From left: UF MBA students John Wilson, Miki Hirama, Carolina Perez and Patrick Doyle with the ACG Cup.
From left: UF MBA students John Wilson, Miki Hirama, Carolina Perez and Patrick Doyle.

UF MBA students claim 4th consecutive ACG Cup for the University of Florida

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A team of four UF MBA students secured the ACG Cup for the University of Florida this March. This is the fourth consecutive year students from the University of Florida have won the ACG Cup and UF’s seventh first place win overall.

Carolina “Caro” Perez, Patrick Doyle, Miki Hirama and John Wilson, all students in the UF MBA Full-Time Two-Year program, bested teams from the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa to take home $7,500 and the coveted ACG Cup, which will be kept at UF until the competition again next year. Each university brings three teams to compete, with only one of those teams moving on to compete in the final round.

The ACG Cup is a case study competition designed to give students from leading MBA programs across the country real world experience and invaluable insights into mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity.

“Each year, the case involves a fictitious company and a challenge from their board of directors revolving around the company’s growth through a merger or acquisition scenario,” Perez said. “Each team has to create financial models and the rationalization behind what the correct recommendation for this company is and why.”

This year’s case centered around an augmented and virtual reality company and whether it should divest one of its subsidiaries to more intently grow its other line of business or instead, acquire another VR company to grow that subsidiary, she added.

The team was especially excited to win the ACG Cup this year, not only because it was their last opportunity to compete, as they all graduate in May, but also to redeem themselves from last year’s competition.

“This win meant A LOT to us,” Perez said. “The four of us competed in the competition last year and, unfortunately, were not the team to bring home the win. We all clearly remember driving back from Tampa saying ‘we have to come back for the win next year!’, and 365 days later, it was pure joy to have accomplished that goal.

“This year was an opportunity to take our recommendation one step further by making it more ‘real-world like’ as the judges has advised us last year in their feedback. We worked hard at perfecting our financial models, defending our recommendation and selling ourselves as investment bankers to the ‘board of directors’ and our adjusted strategy proved successful. Ultimately, the competition provides a great opportunity to learn from M&A experts about how these scenarios really play out in the industry.”