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Pitt Business Team Wins Local Investment Research Challenge 
Pitt Business Team Wins Local Investment Research Challenge

A team of undergraduate students from the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration has won the 2021-22 Investment Research Challenge, hosted by the CFA Society Pittsburgh.

Members of the winning team, Jake Adonizio, Sierra Christian, Will Kulok, Jeremy W. Timblin, and Olivia Wininsky, competed against four other business schools from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Steve Garbon of the Braff Group served as the team’s industry mentor and Akin Sayrak, clinical assistant professor of business administration, served as the faculty advisor.

The Pitt Business students were tasked to produce an equity research report for Erie Insurance, a Fortune 500 property and casualty insurer, and present their investment recommendation before a jury. They were praised for their excellent research report, effective presentation, and very strong performance in the Q&A session, Sayrak said. 

Meet the Team

Jake Adonizio

Jake Adonizio is a senior majoring in finance with a certificate in business analytics. He is currently working as an M&A financial analyst intern at The Braff Group, a sell-side advisory firm in Pittsburgh. In the challenge, he researched the insurance firm’s social and environmental standing and governance structure. He hopes to work in sales or trading after graduation. 

Sierra Christian

Sierra Christian is a senior majoring in finance with a minor in economics. Upon graduation, she will start her career in wealth management at Henderson Brothers. While interning this past summer, she passed her SIE exam and will sit for the Series 7 exam later in the semester. At Pitt Business, she was selected to be part of the Practicum in Portfolio Management and Securities Analysis. During the challenge, she led the analysis of Erie’s corporate structure, operations, and industry positioning to determine its value drivers.  

Will Kulok

Will Kulok is a senior with a major in finance and a minor in economics. He is currently working as an equity research analyst at Astute Equity Group, a boutique money management shop located in Washington D.C. In the challenge, he identified investment risks such as inflation and the U.S. demographic shifts to better assess the insurance market.

Jeremy Timblin

Jeremy Timblin graduated in December 2021 with a double degree in finance and information science and certificate in business analytics. While on campus, he worked with University administrators and food vendors to plan and launch the new meal scholarship program. In the challenge, he built financial models and simulations to identify the fair value for Erie Insurance. He is working as a consultant for Ernst & Young in the financial services group and preparing for the CFA level 2 exam. 

Olivia Wininsky

Olivia Wininsky is a junior studying finance and computer science with a focus in private markets, data, and investment research. On campus, she leads the Computer Science and Finance clubs and works in two student investment funds. In the challenge, she served as the team captain with a focus on financial analysis, valuation, and the investment thesis. This past summer, she worked at Anchorage Capital, a credit hedge fund on Wall Street, and is joining Macquarie’s private equity group this summer on their digital infrastructure team. 

Global Competition

The team advances to a regional competition as part of this annual challenge involving business schools worldwide, that provides hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics. The Pitt Business curriculum leads to the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. Learn more about the seven majors offered by the business school along with the business minor for students earning degrees outside the College of Business Administration.