Support from Sonova
“We were delighted that Sonova was selected this year and offered the students the best possible support as they conducted their research,” explains Thomas Bernhardsgrütter, Sonova’s Director of Investor Relations. A presentation given by Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of the Sonova Group (until March 31, 2018), provided essential background information about the company, and the students were able to discuss the talk with him directly. They also had the opportunity to listen in on a conference call for financial analysts about 2014/15’s half-year results before picking up some invaluable tips from statements by CFO Hartwig Grevener.
“The in-depth discussion with Sonova was extremely useful for our work,” sums up Florian Christoph Domin from the victorious Lausanne University team. “Talking to Mr Braunschweiler and Mr Bernhardsgrütter spurred the team on to devote even more time and energy to our analysis. Initially, we didn't know very much about hearing systems or the business segment more generally, so we had a steep learning curve. The company’s impressive stock valuation meant that our study resulted in a recommendation to sell, but that aside, Sonova brand products would be my first choice if someone in my family were looking to buy a hearing aid.”
“I was very impressed by how practically relevant the reports were and it was exciting to see how much the participants found out in such a relatively short period of time,” explains Thomas Bernhardsgrütter. “Qualifying as a financial analyst at the CFA Institute also opens up all kinds of interesting avenues for students at companies – something I know from personal experience,” he adds knowingly. Before taking over responsibility for Sonova’s Investor Relations department, Bernhardsgrütter had passed the CFA Institute’s vocational “Chartered Financial Analyst” (CFA) program with flying colors and spent more than ten years working as a financial analyst.
Among the Top Five in Amsterdam
The Sonova report secured the Lausanne University team a place at the regional knock-outs in Amsterdam on April 2, 2015, where they performed outstandingly well, coming in the top five out of 29 teams taking part.