Adding to our global footprint and representing Booth as true contenders in the first annual Oxford Chicago Global Private Equity Challenge, The Booth team consisting of Andrew Alexander, Bradley Powell, Michael Eisinger, Michael Vander Roest, and Ed White, took home a resounding win. The competition put together in association with the University of Oxford’s Private Equity Institute and the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, took place in Oxford. The teams pitched their final proposals to a committee comprised of Chicago Booth and Oxford alumni. To prepare for the extrodinary win, Andrew Alexander from the Booth team said his group “reviewed the list of companies provided and dug in on a few of those we found most interesting to ultimately select Planet Fitness as the company we would propose.” The group then performed due diligence and spoke with members of the Booth community including resident PE advisor, Chris Mcgowan, to get specific company and industry insights.
Alexander told ChiBus that the group faced three primary challenges on the road to success. He said the competition from Oxford was very strong. Their team had competed in the Wharton Buyout Competition the previous week in New York City and took first place among a group of 26 schools. Also the Booth team’s proposal had a complicated tax aspect as a result of the company they selected. Alexander admitted “ We are all far from experts on this topic so we connected with Professor Merle Erickson and other advisors to be as informed on the point as we could be.” Clearly seeking counsel paid off, as Alexander said, the judges really dug into the material and asked the group difficult, pointed questions that simulated a real investment committee.
The challenge was a great opportunity for the Booth team to learn more about private equity from some of the most innovative thought leaders in the space. Andreas Angelopoulos, a Booth alum and current Oxford Said professor, coordinated a compelling three-day forum around the challenge. They heard from impressive speakers, participated in several real-world training modules, and were able to network with senior professionals in the field. Additionally, they got to really experience the historic Oxford University. The team slept in dorms, ate in Harry Potter-esque dining halls, and toured many of the famed buildings and colleges of the University. Alexander added, “The camaraderie with the Oxford students was great. We definitely saw the inside of a few of their pubs.”