CFA UK and Brandes Investment Partners announce winner of 2021 investment essay competition as Tigran Manukyan, CFA

Wednesday 10 November 2021

CFA UK and Brandes Investment Partners are delighted to announce the 2021 winner of the investment essay competition honouring Benjamin Graham, founder of the CFA Program and widely considered the father of value investing.


The essay prize was first launched in 2015 at the inaugural Aberdeen Road lecture presented by Charles Brandes, CFA, founder of Brandes Investment Partners, who worked with Ben Graham when founding his firm in the 1970s. This year’s competition ran from 10 August to 30 September with entrants demonstrating their value investing knowledge and writing skills.


Tigran Manukyan, CFA was awarded the £5,000 first prize last week. Tigran’s essay evaluated the question “What are the most underappreciated aspects of Ben Graham’s writing, and where do they find relevance today?”


Will Goodhart, Chief Executive at CFA UK says: “I’m incredibly grateful to all of those that submitted entries for this year’s prize and to our fantastic volunteer panel for their work in reviewing the entries and finding such a strong winning contribution. This year, we asked our members to think about some of the less appreciated aspects of Ben Graham’s work. Our winner, Tigran Manukyan, CFA, did just that alighting on Graham’s early understanding of the value of passive investing and private markets. As Tigran points out, we all know that ‘Graham’s principles and observations presaged the development of the modern investment industry we work in today’, but thanks to Tigran we are now better aware that Graham’s thinking was even more far reaching and forward thinking than we knew.”

"Global markets continue to evolve and, in some ways, at what feels like an accelerating pace," said Oliver Murray, Managing Director at Brandes Investment Partners. "So, it's very encouraging to see so many essays linking today's developments to principles that Benjamin Graham addressed almost 100 years ago. Graham's investment guidance remains indelible, as shown in the submissions we received, especially the winning essay. Congratulations, Tigran."  

The judges in the year’s competition consisted of experts in the value investing field, CFA UK members and previous winners. John Citron, CFA, says: “The range of Graham’s ideas explored by the entrants was hugely impressive, and was a joyful reminder of the breadth of his works. From fixed income to index investing and ESG (environmental, social and governance factors), there really was something for everyone in the year’s entries”.

Tomasz Bulinski, CFA says: “Following intense discussions, the judges decided that Tigran’s essay attains the goal of highlighting the most underappreciated aspects of Benjamin Graham’s teachings, whilst demonstrating their applicability to today’s financial markets. Tigran’s work uncovers important truths which should be relevant to all value-orientated CFA members, highlighting the depth of Graham’s intellectual contribution to the investment community.”

Mark Hodges, ASIP says: “Benjamin Graham's writings continue to provide a treasure trove of investment wisdom. This year's entries to the essay competition provided a range of diverse, high quality insights”

Masahiro Onizuka, CFA says: “Graham’s timeless teaching has guided a truly countless number of investors through the vagaries of the markets over many years. However, as economies and markets evolve with passage of time, it is incumbent on contemporaries, us, to think through how his thoughts need to be applied and to adopt.


Read the winning essay written by Tigran Manukyan, CFA


About the Investment Essay Competition

The annual competition awards a £5,000 prize, provided by Brandes Investment Partners, to one winner for a paper that draws on Graham’s thinking and work as well as promotes financial analysis as a profession. It is open to all members of CFA UK.

2021 will be the last year of the competition and we would like to thank all entrants from over the past five years. Read past winning entries:

About CFA UK

Part of the worldwide network of member societies of CFA Institute, CFA UK represents the interests of 11,500 investment professionals in the United Kingdom.


About Brandes Investment Partners

Brandes is a leading investment advisory firm managing global equity and fixed-income assets for clients worldwide. Since the firm’s inception in 1974 Brandes has consistently applied the value investing approach pioneered by Benjamin Graham to security selection. It was among the first investment firms to invest globally using a value approach. Headquartered in San Diego Brandes and its related entities have offices in Milwaukee, Toronto, Dublin and Singapore.  To learn more about Brandes, visit the website or follow LinkedIn



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