ACG Cup Resources

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The Competition

Student teams will have two weeks to complete their analysis as well as develop their presentations. Team members will receive a link via email to an online database that allows access to the case and supporting case materials.  The MBA case will be provided by ACG Global and created by finance industry experts.  

Round 1 will be held on Friday, February 2, 2018, at UW-Madison, and Saturday, April 7, 2018, at UWM and Marquette. The winner from each round will move on to the Final Round to compete for the top prize on April 19, 2018.

Round 1

The Round 1 objective is to provide students with an opportunity to present their analysis of the case and recommendations to the panel of judges with real-world business experience. Teams will compete against their own schools.

Following the competition, the judges will provide overall feedback and advice, as well as announce the highest scoring teams. These teams will move on to the Final Round.

Final Round

The Final Round competition will be held on April 19, 2018. A new panel of judges will be convened to judge the Final Round competition; no judges will evaluate the same team twice.

During the Final Round, each team will present on the same case from the First Round. The team can make tweaks to their presentation based on the judges’ feedback. Each team in the Final Round will again be allowed 20 minutes to present their recommendations to the judges. Students should anticipate the possibility of interruptions and questions from the judges during their timed presentation. After the last presentation, the judges will convene for an allocated amount of time to determine the winning team and rank the other finalists.

Winners of the Final Round will be announced at the end of the competition.

The Rules

  1. Teams should be made up of at least three members from the same school who will present the case study in both Round 1 and the Final Round. Schools are encouraged to register at least two teams in the competition.
  2. Teams should register with the competition no later than January 15, 2018.
  3. Each school is limited to four teams per division.
  4. Participating students must be officially registered at least half-time at participating schools during the 2017-2018 academic year.
  5. Teams may NOT use outside resources to prepare the case study for the competition. They may only use the materials made available to them with the case study.  Any deviation from this will result in disqualification.
  6. Teams will prepare a 20-minute presentation that may consist of a variety of the following:
    • A live presentation to judges who represent key entities with the case study
    • Time for question and answer from the judges based on the components of the presentation
    • PowerPoint presentations and handouts
  7. Student teams are responsible for determining how they will split their time between presentation and Q&A, handle any questions, and manage their presentation time. Students should anticipate the possibility of being interrupted by questions from the judges during their presentation.
  8. Teams that make it to Round 2 will present the same case as in Round 1.
  9. Liaisons will be assigned to each school and will help answer questions about the competition and its components. 
  10. ACG Cup Committee Members are available to help students prepare for the competition and answer questions.
  11. Students may seek general finance, presentation training, and mentoring from faculty, ACG members, and outside resources before the case is distributed. They may also use preparation materials located in the course pack. 
  12. Once the case has been distributed, teams may not enlist help from outside the team for any aspects specific to the competition case.

The Rewards

  • Cash award

    • A total of $8,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to competing teams that make it to the Final Round.

  • Networking and career opportunities with ACG members and local and regional business leaders.

  • Gain valuable real-life skills in mergers and acquisitions. This experience, exposure and training in M&A is not found anywhere else!

Merrill DataSite Certification

The case study materials for the ACG Cup competition will be made available to student competitors through access to Merrill‘s DataSite. Because of Merrill’s role, you will have the opportunity to become Merrill Datasite certified. Being DataSite certified will let M&A Dealmakers know you are experienced managing the deal process with a leading dataroom provider.  Merrill will use the email you provide them for access to the dataroom and follow up in the months following the competition regarding the certification process.

Becoming DataSite certified will help you have instant credibility with the M&A network you’ll be working with in the near future.

DataSite Certification also includes these benefits:

  • A Merrill Datasite Certified “icon/badge” to use on your resume, LinkedIn profile and other social sites
  • A years’ worth of quarterly Pitchbook reports
  • Subscription to Merrill’s M&A Blog and Merrill on M&A Newsletter
  • Opportunity to join an exclusive community of ACG Cup participants actively working in M&A.