BAFEF University Merit Award

The CFA Level I University Merit Award is available to undergraduate or graduate students that have demonstrated an interest in pursuing a career in the investment management industry. Applicants are required to have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and a letter of recommendation from a professor; they must also submit an essay on their career interest. The Award includes CFA program enrollment fees, level I exam registration fees as well as level I exam review fees at a participating CFA review provider.

Merit Award Recipient - 2018
Derrick Chow, UC Berkeley

Merit Award Recipient - 2017
Jason Van Thiel, UC Berkeley

Merit Award Recipients - 2016
Deke Hu, UC Berkeley
Aashay Shaw, UC Berkeley
Elizabeth Jacoby, USF

Merit Award Recipients - 2015
Odontuya Natsagdorj, USF
Morgana Davids, UC Berkeley
Melissa Zhang, UC Berkeley

Merit Award Recipients - 2014
Ethan Ellison, USF
Andrew Krowne, UC Berkeley

Merit Award Recipients - 2013
Martin Annush, St. Mary's College
Chris Chavez, UC Berkeley
Shuonan Chen, UC Berkeley
Robert Walters, USF

Merit Award Recipients - 2012
Brian Kim, UC Berkeley
Tasnuva Noushin, USF
Ian Robertson, UC Berkeley

Merit Award Recipients - 2011
Prentiss Douglass, UC Berkeley
Jue Liu, USF
Jack Wei, UC Berkeley

Merit Award Recipient - 2010
Andrew Collier, USF

Scroll down to read more about our winners!

Derrick Chow, 2018 Merit Award Winner
Derrick will be graduating in May 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a minor in South & Southeast Asian Studies. As a Bay Area native, he has always been passionate about the intersection of technology and finance. He has held internships at FiveStars Loyalty, Vista Point Advisors, KKR, Uber, and Morgan Stanley. Upon graduation, Derrick will be returning to work at Morgan Stanley’s Technology Investment Banking division in Menlo Park, California. Outside of his professional pursuits, Derrick has always been very passionate about educational empowerment. As the Vice President of Education for Global Business Brigades, Derrick organized a group of 10+ student volunteers to educate local communities in Honduras about financial literacy. Throughout his time in Boost@BerkeleyHaas, which focuses on assisting low-income high school students succeed both inside and outside the classroom, he has led multiple 9th-grade cohorts to answer real-life business problems. During Derrick’s free time, he enjoys listening to podcasts on a variety of investment theses and recent technological developments.

Jason Van Thiel, 2017 Merit Award Winner
Jason spent nine years as an Analyst and Vice President for a $2.5 billion asset management firm based in Minneapolis and Denver. His roles and responsibilities have involved strategic and tactical asset allocation research for multi-asset portfolios, portfolio management, due diligence, risk management, and modeling. This was done for client accounts as well as portfolios of hedge fund and private market strategies. Jason graduated with a bachelor of science in Finance from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Carlson School of Management and is a 2017 MBA Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business. At Haas he was elected the Co-President of the Investment Club and awarded the Investment Management and Quantitative Finance Fellowship.

Odontuya Natsagdorj, 2015 Merit Award Winner
Odontuya Natsagdorj will be completing her Masters of Science degree in Financial Analysis in May 2015. She completed her degree while working as an Accountant at a manufacturing company Heat and Control to gain experience in accounting and analysis of financial statements. She also worked as a Quant Analyst for the Student-Managed Fund at the USF for two consecutive semesters, managing a portfolio of one million dollars under led by Professor Ludwig Chincarini. Prior to starting her degree program, she has worked as a Real Estate Broker and managed a family-owned business in the SF Bay Area. Upon graduation, she intends to return to Mongolia and work for the Government of Mongolia in the financial sector and later pursue a career in Portfolio Management. As a personal goal, she plans to impact K-12 education in Mongolia by getting involved with “Shine Ue” School founded by her grandfather Maam Unenbileg, who is a well-known and honored Math Teacher who has been awarded the “Khubilai Khaan’s Golden Medal of Science” as well as other highest awards given to civilians in Mongolia.

Ethan Ellison, 2014 Merit Award Winner
Ethan Ellison earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Vermont in 2008. After graduating, Ethan enlisted in the US Air Force and currently works in Space Operations where he is responsible for satellite orbital analysis. Ethan attended graduate school at the University of San Francisco and in 2013 he received a Master of Science degree in Financial Analysis. He was a program tutor for both the Accelerated and Professional MSFA programs. Ethan is seeking a position as a buy side research analyst and ultimately a career in Portfolio Management. He is currently deciding between MBA programs, and will begin school in the fall of 2014. In his free time, Ethan enjoys globetrotting, snowboarding, and riding his motorcycle.

Andrew Krowne, 2014 Merit Award Winner
Andrew Krowne graduated with honors from the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in May, 2014. During his MBA, Andrew focused his studies on finance and investments, serving as both an Investment Management Fellow and a Consortium Fellow. Outside of school, he interned at two hedge funds covering strategies in both public activist investing (equity) and less liquid, private credit securities. Andrew received second place in the 2013 Institutional Investor Student Analyst Competition for his stock portfolio in the Technology, Telecom & Media space. Prior to business school, Andrew worked as an Investment Banker in New York where he covered Technology, Media & Telecom clients in the capital markets division. Andrew is currently a Venture Capitalist in San Francisco working at Dolby Family Ventures and Levensohn Venture Partners. In his current role, Andrew evaluates early-stage Technology and Life Sciences investment opportunities. Andrew earned a BS Degree from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce in 2006, where he had a double-concentration in Finance and Accounting. In his free time, Andrew enjoys the outdoors, California wine county, local cuisine and traveling.

Chris Chavez, 2013 Merit Award Winner
Chris Chavez will be completing his MBA at the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in May 2013. Chris has focused his graduate studies on finance and investment strategy and he looks forward to reentering the world of investment management after graduation. Prior to business school, Chris worked for a private wealth management firm where he played an active role in advising on asset allocation, manager selection and implementation of client assets across various asset classes as well as consulted on multiple financial decisions that impacted the clients’ lives. Chris graduated with honors from the University of California Berkeley where he majored in Economics. When away from his desk, Chris is an elite long-distance runner and a qualifier for the 2012 United States Olympic Trials in the marathon.

Shuonan Chen, 2013 Merit Award Winner
Shuonan is a senior from Vancouver, Canada studying Business, Economics and Rhetoric. She is passionate about finance and has held internships in the Corporate Finance and Valuation groups at PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as in the Legal Department at Chinese International Capital Corporation. On campus, Shuonan has held leadership roles in Consulting Club at Berkeley, Engineers Without Borders and UCBMUN, through which she has sought to mentor her peers. She also founded Cashify, a nonprofit for financial literacy that teaches through engaging and educational games. Shuonan is fascinated with financial engineering and will be joining Goldman Sachs in its Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets division upon graduation. In her free time, Shuonan is a pilot and loves figure skating.

Tasnuva Noushin, 2012 Merit Award Winner
Tasnuva Noushin graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Master's Degree in Financial Analysis in December 2011. She graduated with a CGPA of 3.83 and she was also a tutor for the graduate students of MSFA, MSRM and MAIR programs at USF. During her study at USF, Tasnuva undertook notable projects such as – “Constructing pension fund portfolio for institutional investors and generating capital market expectation & forecast about next 3 years’ macro economic situation in US” and “Researching on the strength of the relationship among S&P 500 index, US GDP & Unemployment rate based on last 15 years historic data”. Before joining the Masters program, Tasnuva graduated from North South University, Bangladesh with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with dual majors in Finance and International Business. She achieved the highest distinction of “Summa cum Laude”. After completing the bachelor degree, she joined a financial institution in Dhaka, Bangladesh as an Analyst and continued to work there till 2010 before coming to US for higher studies. Aside from her keen interest in the Capital Market, Tasnuva is quite fond of mathematical puzzles and enjoys the quantitative aspects of Finance.

Ian Robertson, 2012 Merit Award Winner
Ian Robertson is an MBA candidate at UC Berkeley – Haas slated to graduate in May 2012. Prior to Haas, Ian worked at a boutique research firm where he covered publicly traded companies in the wireless and videogame sectors. After business school, Ian will join Osmium Capital Partners as a research analyst. Osmium is a long-short investment fund focused on micro- and small-cap US equities. Ian graduated cum laude from Whitman College in 2006 with a B.A. in History. When he’s not digging through SEC filings, Ian enjoys exploring the West with his wife and dog.

Prentiss Douglass, 2011 Merit Award Winner
Prentiss Douglass is entering the investment management field after practicing as a civil engineer for ten years. After participating in product diligence for several acquisitions in a previous position, Prentiss became interested in how target firms were valued and started an investment club with several colleagues and friends. In 2008, Prentiss returned to the Haas School of Business to work towards his MBA with a focus on finance. Having completed internships in equity research and asset management at JMP Securities and Harvest Capital Strategies, respectively, Prentiss is looking forward to building his career in asset management. Prentiss received his B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University.

Carol Jue Liu, 2011 Merit Award Winner
Carol Jue Liu graduated from Guangdong University of Business with a bachelor’s degree in economic statistics and a 3.5 GPA. After graduating, Jue worked as a business analyst with a private real estate development company in Guangzhou City, China. She was responsible for conducting statistical research on the economies, government finance, traffic, and demographics of four major districts in order to identify real estate development potential. She received the “best employee” award. In 2008 Jue enrolled at the University of San Francisco to work toward a master’s degree in financial economics. To prepare for an investment management career, she focused on financial courses such as “Options and Futures”, “Financial Econometrics”, and “Money and Banking”. Additionally, she worked as a teaching assistant in the business school for the economics department, tutoring more than 100 students for economics and derivatives classes. Jue graduated with a 3.95 GPA and was awarded the “2010 Best Student in Economics” by USF.

Jack Wei, 2011 Merit Award Winner
Jack Wei is a senior majoring in economics at UC Berkeley and is also an avid student of financial literature and the capital markets. Although he has arduously studied various asset classes and actively followed prominent investors, he is particularly passionate about technology and distressed debt securities. To gain hands-on experience and deepen his financial knowledge, Jack has interned at SKBA Capital Management, where he was an investment research analyst intern and focused on technology, energy, and insurance. Jack’s past experience also includes an investment banking role at US Capital Partners and an audit internship in Asia. The son of a diplomat, Jack has resided in Budapest, Taipei, Vienna, Los Angeles, and Berlin. In his free time, Jack enjoys investing, hiking, reading academic publications, and fine-dining.

Andrew Collier, 2010 Merit Award Winner
Andrew earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from New Mexico State University in 2006. After working in commercial lending for a regional bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico for two years, Andrew attended graduate school at the University of San Francisco where in 2010 he received a Master of Arts degree in Economics. After graduation Andrew began managing investments for families and individuals while also providing economic consulting and valuation services for use in litigation.