A team of Virginia Tech students from the Pamplin College of Business won the Virginia state championship in the annual ACG Cup investment banking case-study competition in Richmond.  

The  MBA students, who share a $2,500 prize, are Ardian Daku, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Cameron Hale, of Bristol, Virginia; Ziyad Shalaby, of Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Jeffrey Tolley, of Forest, Virginia.

The ACG Cup is a nationwide competition for MBA students that is sponsored by the Association for Corporate Growth, an organization of professionals involved in mergers and acquisitions.

“The competition is organized on a regional basis, with our region comprising the state of Virginia,” said Mike Kender, a professor of practice in Pamplin’s finance department who taught and coached the students. 

“Teams from each business school have 1-2 weeks to analyze a business situation involving a merger, acquisition, or divestiture. They then have to give a presentation to a group of investment banking, legal, and corporate professionals who are the judges.”

Kender, who retired from a long career on Wall Street, including 16 years as a debt analyst at Citigroup, has been teaching courses at Virginia Tech on fixed income securities, asset valuation, and venture capital and investment banking.

The ACG Cup competition, he said, is “a very realistic simulation of what it is like to be an investment banker and is a great learning experience for the students.”

The students get to apply what they learned in class and gain insights about mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advising, and private equity.

Virginia Tech has fielded a team in the competition for the past four years, he said, finishing in second place twice in the state finals. The state finals this year featured teams from the University of Virginia, the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, and College of William and Mary.