Students Douglas Fischer, Supriya Hegde and Scott Setlock earned top honors in the Association for Corporate Growth Western Michigan’s inaugural ACG Cup. The ACG Cup is a competition designed to give MBA and MS finance students real-world experience while networking with this region's top merger and acquisition professionals.
Teams from Davenport University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University and Western Michigan University competed in the finals on February 25. The awards were announced March 18 at the ACGWM Outstanding Growth Award reception at DeVos Place.
Teams from each school analyzed a complex business case provided by ACGWM and recommended strategies involving valuation, identifying capital markets, developing merger/acquisition strategic alternatives and financing options. A judging panel comprised of prominent members of the corporate community used their industry expertise to determine the best team.
“The ACG Cup provided an unparalleled academic opportunity to understand strategic alternatives relating to mergers and acquisitions,” said Setlock, a Canton native. “I am grateful for the hard work and dedication provided by my teammates that allowed us to be competitive against strong programs at MSU, WMU, and Davenport. Winning this competition speaks volumes about the quality of the Grand Valley students and the programs offered by the university.”
The event provided valuable interaction with students from other schools and real-world professionals. “I liked to see the different approaches from the other schools based on the same basic information,” said Fischer, from Grand Rapids. “It demonstrates that this is not an exact science and there is room for individual interpretations — it's not just dull number-crunching. I also appreciated the input from the judges who have experience in the real world and hear feedback about what they consider high priorities out in the field.”
Added Hegde, from Mumbai, India: “It was a challenging and rewarding experience. We had fun competing with local colleges and presenting our analysis to real-world merger and acquisition experts.”