Finance Academy-sponsored Team Reaches Finals of National Stock Pitch Competition

A team sponsored by the Howard J. Busbee Finance Academy reached the final round of the Michigan Interactive Investment Intercollegiate Stock Pitch Competition held March 19-20 at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The competition is a student‐led initiative designed to serve as the premier undergraduate forum for students from the nation’s top business programs to exchange market insight and learn from industry professionals.

Sean Dalton, A.C. Craft and Daniel P. Barzach comprised the team, structuring the final presentation around Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR). Craft is a student in the Mason Investment Fund and Dalton and Barzach are members of the Mason Investment Club.  The Mason Investment Fund, originally funded by donations from William & Mary alumni Walter G. and Aubrey L. Mason, is one of several investment practicum experiences and courses available to undergraduate business majors at the Mason School.

The final round teams were University of Michigan, University of Virginia, and The College of William and Mary. The University of Michigan team was the overall winner of the competition.

"The team that attended the conference last year, Matt Sass, James Zhang, and Brett Meulmester provided integral insights into the minds of the judging panel and we couldn't have gone nearly as far as we did without their help and support,” said Barzach.

The two‐day conference centered around the stock pitch competition which was judged by leading market experts. Its goal is to bring premier undergraduate investment organizations together to facilitate communication and the exchange of ideas.

Murphy Oil CorporationThe competition consisted of two rounds of competition where teams of two or three students presented a pre‐selected investment idea. The top three teams advanced to the final round where they were required to make a second fifteen minute presentation followed by a ten minute question and answer session. The final round teams competed for the $3000 cash prize.

Presentations were evaluated on the following criteria:

1. Quality of investment pick and rationale
2. Quality of presentation
3. Ability to field questions from the audience and judges

Each team presented a stock which was to come from the universe of companies with market capitalizations above $500 million and share prices above $2 as of the close of regular trading on January 1st, 2010. Additionally, equities must have had a 3-month average daily volume of at least 100,000 shares (as of the close on January 1, 2010) and must trade on the Nasdaq, NYSE, or NYSE Amex. The opportunity was evaluated as a long position with a 3-12 month investment horizon.

In addition to W&M, UVA, and Michigan, teams from the following schools participated in the competition:


Carnegie Mellon
Emory University
Indiana University
Miami University OH)
Michigan State University
New York University
Ohio State University
Pennsylvania State University
UC Berkeley
UT Austin
University of N. Carolina
University of Pennsylvania
University of Toledo
University of Virginia
Villanova University
Yale University


The final round was judged by Paul Larson, Equities Strategist and Editor, Morningstar StockInvestor, Beau Cummins, CEO of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Charlie Rose, General Partner and cofounder of Yield Capital Appreciation Partnership LLC, and Adam Rubin, associate at Brandes Investment Partners.

"Learning from the other clubs, meeting other individuals who share the same passions from around the world was an experience that I really think will define the way I spend the next year,” said Dalton, who is also portfolio manager for the Mason Investment Fund.