For the third time in seven years, the Richmond ACG Cup is back home at The Richmond MBA.

“We had a killer team,” said Amber Answine, GB’18. “The Richmond MBA is a powerhouse of a program, and we're doing our part to prove it.”

Answine joined Chris Dennis, GB’19, and Blake Turner, GB’19, for the case study competition that gives MBA students real-world experience in mergers and acquisitions. The students won the competition beating out VCU, UVA, and W&M.

This year’s case focused on a defense industry player looking to secure its strategic future through either acquisitions or sale to a private equity firm. 

“Our objective as ‘advisors’ was to build merger models and assess qualitative factors to recommend the best course of action to maximize shareholder value,” Answine said.

The trio had a sizeable amount of research and analysis between them and the Cup, but Dennis says it did not phase them.

“In each round we divvied up the work and performed each set of analyses separately,” Dennis said. “Then we came together to review everything we'd generated and decided on the recommendation and narrative.  We had excellent coaching available to us as well, and that really made an impact on our final presentation and eventual win.”

Matt Hannay, GB’13, and Rob Hagerty, L’12, coached the team to success.

“This outcome is a testament to the quality of The Richmond MBA and the caliber of individuals in the program,” Hannay said. “It was evident right from the start that these are three high performing individuals with equal parts focus, drive, and humility. Each year the bar is raised in the Richmond ACG Cup and this team sets a new standard of excellence for future UR teams.” 

Hannay and Hagerty urged the team to not get bogged down by the numbers, and focus on qualitative data, which Answine says got them the win.

“Their viewpoints allowed us to dig ourselves out of the numbers and focus on the surrounding environment of the case,” Answine said. “Our winning recommendation offered the fifth highest shareholder value over the nine alternatives the case presented. But, we were able to argue the ‘why not’ for the other team’s alternatives so well, that we effectively dismantled all the other recommendations.”

The students compete in the ACG Cup on a voluntary basis, and don’t receive class credit for their participation, but Randy Raggio, director of The Richmond MBA, says they are driven to compete anyway. 

“They want to test themselves against students from other programs, so they put in many, many, late hours preparing,” Raggio said. “Our students work with other exceptionally bright, talented, and motivated classmates, are constantly being challenged by dedicated faculty with real-world experience, and are embedded in a close-knit alumni network that gives them access to coaches who can help them refine their ideas. They should be very proud of their accomplishment.”

Find out more about the team’s win on the ACG Richmond website.