By Ole Bjoernstad (’17)
Expectations were high when Jeremy Mau (’17) and I decided to enter the 2017 ACG Cup to defend the title for UCLA Anderson: In 2016 Jeremy and UCLA Anderson classmates David Shin (’17) and Kyle Patterson (’17) claimed the hard-won prize. With my teammate determined to win the cup back-to-back — which has never been done before — and having interned with the competition’s main sponsor, Houlihan Lokey, I knew there could be no slip-ups or hesitation if we wanted to bring the cup back home.
The Association for Corporate Growth’s Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego chapters hosted the best teams from 12 schools in this annual investment banking and private equity competition. After two weeks of thorough analysis, heated discussions and multiple all-nighters, Jeremy and I went into the final rounds prepared and confident. Our training at top-tier investment banks over the summer (Jeremy’s at Lincoln International and mine at Houlihan Lokey) gave us the confidence and stamina to keep going into the wee hours of the morning. Our hard work paid off, and we took home the grand prize of $8,000 and the right to retain the coveted ACG Cup trophy for another year.
ACG is the global community for middle market M&A dealmakers and business leaders focused on driving growth. The ACG Cup is a case study competition designed to give students from leading MBA programs across the country real-world experience and insights into mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity. The intra-school competition at Anderson this year was tough, to say the least: The teams consisted of veteran and future investment banking professionals, all eager and able to represent UCLA Anderson in the highest capacity. In the end, we won the round and were selected to represent our school at the regional championship at Chapman University. Our crosstown rivals at USC were gunning to reclaim the trophy, which kept our competitive spirits going.