Two UNF students win national financial competition


Two UNF students won the annual Finance Leaders’ Conference quiz bowl in Chicago March 26, besting 29 teams from around the world.

Four students from UNF’s Finance and Investment Society attended the conference, which took place March 25 and March 26 and played host to 227 students from 36 universities from the US, Mexico and Ireland. Mike Zaccardi, a finance senior and Dean Brown, a graduate student, participated in the two-round quiz bowl.

“There was no way to study for [the competition], because it’s so comprehensive,” Zaccardi said. “We took most of it from memory and what we had learned from previous classes.”

The first round of the competition consisted of a one-hour, 50-question multiple choice test on “textbook finance,” Zaccardi said. Brown and Zaccardi were able to work on the calculator-heavy test together.

Most of the teams had three people, though teams could field any number, said FIS Advisor and Associate Professor of Finance, Dr. Oliver Schnusenberg.

Teams with the top three scores on the multiple choice test moved onto the final round — a Jeopardy-style financial competition, with questions focusing on current affairs, said Zaccardi.

“In order for them to get through the first round they had to have our information,” said Associate Professor Dr. Pieter de Jong. “There were questions [in the final round] which, I readily admit, that I could not answer.”

Missouri state and Northern Colorado were the other two schools in the final.

Georgetown won the Quiz Bowl last year.

“That’s good company to be in,” Schnusenberg said.

The two led throughout the final round and were able to greatly expand their lead in final Jeopardy, thanks to an options seminar they’d attended the Tuesday before the competition, Zaccardi said.

“We ended up with like 25,000 points and the next guy had 6,000,” Zaccardi said. “We crushed everyone.”

Brown and Zaccardi won the grand prize of $250 and two DVD players, and Brown won a door prize for correctly guessing the value of th.e Dow Jones at closing the day before.

The team gave one of their DVD players to Schnusenberg.

The four students from UNF traveled to Chicago March 22 and toured Chicago in the two days leading up to the competition.

Students toured the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and attended financial seminars including the aforementioned all-day options seminar held at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange.

The team also participated in a mock trading session on the exchange’s trading pit.

“We got our own trader name badges, and we got to wear the jackets they wear, so it was pretty cool,” Zaccardi said.

UNF placed third in the first FLC quiz bowl two years ago.