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Columbia Team Wins 1st Place in Darden @ Virginia Investing Challenge

Published: Monday, November 25, 2013

Updated: Monday, November 25, 2013 09:11

1styear CBS trio Matt Bracewell, Patrick Enriquez Fischer, and Brian Waterhouse brought home $3,000 cash and 1stplace in the Darden @ Virginia Investing Challenge on November 14th.  The crew beat teams from 14 other top MBA programs in the competition, which took place in conjunction with the annual University of Virginia Investing Conference.

Teams were given 10 days to interpret the competition theme and determine the best way to invest for that theme in a single company, either long or short, over a twelve month investment horizon.  The team then presented their investment pitch to a panel of judges that included professionals from T. Rowe Price and JP Morgan.


This year’s theme was: “Investing is currently affected by many uncertain macroeconomic factors, including a changing regulatory environment, political indecisiveness and an energy renaissance in the United States.  Both the energy and technology sectors have lagged the overall market over the past year, despite innovations across both sectors.”

The Columbia team presented a short thesis on Rocket Fuel (Nasdaq: FUEL), a digital advertising technology company, arguing that the business’ key product is becoming increasingly commoditized and Wall Street’s expectations for the company are irrationally exuberant.

In the 1stround, the participating teams were divided into 3 rooms of 5 teams each and were given 7 minutes to present their thesis followed by 5 minutes of Q&A from the judges.  After the initial round, 3 finalists were announced.  The finalists then had 10 minutes to present to a new panel of judges followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.  The final round was comprised of teams from Columbia, Cornell, and Notre Dame.  Columbia was selected as the overall winner – there was no announcement for 2ndor 3rdplace.  Feedback from investors and judges in attendance was that it was “no contest” and the Columbia team was the clear winner. 

Congratulations Matt, Patrick, and Brian!

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