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Students Invited to Exclusive M&A Competition

By Lindsey Anderson

Kogod students were invited to participate for the first time in an invitation-only mergers and acquisitions competition last week.

At the competition, the Kogod Private Equity and Venture Capital Club (KPE) had under 20 hours to create and pitch an investment plan to a panel of Wall Street bankers and corporate executives.

Teams of MBA students from leading U.S. business schools competed to create a winning mergers and acquisitions pitch at the University of Maryland-College Park's annual Mergers and Acquisitions Competition. Teams were judged on their qualitative arguments and the quantitative models they used to support their pitches.

"Competing in the M&A competition provided realistic exposure to the investment banking world," said KPE co-President Jamie Steinberg. "The tough questions we were asked and the tight deadlines only added to the experience."

Ten teams from across the country participated in the competition, sponsored by College Park’s Robert H. Smith School of Business on Oct. 28 and 29. Thomson Reuters sponsored the competition.

Participating schools included: 

• Kogod School of Business, American University 

• Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland 

• Booth School of Business, University of Chicago 

Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

• Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley 

• Krannert School of Management, Purdue University 

• McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin 

Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame 

Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University 

• Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"The competition was a wonderful way for Kogod to reach out to b-schools we do not often come into contact with," said Chris Baines, MSF '11.

For Alan Yu, MSF '11, "The competition was the most pressure and fun I have ever had in the 20-hour timespan from case release to final due time."

University of Notre Dame won first place in the competition, Carnegie Mellon won second, University of Virginia won third, and University of California—Berkley took fourth. While the Kogod team did not place, the club will be invited back next year for another chance to earn the top spot and $5,000.

"KPE delivered a solid performance to earn respect," said club founder and co-President Kareem Nakshbendi, MBA '11. "We forged new relationships with all of the students and with judges from industry."