Twenty-two-year-old Chad-Anthony Coke made history recently by becoming the first student in its 18-year history to win the annual Jamaica Stock Exchange Market Research Competition.
Coke, a fourth-year business administration in finance student at Northern Caribbean University (NCU), was declared the joint winner of the competition along with Andre Rumble, Portfolio Officer at Proven Wealth Ltd. The competition was held on Oct. 2, 2020, at the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) office in Kingston, Jamaica. Both walked away with a cash prize of J $300,000 (US $2,000) each in addition to a trophy.
In the JSE 2019/2020 Market Research Competition, formerly known as the Broker Analyst Competition, the JSE invites analysts each quarter from the securities industry, tertiary institutions, and the media to submit analyses of listed companies based on past performances and future expectations. Participants conduct research, perform analysis, and prepare submissions on the selected company using the JSE’s required format.
Winning the finals was not the only history-making moment for Coke, as he was also the first student to have ever won a quarter’s award when he won the fourth quarter in September ahead of research analysts from some of the island’s top investment companies.
Some of the objectives of the Market Research Competition are to increase the interest and involvement of analysts and observers in the Jamaican stock market through in-depth analyses of the performance of listed companies; enhance the research, analysis, and presentation skills of the entrants, enabling them to better understand the market, improve their communication skills; and, in the case of broker representatives, to better advise their clients; benefit the investing public through increased exposure to market analysis; and stimulate the interest and involvement of the wider public in the stock market.
Both Rumble and Coke, winners of the third and fourth quarters respectively, went into the finals with the same number of points. The points for the finals are 60 percent for written submission and 40 percent for the oral presentation. After the written submission days before, both finalists faced off in an oral presentation. Then they took questions from each other and two questions from each of the three judges on the panel.
“The competition gave insight on how to construct and carry out detailed investment research and analysis, which is something I never did before up until this point but had a general idea of how it should be done,” says Coke. “It feels very humbling to be the first student to win the competition, and I am nothing short of being extremely grateful.”
He thanked the JSE for extending the reach to not only industry professionals, but also tertiary education students to vie for the ultimate prize. He encouraged other students to enter the annual competition.
“Overall, the competition was a good experience,” says Rumble. “It required a lot of hard work, patience, refinement, and time management to produce quality work. I appreciate being recognized for the work that I put into the research, and sharing the stage with fellow investment enthusiasts,” he said.
The 27-year-old CFA Level 3 candidate advises upcoming aspirants of the competition to give of their best. “It was a great platform for individuals looking to enter the financial industry and further their career as well as a great opportunity to connect with others in the industry,” Rumble says.
This year’s competition outcome
Marlene Street-Forrest, managing director of the JSE, was happy with the outcome of this year’s competition.
“This year’s competition was different,” said Street-Forrest. “I was extremely pleased that the competitors were made up of not only analysts who were working within their chosen profession, but the competition had entrants from the undergraduate level. It was even more surprising that a young undergraduate was able to win at the quarterfinals level with an impressive entry.”
She continued: “The market professional and undergraduate were well matched and the final match has keenly competed with each finalist displaying tenacity, grit, and a deep understanding of the subject matter. If there was ever a time I felt the investment in the competition was well spent, it was with this one, which shows the generational success and hope and sustainability for Jamaica’s capital markets.”
There were 32 individuals who participated in the competition this year, organizers said.
A select panel (drawn from academic institutions, the financial services sector, the investing community, and the media) judged the submissions based on stated criteria and determined a winning entry and runner-up for each quarter and the finals.
“It was a good match pound for pound, both in the writing submission and in delivery,” Street-Forrest says. “It attests to the level of interest and preparation that was put into this competition. Given that Chad-Anthony Coke, an undergraduate, secured a tie, this will elevate and inspire all other aspirants to sharpen their skill as they make their entries into future JSE Market Research Competition.”