NUS MBA 14 March 2018

NUS MBA team wins second prize in GNAM Investment Competition

The Global Network for Advanced Management Investment Competition 2017-2018, hosted by the Yale School of Management, is a one-of-a-kind contest dedicated to equity investments sourced from top business students around the globe. Our NUS MBA students, Team NUS Alpha-Omega, comprising Bill Sun, Jolie Yao, Himanshu Khemani, Perrie Yuan and Nicole Guo won second place in the Global Network Investment Competition – Security Analysis Prize!

Himanshu Khemani talks about his team’s experience in this case competition, where the greatest challenge was actually to compete via online presentations.


Our team took interest in this competition after hearing about it from the NUS MBA office for its exclusiveness, high level intellectual challenge and learning experience. So we set up the team immediately, comprising members from different backgrounds, including equity research, private banking, auditing and consulting.

 

For the 2017-2018 edition, 23 teams representing 23 GNAM partner school participated. Judges include Jim Chanos, founder and Managing Partner of Kynikos Associates LP; John Glass, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley; Rob, founder of Samlyn Capital; Eddie Tam, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Central Asset Investments.

Student teams had to submit five investment ideas from the country where they attend school, for a chance to win cash prizes. Two separate awards will be given. One is for the best investment thesis, judged through written reports and a live, virtual stock-pitch competition, and the other for the top performing portfolios. Each team’s portfolio performance is measured net of the respective local index over a six-month period, ending April 30, 2018.

In the two legs of competition, we were required to pick five stocks from all the companies listed in SGX to form our portfolio (Performance leg)  and then choose one of these five stocks as our main pick and create a detailed report and presentation around it (Security Analysis leg). Our team was selected in the second leg, i.e.Security Analysis as one of the four finalists among 23 teams.

Preparing for the competition was easier in the final days since we had put in a lot of effort while creating the report and preparing our thesis for the stock. The hours invested while researching the stock paid dividends during the later part of competition when they were most required.

On the day of the competition, we were asked to present our main stock to a group of distinguished judges, all industry veterans with considerable amount of experience under their belt. However things did not go easy for us. Four of the five team members were out of the country on the day of the presentation (which was during our recess week) and we had to make sure that our timing during the presentation was impeccable. Three members of the team were on Global Immersion Program to India, the another member was in Bali as well. So we actually all dialed in and finished the presentation from three locations. This definitely put pressure on the team and required all of us to work extremely closely for a better result as the presentation quality itself carried a lot of weight in judges’ decision. Furthermore, the judges kept up the heat by asking us difficult questions about the financials of the stock.

Dialling in from India for the final presentation

The key was to keep calm, be confident and to trust ourselves!

Based on the judges’ feedback, besides our online research and analysing reports, they also like that we had conducted interviews with target customers of the pitch company to know why the customers are loyal to the products from the company, and if the business model is sustainable. We had spent time interviewing people in China to understand the product positioning/pricing. This showed us in a favourable light, because, in their words, “Stock analysis is beyond reading just the annual reports”.

Associate Professor Srinivasan Sankaraguruswamy provided enlightening guidance regarding stock selection and commented on the stocks we picked. Most importantly, he challenged us on those stocks, which prepared us well for the final pitch. By responding to the concerns raised by Prof Srini, we gained more comprehensive considerations.

We all felt that this was an excellent opportunity for us to compete globally with a plethora of strong teams. It exposed all of us to different parts security analysis, which is not a strong suit for most of us.

Also, since we were asked to analyse stocks listed in SGX which gave us a chance to analyse the businesses in the context of APAC and observe the enormous business opportunities in the region.

For more information on the NUS MBA programme, please visit http://mba.nus.edu/.