Press Release

2011

THE WHARTON SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA WINS EIGHTH ANNUAL CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING COMPETITION
 

November 9, 2011 Alexandria, Va. — A team from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy at the Eighth Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition, held Nov. 3-4 at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia. The second-year MBA student winners also shared a $6,000 cash prize. Students from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business won the second-place award of $3,500, while another team from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania received the $2,500 prize for third place.


The competition, which is co-sponsored by ABI and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, provided 11 of the nation's top MBA programs with a unique opportunity to learn by solving a real-world restructuring case problem. The students had a week to "solve" the problem and prepare comprehensive presentations showing their operational and financial plans before panels of judges representing a mock board of directors and bondholders, with a final round before mock first and second lienholders.


Past winners of the Corporate Restructuring Competition include Columbia Business School, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management (January 2007 and November 2008), New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business and the Stanford Graduate Business School. Other schools in this year's competition in addition to the finalists and past years' winners included the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Illinois College of Business, University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Management, University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Yale School of Management.


In addition to the case presentations, the competition featured a sponsored networking dinner keynoted by Prof. Stephen Lubben, the Daniel J. Moore Professor of Law at Seton Hall Law School. An awards luncheon also followed the final round of the competition.


ABI thanks the major sponsors of this year's competition, including AlixPartners LLP, CRG Partners Group LLC and FTI Consulting. The sponsors of the reception for the competition were Ciardi & Ciardi & Astin, PC and Saul Ewing LLP.

 

2010

COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL WINS SEVENTH ANNUAL CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING COMPETITION
 

November 9, 2010, Alexandria, Va.. - A team from the Columbia Business School won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy at the Seventh Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition, held Nov. 4-5, 2010, at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia. The second-year MBA student winners also shared a $6,000 cash prize. Students from the Harvard Business School won the second-place award of $3,500, with the University of Virginia Darden School of Business receiving the $2,500 prize for third place.

 

The competition, which is co-sponsored by ABI and AIRA, provides 12 of the nation’s top MBA programs with a unique opportunity to learn by solving a real-world restructuring case problem. The students had a week to “solve” the problem and prepare comprehensive presentations showing their operational and financial plans before panels of judges representing mock first and second lienholders and bondholders, with a final round before a mock board of directors.

 

Past winners of the Corporate Restructuring Competition include the Wharton School of Business, Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management (January 2007 and November 2008), New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business and the Stanford Graduate Business School. Other schools in this year’s competition in addition to the finalists and past years’ winners included the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Illinois College of Business, University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Management and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Prizes are funded by the ABI Endowment.

 

This year’s case was prepared by a team of restructuring experts led by Tom Morrow of AlixPartners (Southfield, Mich.). More than two dozen professionals served as competition judges.

 

In addition to the case presentations, the competition featured a sponsored networking dinner keynoted by Prof. David A. Skeel, a former ABI Resident Scholar and the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at The University of Pennsylvania School of Law. The dinner was attended by area restructuring professionals and several bankruptcy judges. An awards reception also followed the final round of the competition.

 

ABI would also like to thank the major sponsors of this year’s competition, including AlixPartners LLP, CRG Partners Group LLC, Lazard, Rothschild and Miller Buckfire & Co. LLC. The sponsors of the reception were Saul Ewing LLP and SSG Capital Advisors, LLC.

 

To find out more about the Corporate Restructuring Competition and to view event photos, please visit www.abiworld.org/crc10.

 

2009

Wharton School of Business Wins Sixth Annual Corporate Restructuring Competition
 

November 10, 2009, Alexandria, Va. - A team from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy at the Sixth Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition, held Nov. 6 at Northwestern University in Chicago. The second-year MBA student winners also shared a $6,000 cash prize. Students from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management won the second-place award of $3,500, with the University of Illinois College of Business receiving the $2,500 prize for third place.

 

The competition, which is co-sponsored by ABI and the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management, provided 12 of the nation's top MBA programs with a unique opportunity to learn by solving a real-world restructuring case problem. The students had a week to "solve" the problem and prepare comprehensive presentations showing their operational and financial plans before panels of judges representing a mock board of directors and bondholders, with a final round before mock first and second lienholders.

 

Past winners of the Corporate Restructuring Competition include the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management (January 2007 and November 2008), New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business and the Stanford Graduate Business School. The Wharton School won the Fourth Annual Corporate Restructuring Competition in November 2007. Other schools in this year's competition in addition to the finalists and past years' winners included the Columbia Business School, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, Purdue University Krannert School of Management, University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Management, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, University of Virginia Darden School of Business and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Prof. Tim Thompson of the Kellogg School of Management served as the lead faculty advisor to the competition.

 

In addition to the case presentations, the competition featured an opening night dinner keynoted by American Enterprise Institute Scholar Peter J. Wallison, AEI's Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies. An awards luncheon also followed the final round of the competition.

 

ABI acknowledges the commitment of Houlihan Lokey to the competition, which prepared the case problem. ABI would also like to thank the major sponsors of this year's competition, including AlixPartners LLP, Bridge Associates LLC, CRG Partners Group LLC and William Blair and Company. The sponsor of the reception for the competition was Garden City Group, Inc.


 

2008

Northwestern University Wins Fifth Annual Corporate Restructuring Competition
 

November 10, 2008, Alexandria, Va. - A team from the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy at the Fifth Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition, held Nov. 6-7 at Northwestern University in Chicago. The second-year MBA student winners also shared a $6,000 cash prize. Students from the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business won the second-place award of $3,500, with the University of Illinois College of Business receiving the $2,500 prize for third place.

 

The competition, which is co-sponsored by ABI and Houlihan Lokey, an international investment banking firm, provided 11 of the nation's top MBA programs with a unique opportunity to learn by solving a real-world restructuring case problem. The students had a week to "solve" the problem and prepare comprehensive presentations showing their operational and financial plans before panels of judges representing a mock board of directors and bondholders, with a final round before mock first and second lienholders.

 

Past winners of the Corporate Restructuring Competition include the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, New York University Stern School of Business and the Stanford Graduate Business School. Northwestern also won the Third Corporate Restructuring Competition in January 2007. Other schools in this year's competition in addition to the finalists and past years' winners included the Purdue University Krannert School of Management, University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Management, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia Darden School of Business, University of Michigan Ross School of Business and Notre Dame University Mendoza School of Business. Prof. Tim Thompson of the Kellogg School of Management serves as the lead faculty advisor to the competition.

 

In addition to the case presentations, the competition featured a sponsored networking dinner keynoted by ABI Executive Director Sam Gerdano, who spoke on bankruptcy issues in the new Congress. An awards luncheon also followed the final round of the competition.

 

ABI acknowledges the commitment of Houlihan Lokey to the competition, led by Matt Neiman, Scott Jackson, Andrew Turnbull, Ryan Sandahl and John Colling in the firm's financial restructuring practice, who prepared the case problem.

Some top bankruptcy practitioners and financial advisers served as competition judges, including: U.S. Trustee Diana Adams (New York), Bruce Blackwell of MBIA Insurance Corp. (Armonk, N.Y.), Michael Buenzow of FTI Palladium Partners (Chicago), Rick Chesley of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker (Chicago), Acting U.S. Trustee Roberta DeAngelis (Philadelphia), Brad Erens of Jones Day (Chicago), Penny Friedman of CIT Corporate Finance (Chicago), Ed Green of Foley & Lardner (Chicago), J. Eric Ivester of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (Chicago), Suzanne Kelly of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. (Washington, D.C.), Melissa Kibler Knoll of Mesirow Financial Consulting (Chicago), Tom Luther of Prudential (Chicago), Thomas Morrow of AlixPartners LLC (Southfield, Mich.), Jon Nash of CRG Partners (Houston), Matt Nieman of Houlihan Lokey (Chicago), Sandra Reese of Reese Partners, LLC (Chicago), Rebecca Roof of Alix Partners LLC (New York), Nate Van Duzer of Fidelity Investments (Boston), David Shapiro of Houlihan Lokey (Chicago) and Michael Zorich of Principal Global Investors, LLC (Chicago).



2007

University of Pennsylvania Wins Fourth Annual Corporate Restructuring Competition
 

November 14, 2007, Alexandria, Va. - A team from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy at the Fourth Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition, held Nov. 8-10 at Northwestern University in Chicago. The second-year MBA student winners also shared a $5,000 cash prize. The Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management won the second-place award of $3,000, with the Stern Graduate School of Business of New York University receiving the $1,750 prize for third and University of Chicago students receiving $1,250 for fourth place.


The competition, which is co-sponsored by ABI and the Houlihan Lokey international investment banking firm, provides 11 of the nation's top MBA programs with a unique opportunity to learn by solving a real-world restructuring case problem. The students had a week to "solve" the problem and prepare comprehensive presentations showing their operational and financial plans before panels of judges representing a mock board of directors and bondholders, with a final round before mock first and second lienholders.


Past winners of the Corporate Restructuring Competition include Northwestern University, New York University and the Stanford Graduate Business School. Other schools in this year's competition in addition to the finalists and past years' winners included the University of California-Berkeley, Dartmouth University, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, University of Illinois and Notre Dame University. Prof. Tim Thompson of the Kellogg School of Management serves as the lead faculty advisor to the competition.

In addition to the case presentations, the competition featured a sponsored networking dinner keynoted by John McNichols, Managing Director of Research for Fidelity Management & Research Co. An awards luncheon also followed the final round of the competition.


ABI acknowledges the commitment of Houlihan Lokey to the competition, led by Co-CEO Jeff Werbalowsky. Houlihan professionals, including Scott Jackson, Andrew Turnbull, Ryan Sandahl and John Colling, in the firm's financial restructuring practice prepared the case problem.


Nearly two dozen senior attorneys and financial professionals helped judge the two-day competition including: Bruce Blackwell (MBIA Insurance Co.), Michael Buenzow (FTI Palladium Partners), Fred Caruso (Development Specialists Inc.), Paul Harner (Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker), Brad Erens (Jones Day), Penny Friedman (CIT Corporate Finance), Suzanne Kelly (Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.), Thomas Morrow (AlixPartners LLC), Jon Nash (Corporate Revitalization Partners LLC), Matthew Niemann (Cerberus Capital Management LP), Sandra Reese (Reese Partners LLC), Rebecca Roof (AlixPartners LLC), Nancy Ross (High Ridge Partners Inc.), David Shapiro (LaSalle Bank N.A.), Kelly Stapleton (U.S. Trustee), Nate Van Duzer (Fidelity Investments), Jeff Werbalowsky (Houlihan Lokey), Jacqueline Yardley (JPMorgan Chase) and Michael Zorich (Principal Global Investors LLC.).

 

2007

Northwestern Wins Third Annual Corporate Restructuring Competition


January 24, 2007, Alexandria, Va. - A team from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy at the Third Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition,  Jan. 19-21 in Chicago. The second-year MBA students also shared a $5,000 cash prize. Duke University Fuqua School of Business won the second place award of $3,000, with the University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business receiving the $1,750 prize for third and Stanford University students receiving $1,250 for fourth place.


The competition, which is co-sponsored by ABI and Houlihan Lokey investment banking firm, provides 12 of the nation's top MBA programs with a unique opportunity to learn by solving a real-world restructuring case problem. The students had a week to "solve" the problem and prepare comprehensive presentations showing their operational and financial plans, before panels of judges representing a mock board of directors and bondholders, with a final round before a mock first and second lienholders.


Past winners of the Corporate Restructuring Competition include the Stern Graduate School of Business of New York University and Stanford Graduate Business School. Other schools in this year's competition in addition to the finalists and past years' winners included the University of Chicago, Dartmouth University, University of Virginia, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan and Notre Dame University.


In addition to the case presentations, the competition featured a sponsored networking dinner keynoted by Prof. Douglas Baird (University of Chicago Law School). Nearly 150 Chicago-area restructuring professionals attended. An awards luncheon also followed the Final Round of the competition.


2005

NYU Business School Wins Corporate Restructuring Competition
 

Nov. 22, 2005, Alexandria, Va. - The Stern Graduate School of Business of New York University won the Second Annual American Bankruptcy Institute /Houlihan Lokey Corporate Restructuring Competition last week, defeating 11 other top business schools to win the Bettina M. Whyte trophy and $5,000 in prize money.
 

"We were all impressed with the energy and creativity each of the teams brought to what was an extraordinarily challenging case study. The students' enthusiasm for the project was infectious, and it was a pleasure for us to sponsor the event," said Jeffrey I. Werbalowsky of Houlihan Lokey Howard and Zukin.
 

The weekend event was held at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Ill. Finishing second this year was last year's champion, Stanford University (Sloan Graduate School of Business). The third-place team was the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia; the Kellogg School finished fourth. Each of the four schools earned crystal trophies for their schools and cash awards for the individual team members. The first-place trophy is named for ABI's past president and current chair, who is a managing partner at AlixPartners LLP.
 

Other top-rated schools competing were the University of Michigan (Ross School of Business), Duke University (Fuqua School of Business), Columbia University Business School, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, University of California-Berkeley (Haas School of Business), Yale University School of Management and University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business).
 

The competition provides second-year students with a unique opportunity to learn by solving a real-world restructuring case problem. The students had a week to "solve" the problem and prepare comprehensive presentations showing their operational and financial plans before panels of judges representing senior company management and bondholders, with a final round before a mock board of directors. The judges were all experienced professionals at some of the top restructuring and financial firms in the country, including Fred Caruso (Development Specialists Inc.), Nancy Ross (High Ridge Partners), David Shapiro (LaSalle Bank), Anthony Schnelling (Bridge Associates), Renee Rempe (Antares Capital), Brian Schinderle (Wolf Point Capital), Rebecca Roof (AlixPartners), Philip Van Winkle (Giuliani Capital Advisors), R. Bruce Blackwell (MBIA Insurance Corp.), Jon Nash (Corporate Revitalization Partners), David Heller (Delaware Street Capital), Jeffrey Werbalowsky (Houlihan Lokey), Melissa Kibler Knoll (Mesirow Financial), Thomas Morrow (AlixPartners) and Henry Ritter (Moglia Associates). The final round judges were Chuck Cremens (Conseco Financial), Sandy McNally (Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co.) and Georgia Nelson (Cummins Engine & Tower Automotive board member), along with Becky Roof and Jeff Werbalowsky. Geoff Richards of Kirkland & Ellis (Chicago) prepared a series of papers to help the students understand the legal issues involved in the case, including lease rejection, labor contract rejection and the zone of insolvency.
 

Kathleen Ligocki, a veteran restructuring professional involved in the auto industry and now the president and CEO of Tower Automotive, presented the keynote dinner address before the students, judges and a group of Chicago-area ABI members. Read her speech here.
 

Matthew R. Niemann, the managing director of Houlihan Lokey and a key organizer of the event, praised the students' preparation, execution and poise under real-world pressure. ‘This year's problem was especially challenging, but the students did an excellent job under deadline pressure, demonstrating the kind of skills that will serve them well in the future."
 

ABI leadership in attendance included President John D. Penn and President-Elect Judge Wesley Steen, in addition to former President Bettina Whyte. Judge Steen presented a $10,000 gift to the Kellogg School from the ABI endowment in recognition of the school's commitment to the success of this first-rate competition.
 

2004

Stanford Business School Wins the First Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition
 

November 17, 2004, Alexandria, Va. - Stanford University's Graduate School of Business won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy as the top business school in the American Bankruptcy Institute's (ABI) first annual ABI/Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Corporate Restructuring Competition. The event was held at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago, Nov. 9-11. The students also took home the top cash prize of $5,000 and crystal trophies for their school and themselves. The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan won the second prize. New York University's Stern School of Business finished in third place, and the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business earned fourth place.
 

The event matched second-year MBA students at eight of the nation¹s elite business schools. The students had one week to solve a complex reorganization problem and make presentations to panels of judges representing bank interests, senior bondholders and corporate boards. Other schools competing were the University of Chicago Business School, the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley and the Kellogg School of Management.
 

"By institutionalizing this type of hands-on learning experience, the turnaround industry benefits because of exposure to the complexity of crafting a restructuring solution when so many constituencies are involved," said Bettina Whyte, principal at AlixPartners LLC and ABI's Immediate Past President.   "It will also produce more well-rounded managers in general because it helps students realize that in business today everything is open to change."
 

Coporate executives, senior lenders and workout professionals served as the judges: Eric Baer (Citadel Investment Group), Bruce Blackwell (MBIA Insurance Corp), Timothy Collins (Northwestern Mutual Life Ins), Norma Corio (JP Morgan Chase), Chuck Cremens (Conseco Financial), John Keller (The Keller Group), Andrew   Sandy McNally (Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Co), Nancy Ross (High Ridge Partners), James Schaeffer (Aegon USA Investment Management), Brian Schinderle (hedge fund manager), Anthony H.N. Schnelling (Bridge Associates), David Shapiro (LaSalle Bank), Nancy Shanik (Citibank), Phil Van Winkle (Ernst & Young Corporate Finance) and Jeffrey Werbalowsky (Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin). Steve Miller, noted CEO for some of America's leading turnarounds, was the keynote guest speaker.

 

ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 11,700 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/events.

 

 

 

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