Financial planning students from six Ontario colleges will put their skills to the test this Saturday (Nov. 12) at the CIFP Case Challenge Competition.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase and demonstrate the fine job that these institutions are doing with [financial services students],” says Keith Costello, president and CEO of the Mississauga, Ont.-based Canadian Institute of Financial Planning. “It’s a really good indication of where our highly skilled manpower in financial services is going to be coming from in the next 10 to 20 years.”

Toronto’s Centennial College will host the competition, which will include participants from: Centennial; the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Mississauga, Ont.; George Brown College in Toronto; Connestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Kitchener, Ont.; Hamilton, Ont.-based Mohawk College; and Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto.

The students are divided into teams of two or three members. During the competition, a financial case will be given to the teams, which will then have 90 minutes to craft a plan for that case. The teams will then each have 20 minutes to present their plans to a panel. The panel will ask follow-up questions about the plan following the presentation.

The teams will be marked on such criteria as time management, creativity and presentation skills.

“No solution is 100% ‘the one’,” says Costello. “There’s no wrong or right [answer].”

The winning team will be presented with an award at a dinner and awards ceremony following the day’s events.

This event will mark the second CIFP competition. Last’s year’s competition was held exclusively for Centennial students. In future, Costello hopes more colleges across the province — and, eventually, the country — will participate in the competition.