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Sunday, 16 March 2014 22:00

ACG Cup expands to undergrad competition this year

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This year’s local Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) student competition, known as the ACG Cup, has a new twist.

While the award that serves “to find the brightest minds” in corporate growth and mergers and acquisitions had traditionally been open to just MBA students at West Michigan-based universities, the local ACG chapter decided this year to open the awards to undergraduate students as well.

Allowing younger students to participate in the ACG Cup competition was largely in response to the desire of some of West Michigan’s largest corporations that wanted greater access to young students, said Rabih Jamal, this year’s ACG Cup committee chairman and managing director at DWH LLC, a Grand Rapids-based financial advisory and capital sourcing company.

MBA students from four regional schools — Cornerstone University, Grand Valley State University, Davenport University and Western Michigan University — analyzed a specific transaction from a technical and qualitative angle by looking at the valuation, synergies and the overall strategy, Jamal said.

Students from Central Michigan University, Hope College and Calvin College also participated in the undergraduate competition.

“(The students use) all the tools an investment banker would use to evaluate the transaction,” Jamal told MiBiz. “That experience alone is going to give them the head start on people who don’t know how M&A works.”

The competition, with more than 40 judges from numerous West Michigan companies, occurs over two rounds. The judges’ roles are to determine which team they would hire for potential M&A services, Jamal said. Judges evaluate the teams based on their presentation skills, group effort and their overall understanding of the technical aspects of M&A, such as valuations and multiples.

Additionally, the universities like the ACG Cup competition because it allows them to showcase their top talent, Jamal said.

The winners will be announced as part of the ACG West Michigan’s Outstanding Growth Awards presentation being held from 5:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, March 18 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. In addition to the ACG Cup winner, the gala will honor Grand Rapids craft brewer Founders Brewing Co., the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Growth Award.

Winning student teams also receive cash prizes.

“(The ACG competition) is a way for employers to see the best and the brightest compete,” Jamal said.

Read 4271 times Last modified on Sunday, 16 March 2014 23:25

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