A team of University of Missouri–St. Louis Master’s of Business Administration students received second place last month in the Association for Corporate Growth’s annual ACG Cup competition.

The team, consisting of students Cullen Andrews, Ross Chickering and Mike McNear, competed against teams from several other universities around the region. The case study competition allowed students from local MBA programs to present valuation, capital markets and strategic advice to a panel of seasoned professionals.

The UMSL team finished behind a team from Washington University in St. Louis who took first place and in front of a team from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville who took third place. The UMSL team received  a $2,000 cash prize and membership to the Association for Corporate Growth.

“The ACG Cup provided an opportunity to expand our knowledge and experience in corporate finance,” Cullen Andrews said. “The case was a real world example that required our team to draw from a variety of skill sets to not only make sure we were making good financial recommendations, but also solid strategic decisions that real firms would face. The competition itself was challenging, rewarding, and realistic in terms of preparing and presenting findings to a group of financial executives. This experience helped to build confidence that no matter what the subject matter, if you have a good team that can openly debate ideas in a constructive way, you can produce results that you otherwise may have not thought possible.”

Thomas Eyssell, associate dean and director of graduate studies for the college, and Hung-gay Fung, the Dr. Y.S. Tsiang Endowed Professor in Chinese Studies at UMSL, advised the team with help from UMSL alumna Lynda Lieberman.

“The UMSL team did an excellent job both in terms of their analytics and in terms of their presentation skills,” Eyssell said. “The judges were all venture capital professionals, and asked detailed, probing questions. Cullen, Mike and Ross addressed the questions with skill and aplomb, and Professor Fung and I feel that they represented the College of Business Administration and the MBA program admirably.”

Cullen Andrews is a regional manager at Dot Foods; Ross Chickering is a branch manager for Regions Bank; and Mike McNear is a physician and president of Illini Medical Associates. All three students are currently enrolled in the Professional MBA program at UMSL.

The Association for Corporate Growth is a national organization for middle-market merger and acquisition dealmakers and business leaders focused on driving business growth.  The ACG St. Louis Chapter joins 24 other ACG chapters throughout North America hosting similar ACG Cup competitions for more than 100 participating business schools.

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Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton

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