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By Liz Warren-Pederson

An Eller team of one MBA and three master’s in finance (MMF) students took home a $2,000 first prize at the annual ACG Cup competition in Phoenix.

The First-Place Eller ACG Cup team with cup sponsors.

The First-Place Eller ACG Cup team with cup sponsors.

The competition presents case studies focused on mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory, and private equity. Each case study provides students with an opportunity to present valuation, capital markets and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategic advice to a panel of seasoned M&A professionals from within the Association for Corporate Growth community.

“The case is designed to simulate the experience from an investment banker’s perspective,” said Zachary Lacy, Eller MBA ‘12. “Consequently, the final round of competition had a lot to do with our ability to explain to our ‘clients’ how our leveraged buyout proposition would function and why it was the best option for these investors.”

Lacy credited his team — which included MMF students Rong Rong, Beibei Zhu, and Hao Cheng — with presenting a better plan than the competition. “We also performed well in responding to questions from the judges and satisfying their concerns,” he said.

“It was a great experience from a networking standpoint,” he added. “If you’re interested in the field in which you’re competing, the judges tend to be professionals in the field who can open some doors professionally.”

From an academic standpoint, the competition presented a different kind of challenge. “The case is distributed just five to seven days before the competition, so the team needs to be efficient and work quickly to provide a quality deliverable,” he said. “This translates to a valuable, real-world type experience.” 

Learn more about the MBA, MMF, and other graduate degrees offered by the Eller College.