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Tepper MBAs Win Mergers and Acquisitions Competition at UMD

Students from the Tepper School of Business took home top honors after competing against peers representing top MBA programs across the country in the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business 8th annual Mergers and Acquisitions Competition, held October 23-24 at the university’s College Park campus.

MBA candidates representing the Tepper School included Stefan Boyd, Roger Younan, Christa Johnson and Zach Buzzatto, and the team captured the $5,000 first prize. They were followed by competitors from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in second place and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business earning third place.

"I viewed the Mergers and Acquisitions Competition as a great way to get hands-on experience with the strategy and financial valuation involved in mergers and acquisitions,” said Johnson. The teams used data tools from event sponsor Standard and Poor’s Capital IQ to prepare their evaluation. The competition challenged teams to analyze a hypothetical case based on the Internet Software & Services industry.

"The competition simulates real life pretty closely,” said one of the judges, Seabrook Partners Vice President Frantz Casseus. “Given the time and data constraints, the students came up with some very impressive products.”

Competitors were then given the opportunity to pitch their propositions for merger and acquisition to a panel of judges, which included corporate executives. They were judged upon their qualitative arguments and the quantitative models used to support their arguments.

“This competition has given me a unique perspective that will add to my experience throughout my finance and strategy coursework. I also appreciated the opportunity to work closely with second year students and learn from the expertise they gained during their summer internships,” said Buzzatto.

In addition to the prizewinning teams, competitors represented:

  • Boston University's School of Management
  • College of William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business
  • Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management
  • Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business
  • Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business
  • University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
  • University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business

“Global mergers and acquisition content is one of S&P Capital IQ’s core strengths,” said Howard Bernheim, director of client development for S&P Capital IQ. “The caliber, talent and brain power, and hard effort that these students brought from around the country and world all converging for an intense two days – is truly impressive. All of these students have a bright future ahead.”

The Smith School’s MBA Finance Association presents the Mergers and Acquisitions Competition each fall, bringing together teams representing the nation’s top MBA programs.