Finance students take first place in ethics case competition

2021 national championship awarded


Winners from left to right: Taylor Woitas, Tyler Kostiuk, Mazen Hassanin and Hanson Lui.

Fifth annual CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge national championship winners from left to right: Taylor Woitas, Tyler Kostiuk, Mazen Hassanin and Hanson Lui.


A team of four Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) students were crowned national champions at the fifth-annual CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge, earning top marks from a panel of CFA® (chartered financial analyst®) judges and outperforming the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Waterloo, l'universite de Sherbrooke and Dalhousie University.

Competing teams had 23 hours to evaluate and examine an ethics case study and identify ethical dilemmas similar to those they may face in industry before presenting an analysis and recommendations to the judges. Competitors were evaluated on their ability to identify ethical failures in the cases and to provide their solutions for their mitigation. Following a question and answer period the judges selected the MRU team as the top team.

What is an ethical dilemma?

“Ethical dilemmas are an everyday occurrence in the industry and can create ambiguity,” says Catherine Roy-Heaton, associate professor of finance.

“Examples of areas these students needed to learn include maintaining the integrity of the capital markets such as appropriate handling of material non-public information or supporting strong, fair capital markets for all, duties to clients or employers and using diligence and reasonable basis for investment recommendations.”

The proud winners are Mazen Hassanin, Tyler Kostiuk, Hanson Lui and Taylor Woitas. All are finance majors with concentrations in financial analysis.

“This was the third time MRU has qualified for nationals at this competition, but these four students took that to a whole new level,” says Roy-Heaton.

“They were, quite simply, amazing, and highly deserving of this accomplishment.”

The team demonstrated through their win the emphasis that an MRU finance education places on case analysis, ethics, analytical reasoning, teamwork and working through ambiguity.

“Our team felt quite confident identifying the ethical dilemmas,” said Tyler Kostiuk.

“Each member of the team reviewed the case individually and then discussed and debated as a team to finalize our decisions.”

“Our experience and teamwork in the regional competition helped prepare us to successfully navigate the time constraint and pressure of the national round.”

Roy-Heaton goes on to say that the team worked diligently and methodically to apply ethical decision-making frameworks, which they learned through their studies and through their independent preparation for the competition.

“Through this experience, my teammates and I have developed the tools and knowledge to identify and navigate ethical grey areas and showcase our leadership skills,” Hanson Lui said in a CFA Societies Canada news release.

“While it is always exciting to win, the true victory was the ability to gain clearer insight into what we can expect in our futures and the ability to connect with seasoned financial industry professionals.”

Interested in Mount Royal’s Bachelor of Business Administration — Finance? Learn more.

May 28, 2021 — Rob Petrollini

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