served as the industry mentor for the student team.

The CQA Investment Challenge allows students to experience every aspect of portfolio management in hedge fund settings. Teams of undergraduate and graduate students are called to compose a long-short portfolio of stocks. Rensselaer students have participated in this challenge since it began in 2013. In 2016, the Rensselaer team was one of the three in the challenge’s final round.

The CQA is a global professional investment organization of leading quantitative investment practitioners, including investment managers, academics, plan sponsors, consultants, and other investment professionals. The CQA’s purpose is to “facilitate the interchange of ideas between quantitative professionals.”

For more information on CQA and the CQA Challenge, visit the CQA website.


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