Regis MBA students win prestigious finance competition, besting CU, DU

March 14, 2016

For the first time in Regis University history, a group of Master of Business Administration finance students won the prestigious Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Cup and its $8,000 prize.

Regis students Jim Cleaver, Gary Kulczynski, John Lanz, and Josh Pearson beat out teams from the University of Colorado and University of Denver earlier this month at the Boulder campus.

“It was like taking one eight-week course and condensing it to a week,” Pearson said. “It was a lot of learning on the fly.”

The ACG Cup is a case study competition that gives students understanding and insights into mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity. With each case study, teams are asked to present valuation, capital markets and merger and acquisition strategies to a group of seasoned professionals.

"I'm very proud of our graduate finance students,” said Ronald Neufeld, an associate professor in graduate finance and accounting. “Especially their ambition and work ethic, and our gifted affiliate finance faculty, who guided them through their studies."

While teams from CU and DU had an intra-squad competitions to decide who would compete in the second round, Regis sent a lone team to the competition.

The team received the case a week before. They were tasked with serving in the role of an investment bank advisor. With Cleaver in Glenwood Springs, the team met twice via Skype to crunch numbers. The team then put together an 18-slide PowerPoint presentation to accompany a 30-page handout for the judges. Finally, the night before the competition, the team met and diligently went over the presentation.

“When we went and presented it you can kind of gauge what was going on,” Cleaver said. “I felt we made a real strong showing. I felt we did really well.”

After finishing second in 2011 and 2015, the team finally won. They will split the prize money and will attend the ACG Chapter meeting in May, where they will be able to network with some of the top local professionals in the field.

With the win, Regis will also host the final round of the 2017 ACG Cup case competition.

“Our win is a tribute to the tenacity and commitment of our students and faculty,” Neufeld said. “We're very excited to host the next ACG Cup competition, in early 2017, so that we may show off the new College of Business and Economics.”