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News & Events

Kellogg Investment Banking Club wins top prize in JP Morgan challenge

By Deborah Leigh Wood

2/1/2005 - For the fifth time in six years, members of the Kellogg School Investment Banking Club beat their competition, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, in the sixth-annual JP Morgan M&A Challenge.

The Kellogg students won the overall award in the 32-hour case competition, which was held recently at JP Morgan’s offices in downtown Chicago. Contestants worked on a case created by the company based on an actual deal. Eight Kellogg teams, composed of full-time and part-time MBA students, acted as investment banker advisers to their “client”— a financial sponsor — on bidding strategies and valuation in possibly acquiring a paper and building products company.

“Kellogg is very proud of the consistently outstanding performance of its students in the Challenge,” said Robert A. Korajczyk, Kellogg School senior associate dean of curriculum and teaching. “The results are a testament to their hard work, the efforts of Kellogg’s Investment Banking Club and the excellence of the Finance Department’s curriculum. The whole Kellogg community congratulates the participants.”

David Stowell, one of the judges, and clinical associate professor in investment banking at the Kellogg School, called the winning teams well prepared. “It’s amazing what they were able to deliver in a short timeframe,” he said. “They delivered a 20-page solution, plus appendices of mathematical computations. They didn’t get much sleep, but that’s the real world. The competition was designed so they would have to deal with a shortage of sleep, time and information.”

“We did work around the clock, but the short deadline increased our level of excitement,” said Steve Weiland ’05, who was on a winning team and is co-chair of the Investment Banking Club. “To a certain extent, coming up with a plan is formulaic and methodological. Everyone can do the math, but coming up with a fresh idea and communicating it well in a 15-minute presentation to seasoned experts is where the challenge lay and where we excelled. That’s a testament to the skills we learned at Kellogg.”

Michael J. Fishman, the Norman Strunk Distinguished Professor of Financial Institutions and chair of the Kellogg Finance Department, said he is “proud of the students” and that “they know their finance.” Fishman, a former JP Morgan Challenge judge, said he’s confident the Kellogg students will be successful in their banking careers.

In addition to Weiland, members of the winning teams, which split the $2,600 prize, are Kojo Appenteng, Bolade Atitebi , Danai Brooks, Joshua Carson, Panaikorn Chartikavanij, Peggy Gan, Michael Jakola, Adil Lalani, Parth Mehrotra, Chirag Saraiya, Jason Scott, Benjamin Seguin, Brian Steinbrueck, Katsuhiko Ushikubo, Guarav Wadhwa and Neal White. All are Class of ’06 except Carson and Weiland, who are Class of ’05.