ACG cup

TCU MBAs Win Texas ACG Cup Case Competition

The TCU MBA team of Ray Serzanin, Benjamin Westcott, Gus Gildner and Dominick Robusto took first place in the Association for Corporate Growth’s Texas-wide competition.

March 04,  2015

By Elaine Cole

TCU MBAs beat out teams from SMU, University of Texas-Austin, Texas A&M, University of Texas-Dallas, University of Texas San Antonio and University of Dallas to win the competition for the first time since it began in 2010. The TCU MBA team won $10,000 and brought home the ACG Cup trophy, which will be displayed at TCU for the next year.

The ACG Cup gives students from leading MBA programs real-world experience and invaluable insights into mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity. Each case study provides a unique opportunity for MBA students to present valuation, capital markets and M&A strategic advice to a panel of seasoned M&A professionals.

The first round takes place at each participating school. For the second round, teams from each university compete head-to-head. The case study is released one week prior to the competition date.

“It was a lot of work. I think we put in about 150 hours total, working weekends and late into the night,” Ray said.

“It gave us a chance to implement everything we are learning in class, plus things we researched and learned on our own,” Benjamin said. “It teaches you to be resourceful.”

The teams compete in front of M&A experts who serve as judges.

“Each one of the judges had more experience than the five of us combined,” Ray said.

“There is no way to simulate stepping into a room full of executives and presenting your case,” Gus said.

“They definitely challenge you with the Q&A,” Dominick added.

In fact, the teammates weren’t sure they had aced the competition until they were called to the stage at the annual Texas ACG Capital Connection Conference the next day, and watched as the all the other teams were eliminated as the announcer counted down to the winning team of TCU.

As one of the most respected competitions with a highly recognized organization, winning the ACG Cup afforded the TCU MBA team excellent networking opportunities at the conference, plus bragging rights for the next year.

Congratulations Ray, Ben, Gus and Dom!