By Nancy Cheney ‘16
Twenty teams from Booth and Kellogg came together on Saturday October 17 for the Chicago Investment Competition.
This was the Chicago Investment Competition’s first year, organized by the Investment Management Groups at Booth and Kellogg. For the competition, all teams went through one round of stock pitches, with the top two teams presenting in a final round to all participants. A jury of distinguished investment professionals acted as potential investors and listened to each team’s pitch, ultimately selecting the winner based on their analyses over the two rounds of presentations. The firms represented on the judging panel included Northern Trust, RBC Global, Wells Fargo and William Blair.
Crowning a winner proved difficult for the judges with the vote split equally between the the two finalist teams. Unable to reach a majority, both finalist teams were awarded the top prize and were commended by the judges for a sound assessment of key investment drivers with financial projections corroborating their positions. Booth students Chris Cruickshank ‘17, Brian Keenan ‘17, Ryan Mays ‘17 and Matt Richards ‘17 claimed the first-place title alongside a team from Kellogg. The Booth team recommended investors to sell Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR), citing the accelerating development of private labels, saturated and slowing growth in the single-serve coffee market as well as product innovation failures. The team presented compelling financial valuations in addition to outlining the company's degrading fundamentals that supported their recommendation. The winning team from Kellogg was bullish on Spirit Airlines (SAVE), paralleling the company’s trajectory to Ryanair in Europe and arguing it to be undervalued in the current market.
As an award for first place, the Booth team will be attending the seventh annual Invest for Kids Conference held at the Harris Theater Chicago on November 4. With individual prices for the conference tickets selling at $600 - $1,200, this gives the winning team a great opportunity to hear from leading investors, such as Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell and Barry Sternlicht from Starwood Capital Group. The group was also invited to a pre-conference lunch with Ricky Sandler of Eminence Capital.
The Chicago Investment Competition was created to provide a fun and intellectually rigorous experience, preparing first-year students for the recruiting season and external stock pitch competitions later in the fall. The IMG co-chairs hope the competition will continue next year and continue evolving into an annual Booth-winning tradition going forward.
Nancy is a second-year IMG co-chair and Chicago native. She is still depressed by the recent Cubs loss and their failure to reverse the curse