12th Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition

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12th Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition

November 5-6, 2015 The Wharton School, Philadelphia, PA

The prestigious ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition provides students from leading business schools an opportunity to solve a hypothetical realistic business case of a distressed company before an audience of experts in the turnaround/crisis management/restructuring industries. In addition to the case presentations, there will be a sponsored networking cocktail reception and a dinner, with keynote remarks by Hon. Marjorie Rendell, a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and a former first lady of Pennsylvania.

The teams are competing for the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy - a beautiful etched crystal vase named to honor a past ABI President and leading restructuring professional with Alvarez & Marsal. Past winners include teams from Columbia Business School, The Wharton School, Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management, New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business, the Stanford Graduate Business School and Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business. Other competitors include 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.

The annual CRC Reception and Dinner is the networking event of the season and will be attended by leading practitioners, U.S. bankruptcy court judges and participants from ABI’s Complex Financial Restructuring Program. This valuable interaction between student teams and industry professionals contributes to student development and to the professionalism of turnaround/crisis management.


Event Information 231863

Thursday, November 5

Joint Reception and Dinner with 2015 Complex Financial Restructuring Program, in partnership with TMA’s Philadelphia Chapter

Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel
Benjamin Franklin Ballroom
3549 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

6:00-7:00 p.m.

ABI Registration Desk Open

Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel
3549 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 191104-3361

6:00-7:00 p.m.

Cocktail Reception

7:00-9:00 p.m.


This event is one of the premier gatherings of area restructuring and legal professionals, and will be attended by many local bankruptcy judges. Join your fellow students for an enjoyable evening of dining and networking with future colleagues. Hon. Marjorie Rendell, a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, will present keynote remarks.

Single Tickets & Sponsorships Available. Please contact Sharisa Sloan for additional details at [email protected] or 703-739-0800.

Friday, November 6

7:30-8:30 a.m.

Breakfast and Draw for Team Numbers

(Team deliverables due at 7:30 a.m.)

8:00-8:30 a.m.

Judges’ Meeting

8:30-9:10 a.m.

Round 1A (Teams 1-6)

9:10-9:20 a.m.

Feedback for Round 1A (Teams 1-6)

9:30-10:10 a.m.

Round 1B (Teams 7-12)

10:10-10:20 a.m.

Feedback for Round 1B (Teams 7-12)

10:40-11:20 a.m

Round 2A (Teams 1-6)

11:20-11:30 a.m.

Feedback for Round 2A (Teams 1-6)

11:40-12:20 p.m.

Round 2B (Teams 7-12)

12:20-12:30 p.m.

Feedback for Round 2B (Teams 7-12)

12:30-1:00 p.m.

Judges’ Scoring Meeting to Determine Finalists

12:30-1:45 p.m


1:15-1:30 p.m.

First Feedback Session, Followed by Announcement of Finalists

2:30-3:15 p.m.

Finalist Team 1

3:15-3:30 p.m.

Feedback for Finalist Team 1

3:30-4:15 p.m.

Finalist Team 2

4:15-4:30 p.m.

Feedback for Finalist Team 2

4:30-5:15 p.m.

Finalist Team 3

5:15-5:30 p.m.

Feedback for Finalist Team 3

5:30-5:45 p.m.

Judges’ Scoring Meeting to Determine Winner

5:30-7:00 p.m.

Cocktails, Second Feedback Session and Awards


Conference Information


The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6362


Included (2 rooms with double beds for each out-of-town team)




Responsibility of each participating team

Competition Information

Those who enter will receive the case vehicle/problem by electronic mail one (1) week before the competition.

How to Enter

Please contact Jennifer Dugas at  [email protected] or (703) 739-0800.

Where and When

The 2015 case competition will occur at The Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania, Jon M. Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6362, on November 6, 2015. Lodging will be provided at the Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel.

Top Three Teams

In addition to team and individual trophies, cash prizes are awarded to the top three teams in the competition.

First place: $6,000
Second place: $3,500
Third place: $2,500

Cash prizes are provided by ABI’s Anthony H.N. Schnelling Endowment Fund. The first-place team earns a space on the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy, permanently housed at the ABI offices.

Major Sponsors



Duane Morris





PJT Partners

Table Sponsors

Ballard Spahr LLP
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Blank Rome LLP
BMC Group
Cozen O’Connor
Dilworth Paxson LLP
Gavin/Solmonese LLC
Gellert Scali Busenkell & Brown, LLC

Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP
Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP
Saul Ewing LLP
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP
Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP



Entrance Fee $200 per team

Corporate Restructuring Competition Dinner


For additional sponsor information, please contact Sharisa Sloan at [email protected]

Single Ticket to CRC Dinner - $250

Table Sponsor for CRC Dinner $1,000 (Includes 4 tickets to the CRC Dinner)
  $2,000 (Includes 8 tickets to the CRC Dinner)


Rules of Competition

Composition of the teams

Teams will consist of three or four students who must be enrolled in their school at the time of the competition. Team members may be substituted at the competition in case of illness or disability. It is expected, but not required, that the students will mostly be second-year (graduating in the 2014-2015 school year) MBA students. Teams should not obtain aid in solving the case from individuals who are not part of the team, and will be asked to certify that the work product they submit at the competition is their own. Former competitors are not allowed to compete in this year's competition.

Case vehicle

The case to be analyzed will be delivered to the participating teams one (1) week prior to the competition. The case vehicle, concerning a distressed company, will describe the company and the industry in which it operates. It will present the challenges facing the decision-makers in determining the appropriate restructuring steps to take.
Ancillary information about the company, industry and market data and some basic restructuring and bankruptcy principles will be provided in the case vehicle. The case competition is not intended to be a fact-finding exercise for the teams. The material included in the case vehicle is meant to provide all the information required for the case, and information or facts outside the case materials should not be considered (and will not be considered by the judges if presented).

You will be asked at the competition to certify that the work product submitted is only that of your team and its members.


As stated in the case materials and as reflected on the competition schedule, the competition will consist of submitting written materials and making presentations, as advisors to the company, to separate panels of judges. The competition will be conducted on one day (Friday, November 7). All teams will be required to submit the written materials and participate in the first two rounds of presentations. Following the completion of the second round of presentations, the judges will meet and consider the performance of the teams considering both the written materials and the presentations. The top three (3) teams will be announced at the end of the lunch break and will proceed to the final presentation of the competition (presentations to start approximately one hour after the announcement of the finalists). At the end of the final presentations, the judges will rank the final three teams and announce the winning team at the closing reception. Teams that are not invited to participate in the finals presentations are encouraged to attend the finals presentations.

Written presentations must be submitted to the ABI representative designated at Registration no later than 7:30 a.m. on Friday, November 7. Each team's presentation should not exceed a limited amount of pages and is likely to include the items listed below, each as set forth in the instructions that will accompany the case materials:

  • Liquidity analysis, including 13 week cash forecast
  • Capital structure analysis, including the relative viewpoint of each constituent
  • Debt capacity
  • Prospects for new capital
  • Valuation
  • Operational alternatives
  • Timeline(s)

Competitors will need to carefully consider the content of their presentations and judge what support materials will be used. Too little detail will fail to convince and too much detail runs the risks of losing the attention of the audience and running out of time to cover key agenda points.

Except as necessary as a tiebreaker, no points or rankings will be carried over from the first two presentations to the final presentations.
The ABI reserves the right to use all or portions of your presentations in future ABI programs.


Judges in each of the rounds will be panels of experts from the turnaround, crisis management, distressed debt, DIP financing, legal and bankruptcy advisory industries. The pool of judges will change for each presentation. One of the main benefits to participating teams will be exposure to influential members in these industries.

Judging Criteria

Each presentation will be evaluated by the panel of judges on the basis of the quality of the analysis and presentation in the following areas:

  • Financial and Operational Analysis
  • Transaction Structure
  • Implementation Strategy 
  • Demonstration of understanding of negotiation dynamics
  • Creativity (Presentations)

Particular focus should be directed to compelling arguments, good analyses, likelihood of success, understanding of the dynamics among various constituencies and oral skills. It is important that the presentation demonstrates a thorough consideration of viable alternatives and provides detailed reasoning for recommendations. As with most cases, there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer. The judges will be looking for the quality of the analysis and reasoning in evaluating the presentation.


Competition/Registration or Hotel confirmation: Allyson Donohue at ABI, (703) 739-0800 or [email protected]