Business students take first place in ACG finance competition

contact: Valorie Juergens
| WMU News
Photo of Drew Guinn and Matthew Maring.

Guinn and Maring

KALAMAZOO--Two Western Michigan University students in the Master of Business Administration program recently placed first in the West Michigan Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth Cup Competition, winning a $5,000 cash prize.

Drew Guinn of Mattawan, Mich., and Matthew Maring of Kalamazoo shared the cash prize and reclaimed the traveling trophy won by WMU in 2010.

"The ACG competition has been a great way to apply the classroom learning experience to real life," Guinn says. "It provides an introduction into the merger and acquisition world that is invaluable to someone considering this field for a career. What's really impressive, from a student's point of view, is the commitment from the industry professionals to coordinate the competition and judge each round. The prize money is a nice reward for the weeks of late nights necessary to do well in the ACG Cup."

Maring says the competition, along with the seminar in finance course, taught by Dr. Robert Balik, associate professor of finance, has been a highlight of his graduate work at WMU.

"The competition has provided great networking opportunities and real world experience," Maring says. "While there is a large time commitment, I feel that all MBA students would benefit from this class and competition."

The ACG Competition is designed to give MBA students real world experiences and invaluable insights into mergers, acquisitions, investment banking and private equity. Teams analyze complex business cases and present strategies including valuations, identification of capital markets, merger/acquisition alternatives and financing options.

Prominent professionals from the corporate community and ACG membership apply their industry expertise as judges for the event. For WMU students, the competition is part of the course content in the Seminar in Finance course that focuses on entrepreneurship through acquisition.

The WMU winning team was announced at the ACG West Michigan meeting in mid-March. The WMU team placed first over the teams from Cornerstone University, Davenport University, Ferris State University and Grand Valley State University.

ACG's 14,000 members include professionals from private equity firms, corporations and lenders that invest in middle-market companies, as well as from law, accounting, investment banking and other firms that provide advisory services. Founded in 1954, ACG is a global organization with 56 chapters.

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