Freeman hosts 14th annual Finance Case Competition

March 23, 2010

MBA students from Freeman and seven other top-ranked business schools competed for $10,000 in cash prizes at the 14th annual Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Finance Case Competition.

This year's competition, which took place on March 19 in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II, featured teams from Tulane, Emory, Rice, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of South Carolina, University of Texas at Austin, Washington University and Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt took first place and the grand prize of $5,000 in the competition, Emory earned second-place honors and a prize of $3,000, and University of Texas at Austin won third place and $2,000.

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Joe Agular, a senior partner at Johnson Rice & Co., was one of four alumni who served as guest  judges for this year's Finance Case Competition.

Serving as judges of this year's competition were Joe Agular (MBA '88), senior partner and energy analyst with Johnson Rice & Co.; Chris Conoscenti (MBA/JD '01), executive director of the Oil & Gas Investment Banking Group with J.P. Morgan; David Morris (MBA '94), managing director of Oracle Capital Partners; and Gay LeBreton (MBA '77), a managing director with Chaffe & Associates.

"The competition is a tremendous event that really showcases the MBA students' financial training by allowing them to apply the lessons learned in the classroom to a complex problem," says Agular. "But it's more than just an academic exercise. It's the pressure of working under a time constraint and then presenting to judges, in effect a situation that very much represents what the students might face in their careers in finance or industry.

"I have been a judge for the competition for a number of years now, and I continue to be amazed by the talents of the MBA students that participate. The quality of the analysis presented by the teams is quite impressive considering the difficulty of the case and five-hour turnaround time they are working under. The competition really puts these students to the test, and they deliver well-thought-out recommendations to the issues the case presents. It makes being a judge quite challenging because the teams are all so talented."

The finance case competition began in 1997 and has been sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence since 1998. Berdon Lawrence (BBA '64, MBA '65) is chairman of Kirby Corp., an operator of inland tank barges based in Houston. He is a former member of the Board of Tulane and serves on the Business School Council.

To see more photos from the competition, including photos of the winning teams, visit the Freeman School's Flickr site.