Apr 10, 2014 6:54 PM by PRESS RELEASE

UL MBA students place first in regional competition

A University of Louisiana at Lafayette team of MBA students won a first-place award in a contest sponsored by the Louisiana Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. The ACG is a global non-profit organization.

Scott M. Guidry, Rick Kennedy, John Pierre LeLeux, Jacob A. Nugier and Shaun Trahan earned a team trophy and equal shares of the $2,500 prize.

"I imagine everyone will be using the winnings for tuition, books, and crawfish, though not necessarily in that order," said Kennedy.

The event was held March 29 at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. UL Lafayette competed against LSU, Loyola University New Orleans, Tulane University and the University of New Orleans.

The annual competition is designed to give students insight into mergers and acquisitions, investment banking and financial advisory services.

One week before the contest, teams receive a mock case study, which includes financial data about a fictitious company. They are asked to analyze the data and develop a strategy and recommendations. In competition, teams have 25 minutes to present their recommendations. The judges are members of ACG's Louisiana Chapter.

At the contest, the UL Lafayette students assumed the roles of investment bankers. The judges served as a hypothetical board of directors.

The scenario featured a publicly traded clothing retailer faced with three choices: sell the business to a private equity firm, acquire another company, or maintain the status quo.

The MBA students devised a fourth option.

"We recommended a merger with another company that we identified from a list of comparable public companies included in the case study," said Kennedy.

"We presented the information to them in a board room setting, as though we were advising them in real life. Ultimately, it is the board's decision as to what course of action to take. We evaluated all four options and talked with the board about the positives and negatives of each of the options."

The students explained their reasoning for the proposed merger and fielded questions by the judges.

"In a competition like this, there are really no right or wrong answers, but the judges seemed to like our creativity and out-of-the-box thinking," Kennedy added.

The students participated in the competition as part of a finance course taught by Dr. Praveen Das, an assistant professor of finance who is the team's faculty sponsor.



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