Booth Teams Take Home Top Prizes at Four National Stock Pitch Competitions

By Nina Xu, Class of 2018

By Nina Xu, Class of 2018

Again placing Booth on the map in the world of investing, an astounding four Booth teams from the Class of 2019 took home two top prizes and two second place prizes from the nation’s premier stock pitch competitions in November.  

On November 10th, Ankush Sharda, Diego Gavito, and Lior Shachaf placed first in the annual Ross MBA Stock Pitch Competition, marking the fourth consecutive year that Booth has brought home the win. The Ross team beat out eight other teams over two rounds after pitching a buy on Box, a software and service company well-positioned to take advantage of expected high growth in the cloud computing industry, and Hawaiian Airlines, a stock they believe was over-penalized by investors when Southwest and United announced the opening of new routes in the Hawaiian market. The team’s win was recently featured in Forbes.

(From the top L-R) Ankush S, Diego G, and Lior S at the Ross MBA Stock Pitch Competition; Samantha X, Yan Z, and Harald H at the CSIMA Stock Pitch Challenge; David W, Mohan R, and Tingliang G at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Alpha Challenge; Riddhima H, Caitlyn G, and Angela Z at the Cornell Women MBA Investing Conference

(From the top L-R) Ankush S, Diego G, and Lior S at the Ross MBA Stock Pitch Competition;

Samantha X, Yan Z, and Harald H at the CSIMA Stock Pitch Challenge;

David W, Mohan R, and Tingliang G at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Alpha Challenge;

Riddhima H, Caitlyn G, and Angela Z at the Cornell Women MBA Investing Conference

Also on November 10th, Samantha Xue, Yan Zhang, and Harald Haakonsen placed second in the CSIMA Stock Pitch Challenge, hosted by the Columbia Business School Student Investment Management Association. The team recommended a buy on Adient, the world’s largest manufacturer of car seats. The Booth team saw the company as a misunderstood market leader with wide moats that could capitalize on ancillary markets to realize margin improvement. The competition consisted of two rounds, included eleven MBA teams and was judged by portfolio managers from Point 72, Capital Group and ClearBridge.

David Wang, Mohan Ru, and Tingliang Guo and Riddhima Hinduja, Caitlyn Grudzinski, and Angela Zhao followed suit a week later, respectively bringing home the top prize from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Alpha Challenge and second prize from the Cornell MBA Women in Investing Conference. Forty investment firms participated as sponsors, judges, or interviewers at the UNC Alpha Challenge. Sixteen MBA programs (including HBS, Wharton, and Columbia) competed in two rounds, each pitching three stocks. The Booth team pitched long Cooper Companies, long Yum China, and short GoDaddy. Booth’s Yum China presentation was also selected as the competition’s overall winning pitch. The Cornell Women in Investing team recommended a buy on Twitter, on the view that user growth would increase advertiser value and the company's subscription data service would diversify revenue.

David Wang commented on the preparation process “Our team learned to quickly process and implement feedback. We practiced our pitches at Booth's Student Managed Investment Fund a week before the competition and incorporated excellent feedback from SMIF members including Mat Berns and Kyle McAndrews. We were also fortunate to have two of our pitches make it among the seven pitches in the final round. We struggled with the Q&A during our first "at-bat" but improved for our second finals pitch (Yum China) after incorporating great feedback from other Booth IMG members in attendance including Ankush Sharda and Joseph Kim.”

Asked about how he benefited from the experience, Yan Zhang noted “Not only did I get the opportunity to network with some amazing firms, I got practical experience pitching a stock in front of industry veterans. The feedback I got was insightful and invaluable, and I'm proud to have represented Booth well on the national stage.”

Nina is a co-chair of the Investment Management Group and is thrilled by the incredible impact Boothies have made in the investment sphere. She’s happy to connect with anyone interested in finding their own opportunities to make that impact.