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Students compete in first USD-Wells Fargo Equity Research Competition

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Department of Finance recently partnered with Wells Fargo EFS to sponsor the first USD-Wells Fargo Student Equity Research Competition. Through a donation from Wells Fargo to the USD Finance Department, 11 students competed in the equity research competition, which allowed the participants to gain investment analysis and valuation experience.

The 11 USD students formed four teams to analyze four different publicly traded for-profit education firms, Capella University, DeVry University, ITT Education Services and Strayer Education, the winner of the competition. Students on the Strayer Education team were senior accounting major Rebecca Duncan of Brandon, S.D., Logan Nord of Harrisburg, S.D., a sophomore economics major, and Aaron Steele, a sophomore finance major from Vermillion. They received a prize of $1,500 while second place in the competition (and $1,000 in prize money) was awarded to ITT Educational Services, which included M.B.A. student Tyler Stewart of Sioux City, Iowa, and Nicholas Gates of Mitchell, S.D., who graduated with his M.B.A. from USD last summer. Third place Capella University researchers Alex C. Johnson, a senior finance major from Spencer, Iowa, Aaron Oestmann, a senior finance major from Rapid City, S.D., and junior finance major Howard Schmidt of Loveland, Colo., received $500. Brandon Flynn, Matthew Hicks and Joseph Jares, all senior finance majors from Sioux Falls, S.D., finished in fourth place and received $250 for their analysis of DeVry University.

The competition, which began with a kickoff event in February, also included a 10-page research report and a 20-minute presentation, and it was judged by Glen Herrick, senior vice president, Corporate Finance and Treasury at Wells Fargo, Jason Engman, C.F.A., assistant vice president at Wells Fargo, and Jarrod Edelen, C.F.A., a small/midcap portfolio manager at the South Dakota Investment Council. The research presentations, all open to the public, were held on the morning of April 13 at Beacom Hall on the USD campus.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News