University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration students won the Nebraska ACG Cup competition held April 14, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The annual financial case study competition pits competing teams from UNL, UNO, Creighton University and Bellevue University. The Nebraska chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) hosts the competition which gives students experience analyzing topics of mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advising and private equity. The ACG is a network of bankers, investors, attorneys, accountants and others who work in mergers and acquisitions.
Winning UNL team members were Matt Clare, an MBA student from Lincoln, Nebraska; Alex Grosvenor, an MBA student from Lincoln; Blade Jacobson, a senior finance major from Thompson Falls, Montana; and Drew Nelson, a senior finance major from Omaha, Nebraska. This was the first year undergraduate students were allowed to compete.
Dr. Richard DeFusco, professor of finance, helped form the team and accompanied students to the competition. He explained how the case study gives students the chance to practice financial analysis in a practical setting.
“Students take a case written by a well-known investment banker where facts are slightly changed,” said DeFusco. “They take financials and do a full analysis along with completing a PowerPoint pitch book summarizing their work. Our team spent about 60 hours per person in one week preparing their presentation.”
DeFusco said even though the study is simulated, the competition confronts students with the exact situations they will find on the job.
“I find it to be very real when projects have deadlines. This case was given to them on a Monday and was due the following Monday. They were forced to complete certain tasks in a particular sequence in order to accomplish it,” he said.
He also stressed the collaborative nature of the team project.
“It’s always good when students learn how to work in teams. They didn’t know each other well, so it was truly a situation where four people were thrown together, and had to learn to work as a team. I think that’s a very valuable skill,” he said.
The winning team won a $4,000 cash prize out of a total of $10,000 in cash prizes awarded. They also received a one year membership to ACG Nebraska.
“The ACG is a professional organization and doesn’t admit students so this is terrific exposure for our winning students,” DeFusco said. “The competition is a great way to network and the ACG membership will give them additional connections during the upcoming year.”
DeFusco and winning team members will attend an ACG breakfast meeting on April 28 where they will receive the traveling trophy CBA will hold during the upcoming year.