Business students from 14 countries came together via webcam on Wednesday for the School of Management’s second annual Global Network for Advanced Management Investment Competition, an investment strategy contest that spanned more than four months.
The National University of Singapore Business School edged out the 21 other student teams for first place, earning $3,500 in prize money. The SOM’s team earned an honorable mention.
The competition began at the end of October, when each team selected five stocks from companies headquartered in their home countries. Their stocks were then tracked against a national index to determine their net returns.
On Wednesday, the teams participated in the second part of the competition, a virtual stock pitch segment in which the top-four teams presented an analyst report for a stock they felt was undervalued to a panel of judges, who, like the students, were connected to the competition via webcam. SOM affiliates moderated the virtual event from New Haven.
“To be successful in the investment world, you not only need to have good ideas on which companies to buy, sell or hold, but you also need to be able to well-articulate your investment theses with the pros and cons,” said Lloyd Baskin, the executive director of the International Center for Finance at the SOM. “This competition is a joint project between the Global Network for Advanced Management and the International Center for Finance.”
The Global Network for Advanced Management is an international collaboration of 29 business schools, of which the SOM is a founding member. All 14 of the schools participating in the investment competition are members of the Global Network.
Baskin said that since last year, the number of participating teams has more than doubled, and he hopes to expand the current competition model to include University-wide investment contests.
“We decided to make a real investment in terms of money, time and effort to make this a scalable architecture,” Baskin said. “It’s quite amazing what you can do with technology when you’re part of this type of global network — the learning can come alive.”
Though they did not proceed to the later presentation stage, the SOM’s team — the Alpha Bulldogs — said they were proud to represent Yale in the competition.
For their analyst report, the Alpha Bulldogs chose Enviva, an American wood pellet producer that supplies renewable power plants in Europe. Team member Kwasi Kyei SOM ’18 said the team selected the company in the hopes that the adoption of the Paris Agreement in November and the election of Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 to the presidency would spur investment in renewable energy sources like wood pellets.
However, with the election of President Donald Trump, who plans to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement, team member Chris Martin SOM ’18 said the intended catalyst for their stock disappeared, and as a result, their stock’s growth was less than predicted.
“We wanted to find [a company] that didn’t just look undervalued, but also told a compelling story,” Martin said.
The winning team in the stock pitch segment, the Intelligent Investors from NUS Business School, said they went through extensive investment research to decide on their winning company, the security safe manufacturer Dutech.
Team member Mikhail Trebunskikh said his group was grateful to SOM for organizing the competition, and said he felt satisfied that his team managed to win despite the large number of teams and the elite competition. However, Trebunskikh added that the video presentation format had its limitations.
“We would have liked to take more time to interact with the judges and the other teams,” Trebunskikh said. “It would be great if the organization team would facilitate the meeting of the teams and judges.”
Judges for the competition included Jim Chanos ’80, the founder and president of Kynikos Associates, and Eddie Tam SOM ’93, the CEO and chief investment officer of Central Asset Investments.
The top-performing team portfolios will be chosen after the six-month observation period, which ends April 30.