TCU MBAs Take Honors at Finance Case Competition

Their mission: present valuation, capital markets and M&A strategic advice to a panel of seasoned M&A professionals.

TCU MBAs Kyle Tilley, Tu Pham, Jon Gulbransen, Aditya Padman and David Funkhouser didn’t even break a sweat.

The team made it look easy as they walked away with second place behind Texas A&M and ahead of Rice, SMU, Houston, Texas, UTD, UTSA, University of Dallas and the University of St. Thomas.

The Texas ACG Cup competition gives students from leading MBA programs real-world experience and invaluable insights into mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity.

“We had to present a complete solution with detailed analysis to support our recommendation, in front of executive bankers who could interrupt at any point to ask questions,” Funkhouser said. “It was vital that we face and work through this type of pressure as a team, and we did.”

“I was able to assimilate the theoretical knowledge I had learned in class and apply it to build financial models,” Padman said. “And working together on the strategy as a team showed during our final presentations.”

The team embraced the opportunity to learn from alumni who had previously competed, including members of the TCU MBA teams of 2015 and 2016 who took first place.

“We welcomed their lessons, valued their input, and our resulting efforts reflected the quality of work that is expected of a TCU MBA candidate,” Gulbransen said. “It was important for us to continue to do well in this competition and build on the legacy of previous classes.”

Funkhouser said that, as a first-year MBA, “having the support of second-years, alumni and Neeley School partners was a testament to how much the TCU community takes an interest in our development.”