Notre Dame Takes Top Prize in Fourth Annual University of Maryland M&A Competition

Nov 01, 2010, 14:58 ET from University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business today announced the winners of its fourth annual Mergers & Acquisitions Competition, held October 28-29. The event, organized by Smith's MBA Finance Association, challenged 10 teams of MBA students from leading business schools to craft and present M&A pitches to a panel of executive and faculty judges. The student team from the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business won the $5,000 first prize. Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business MBA students took the $2,500 second prize, and students from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business came away with the $1,000 third prize. Thomson Reuters sponsored the competition.

"This competition gives students the kind of real-world, problem-solving experience that all MBA students need," said G. "Anand" Anandalingam, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. "M&A involves much more than just good finance skills; it's more important than ever that business leaders approach decisions with consideration of all possible outcomes and how those decisions will impact all stakeholders."

Teams worked through the night to create persuasive arguments to a hypothetical case — strategic merger and acquisition alternatives for a technology company. Students used Thomson Reuters' real-time databases and tools extensively in preparing their analyses. Teams then pitched their final presentations to a panel of corporate executives, alumni and finance faculty serving as judges, who then selected four teams to advance to a final round. Teams were judged on their qualitative arguments and the quantitative models used to support their arguments.

In addition to a Smith School team and the winning teams, competitors included MBA students from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago; Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley; the Kogod School of Business at American University; the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University; McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin; and Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"This competition really prepares students for the job market — these are the types of analyses they'll be doing every single day," said Olga Perin, commercial manager in the investment banking and market division at Thomson Reuters. "This exercise reinforces the things MBAs are learning back in the classroom. Here they got to compete with top students from other universities – the same people they'll be competing with for jobs. This is great preparation for the real world on Wall Street, and we were pleased to support this competition."

The competition is the MBA Finance Association's premier fall event at the Smith School. It also included a networking reception and opportunities for students to meet industry professionals and recruiters. More information about the competition is available at

About the Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

Contact: Carrie Handwerker


SOURCE University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business