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The Equity Research Project: learn how to research and present a stock investment recommendation

The Equity Research Project is an opportunity for students to put the knowledge and skills they have learned on the MFin into practice by preparing an investment thesis and recommendation on a listed company. Here we find out more about the project.

Master of Finance Equity Research Project.

What is the Equity Research Project (ERP)?

The ERP takes place at the end of the Michaelmas Term, over the Christmas break. This four-week project gives students the chance to bring together their financial, accounting, strategic and communication skills.

At the end of the project, each team presents their research and investment recommendation to a panel of real-life investment managers and equity analysts.

How does the project work?

Each team is assigned a listed company on which they will carry out a stock valuation. Working in small groups, students carry out detailed research on the company and write a report advising on the investment potential of that company.

The teams are guided throughout the project by an academic supervisor who will provide advice and support. At the end of the project, the teams are required to make an active recommendation on whether to buy or sell shares in the company. The students then present their recommendation to a panel of experts including finance faculty and actual fund managers. 

Marwa Hammam, Executive Director of the MFin, explains “The real-life simulation built into the Equity Research Project, where students pitch their stock idea and recommendations to a panel of Investment Managers and Equity Analysts, helps them develop not only their presentation and pitching skills, but also the ability to engage with industry practitioners and field questions on the spot”.

What’s the aim of the project?

Equity research requires a combination of skills. The ERP is designed to help students put the knowledge and skills they have learned on the MFin into practice.

In addition to learning about the process of researching and formulating an equity recommendation, students also gain valuable experience of working as a team.

“The Equity Research Project is an opportunity for students to develop, and put into practice, their corporate valuation and modelling skills,” says Marwa Hammam. “These skill sets are portable into many different areas of finance and will also help prepare the students for future interviews and stock pitches that they may undertake as part of their job search process during the MFin year and beyond.”

What type of projects do students work on?

Project groups are assigned a company to research. In recent years, projects have focused on a wide range of multi-national companies, including luxury fashion brands, supermarket chains, software companies, high-street brands, telecommunication companies and educational publishing firms.

In preparation for the project, students participate in a series of workshops during the Michaelmas Term, to introduce them to the topics of equity research, valuation and modelling.

A series of management, leadership and ethics lectures also help students prepare for the project, while financial modelling workshops help students to develop the skills required to undertake the valuation elements of the project. 

Marwa concludes, “Whether students are looking to go into investment banking, advisory, in-house M&A or research roles, the ability to understand what drives corporate value and put together an estimate of the value of corporates, are key components of the students’ financial toolkit”.