Graduate students succeed in first South Florida ACG Cup competition.

This spring, the South Florida chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) invited students from graduate business programs at Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, and the University of Miami to participate in the first annual ACG Cup competition held in this region.

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“The competition is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” said Rob Brighton, a corporate partner with Ruden McClosky and president of ACG South Florida. “The schools and the students get an opportunity to show off their skills and the benefits of their respective MBA programs before prominent members of the local financial and business community who serve as judges for the competition. At the same time, representatives of these firms, who are potential employers of the students and donors to the schools, get to see how prospective employees address real-world business scenarios in a competitive environment.”

From left to right: Sofia Bitela, Jack Cho, Chun-Hao Chang, Vysakh Nachiketus, and Qing Lu
From left to right: Sofia Bitela, Jack Cho, Chun-Hao Chang, Vysakh Nachiketus, and Qing Lu

College of Business Administration participants are off and running—to grab a top prize.

According to Anneli Hilpinen (BBA ’06), Student Learning Center manager, the first phase of the competition was an intramural contest held on March 6, 2009, that brought together four different teams from the college’s graduate programs. Taking on the role of investment bankers, each team presented a case study focused on an actual mergers-and-acquisitions transaction.

The winning team included four students from the Master of Science in Finance program: Sofia Bitela , Vysakh Nachiketus, Jack Cho, and Qing Lu (BS ’07).

For the final leg of the ACG Cup competition, the team headed to the University of Miami on March 26, 2009, for a second case study presentation. This time, the selected case study centered on a leveraged buyout scenario.

After much deliberation, the judges awarded first place to the University of Miami.

“But they were so impressed with the Florida International University team that they made the unusual decision to split the $10,000 prize—with 60 percent going to the University of Miami team and 40 percent going to our team,” said Chun-Hao Chang, chair, Department of Finance and Real Estate.

“We really enjoyed the competition and the learning experience it offered us,” said Bitela, the team leader. “It was a great chance to demonstrate how our business school can hold its own in a competitive situation like this.”

Chang complimented the students for doing such an excellent job analyzing the kind of complex business problems they will encounter in their careers.

He added that “the competition brings increased recognition to our school in the South Florida business community.”

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