College Park, Md. – November 11, 2013 – Teams from some the country’s top MBA programs went head to head in an intense match to offer the best pitch in the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 7th annual Mergers and Acquisitions Competition, held Nov. 7-8 at the university’s College Park campus.
The team from the Smith School captured the event's $5,000 first prize. The team from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business placed second ($2,500) and MBAs from Southern Methodist University’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business finished third ($1,000), judged by a panel of corporate executives, Wall Street bankers and business professors. The competition’s hypothetical case asked students to analyze the sports apparel industry. MBA students plotted their strategies through the night on Thursday before pitching their recommendations for strategic merger and acquisition alternatives to judges on Friday.
“This competition is an intense two days for these MBA students, but it’s just the type of experience they’ll have if they pursue a career in M&A,” said Alexander Triantis, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. “That’s why we continue to hold this competition. We know the importance of offering students real-world experiential learning, and we are glad we can host students from top schools throughout the country.”
The teams, with up to four members, used data tools from event sponsor Standard and Poor’s Capital IQ to prepare their analyses. They presented to judges in two rounds and were evaluated on their qualitative arguments and the quantitative models used to support their arguments.
In addition to the prizewinning teams, competitors represented:
- Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business
- George Washington University School of Business
- The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business
- Pennsylvania State University's Smeal College of Business
- University of Delaware's Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics
- University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business
- Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management
Each year, the Smith School’s MBA Finance Association presents the Mergers and Acquisitions Competition as its premier fall event. Targeting the nation’s top MBA programs, the event’s previous champions have represented Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business (2012), the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business (2011), Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business (2010), New York University’s Stern School of Business (2009), the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (2008) and Columbia Business School (2007).
The event also included a networking reception and opportunities for students to meet industry professionals and recruiters.
“I was very impressed with the students, their backgrounds, where they are headed after graduation, and their trajectories in life,” said Lane Wiggers, managing partner at Cordam Group and a final-round competition judge. “This competition offers a great stepping stone to get these students to their goals. It will help differentiate them in job interviews, melding real-world experience with classroom experience and the academic experience of a case competition.”