Growing Future Assets Investment Competition 2020

I was hugely impressed with the girls’ work on making the case to invest in Illumina. Each of the girls worked immensely hard on their investment report and the initiative, professionalism, independence and critical thinking skills they displayed over the past few months has been incredibly inspiring.

Laura Fyfe, Investment Analyst, Stewart Investors

I got so much more out of this competition than I ever imagined I would. I hadn’t really considered or known very much about the investment side of business before this competition and I found it really interesting. It is something that I definitely want to explore further.

Member of the winning team

Congratulations to our winners from Auchinleck, now The Robert Burns Academy, and runner-up, Eyemouth High School!

In spring 2020, Future Asset challenged teams of girls in Scottish Schools to research, analyse and pitch an investment idea to a group of investment professionals.

The aim of the competition was to introduce girls across Scotland to the world of investment, its operation, relevance, and impact, as well as the range of careers available within the sector. It helped them to learn that good investing is about the long-term prospects, profits, and sustainability of a company and it gained some high-profile interest!

Our judging panel were extremely impressed by the pitches we received and the online final in June was very close with well researched and skillful presentations from:

  • Auchinleck Academy (now The Robert Burns Academy), East Ayrshire on life sciences company Illumina Inc;
  • Craigmount High School, Edinburgh, on L’Occitane en Provence who produce and retail natural skincare and cosmetics;
  • Eyemouth High School, Scottish Borders, on bakery chain  Greggs;
  • The Royal High School, Edinburgh, on online clothing retailer ASOS.  

The Challenge!

Investors and Asset Managers manage and invest their clients’ money to keep it safe and make it grow over the long term. The clients might be pension funds with the collective savings of teachers, fire fighters or office workers, charities that have received money from wills, or people with savings.  They rely on professional investment firms to ensure that their money grows over time so that it can provide an income, a nest egg, or a safe retirement fund for the future.

But which companies should they invest in? We asked teams of 3 to 6 girls to take on the role of Investment Analysts:  

  • They had to select a company from our Companies Crib Sheet of 34 companies listed on stock markets across the world. 
  • Research information on all aspects of their chosen company. 
  • Analyse the information and decide why they thought that company represented a sound long-term investment.
  • Present a clear, persuasive case of why they thought we should invest in their chosen company in writing and in a videoed elevator pitch.

The top teams from the first round were invited to an online final in June 2020, delivering an extended pitch and answering questions from a panel of investment professionals.

The competition winners received £1000 for their school and £200 for each of the team members in vouchers of their choice. 

The Future Asset Competition is an exciting opportunity for girls across the country to access professional information and advice about careers in investment, a sector where women are under-represented. The process offers competitors the opportunity to enhance and develop their employability, financial, data analysis and presentation skills in a creative and real-life context, and I wish all those taking part this year the best of luck.

John Swinney, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister

All the entrants were incredibly strong and had many things to commend them. But the girls from Auchinleck presented a winning analysis of Illumina, clearly demonstrating how well they understood the long-term prospects, profits, and sustainability of the company. It was also wonderful to see how the competition sparked a real passion for investing among the girls. I am hopeful that even with all the challenges we face today, all the amazing finalists we saw this week will retain the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm for investing they built up throughout this competition.

Iona Bain, founder and editor of Young Money Blog and panel judge