A 5-member team from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School emerged the winners at the annual Oxford Chicago private equity challenge, which this year involved presenting an assessment of the potential for a leveraged buyout of Scout 24, a German online classifieds company.
The annual three-day competitive program is held between the Private Equity Institute at the University of Oxford and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago.
- Oxford Saïd Business School students’ team won the annual Oxford Chicago private equity challenge
- The 3-day competition takes place between the Private Equity Institute at the University of Oxford and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago
- The challenge this year involved presenting an assessment of the potential for a leveraged buyout of Scout 24, a German online classifieds company
The competition this year took place at the Polsky Institute at Chicago Booth on February 26. The challenge provides the students access to leading investment banks and private equity firms.
It also includes mentoring from industry professionals, networking opportunities and the chance to work on real-life case scenarios. The win represents the second consecutive victory for Oxford.
The challenge culminates in a presentation session in which the two teams, one from each institution, put forward investment proposals based on real-life companies to a committee of highly experienced finance industry figures.
The Oxford team comprising Atos Drauschke-Muradyan (2018 MBA), Felix Tan (2016 BA Economics & Management), Vivek Elluru (2018 MBA), Rahfin Faruk (2018 MBA) and Carl Rietschel (2018 MBA) took home the cash prize for their presentation.
“The feedback we received from them improved our pitch considerably and was critical to our success,”
Vivek said it was a wonderful feeling to win against a top side like Chicago Booth. “The effort of over two months working on the challenge and putting our best foot forward was all worth it as it was a fantastic learning experience,” he added.
Felix Tan said the team had extensively researched their target company and repeatedly tested their pitch with mentors Andreas Angelopoulos, Jeff Henriksen, Artem Katilov and Klimenti Katilov, as well as with senior investment professionals from Oakley Capital and Ares.
“The feedback we received from them improved our pitch considerably and was critical to our success,” he added.
The team had earned a hard-fought victory having had to overcome numerous challenges, including a lack of publicly available data points. “This made it difficult to justify our forecasts, but we developed a variety of benchmarks based on similar companies in order to be comfortable that the management could execute on the KPIs we were projecting,” Felix said.
He said the team debated every element of their presentation. “The debates are what refined our presentation, and the difference between the first and last iteration was night and day,” he added.
Andreas Angelopoulos, Associate Fellow and founder of the Oxford Chicago private equity challenge, said, “The experience for the students is much more than the challenge. It is a unique three-day private equity intensive program that gives students access to the best education and network opportunities in finance and private equity, globally.
“Students attend a Private Equity seminar, compete in the PE Challenge in front of an Investment Committee, attend the Private Equity Forum and also take part in a trek to learn from Oxford and Chicago alumni,” he pointed out.
Team mentor and Associate Fellow Jeff Henriksen described the team’s performance as impressive. “There was not one question they could not answer from the investment committee. Atos, Felix, Vivek, Rahfin and Carl all worked incredibly hard and showed that when it comes to finance, Oxford Saïd is a force to be reckoned with,” he added.