The competition was fierce but the atmosphere was fun at the
Smith School’s first Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
competition, held Oct. 11-12, 2007.
The event, organized by Smith’s MBA Finance Association,
challenged teams of MBA students from leading business
schools to create and deliver M&A pitches to a panel of
executives from Wall Street firms including Credit Suisse
and Lehman Brothers. Columbia Business School won first
prize, $5,000. University of Wisconsin-Madison School of
Business MBA students earned second prize, $2,500; and
University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business
students won third prize, $1,000.
Teams were tasked with creating a persuasive argument to
a hypothetical case — review the status of an investment
banking client, a top homebuilder, and discuss strategic
alternatives — while under deadline and using real-time
financial data. Most teams worked through the night,
gathering data and finalizing their presentations, then
pitched their recommendations to a team of judges who
selected four teams to advance to a final round.
Participants included MBA teams from Carnegie Mellon
University, National University of Singapore, Purdue
University, University of Chicago, University of Maryland,
University of Virginia, and Yale.
The event was supported by title-level sponsors Credit
Suisse and Lehman Brothers and gold-level sponsors Black &
Decker, Constellation Energy and Marriott International,
Inc. Representatives from the sponsoring companies served as
judges for the competition.
“Everybody did a phenomenal job,” said Lisa E. Beeson, a
managing director with Lehman Bros. and a final-round judge.
“To get their arms around the information in a really quick
period of time and to be thoughtful in their presentation
was just unbelievable. I was very impressed with all the
“The competition was fun and entertaining and a good
chance for students to learn about a specific industry, but
also extremely relevant if they do want to get into
investment banking,” said Credit Suisse associate Greg
Gordon ’06, a first-round judge. –CH