Students from the Skyhawk Investment Group, a program that enhances participants’ critical thinking and financial analytics skills through hands-on experiences, recently qualified to compete in the Van Berkom John Molson Small-Cap Case Competition. The team was one of only nine selected.

Finance majors Gavin Euksuzian ’23, Brandon Kramer ’23, Daniel Sammarco ’23 and Devon Walsh ’23 will participate in this event, scheduled to take place on the weekend of March 25 in Montreal. Sponsored by Concordia University, the competition focuses on small-cap company investing. It allows students to showcase abilities related to analyzing financial cases, developing strategic recommendations and applying academic lessons to real-world scenarios.

“This is the first time we’ve participated in a business case competition like this. Our team is excited to represent our school and take advantage of this impactful opportunity,” said Kramer, who serves as the Skyhawk Investment Group’s portfolio manager.

Kramer and his peers qualified for the upcoming event during a preliminary competition held in January 2023. Stonehill students faced off against representatives from over 25 schools across North America. Over the course of a week, they were charged with appraising and performing a strategic assessment of First Advantage Corporation, a technology solutions company. They were required to develop a three-page summary of their findings and three pages of analytics. 

Michael Mullen, associate professor of business administration and director of the Stonehill College Inspire Finance Initiatives (SCIFI), is hopeful about the outcome of the next round of competition. 

“I remain in awe of the capabilities and commitment of our students,” he said. “The team will be matched against mostly MBA students from many highly regarded academic institutions. They are working smart in their preparation. I cannot feel anything less than confident that they will be a very competitive force.” 

The Small-Cap Case Competition is but the latest experiential learning opportunity enjoyed by the Skyhawk Investment Group. As part of their operations, students also manage the Mary Herlihy Opportunity Fund, established through a bequest by the wife of the late William Herlihy ’52, a benefactor of the College. Other contributors to the fund and SCIFI include Eastern Bank, Stonehill alumni and faculty. Overseeing the equity portfolio helps participants hone research, analysis and management skills that they will continue to rely upon after they graduate.

Kramer, who will work for Fidelity Investments as an associate financial analyst after Commencement, said he owes a lot to the SCIFI programs for helping him become the leader he is today.

“Working with talented and intelligent classmates to make advanced assessments about the economy, the financial markets, and individual companies, while also taking into consideration the school’s values, has really helped me grow professionally and personally,” he said.