Columbia Business School Wins 11th Annual MBA Restructuring Competition

Columbia Business School Wins 11th Annual MBA Restructuring Competition

November 10, 2014, Alexandria, Va. — A team of students from the Columbia Business School earned top honors at the ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition, besting 10 other schools at the 11th annual event hosted by The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on Nov. 7. It was the school’s second time on the Bettina M. White Trophy, which is presented each year to the winning team. Students were given just a week to solve a hypothetical complex case and present their proposed solutions to judges representing key industry stakeholders.

Other top schools competing this year were Northwestern University (Kellogg School), NYU (Stern), Duke University (Fuqua), University of Virginia (Darden), defending champion University of Pennsylvania (The Wharton School), University of Chicago (Booth) and Yale School of Management, which sent two teams. A second team from Columbia finished in second place, while Wharton took third. ABI’s Anthony H.N. Schnelling Endowment Fund provided cash prizes of $6,000, $3,500 and $2,500 for the top three teams, respectively.

In addition to the case presentations, the competition featured a sponsored networking dinner keynoted by Dr. Edward I. Altman, the Max L. Heine Professor of Finance at New York University Stern School of Business. An awards reception also followed the final round of the competition.

This year’s competition was chaired by Will Sudgen (Alston & Bird LLP), who was assisted by Steve Darr (Mesirow Financial Consulting), Sage Sigler (Alston & Bird LLP) and chair-emeritus Tom Morrow (AlixPartners LLP). Others serving as competition judges of both the oral presentations and the written deliverables included Robert Axenrod (CRG Partners), Eric Blake (Mesirow Financial Consulting), Suzanne Boyd (Alston & Bird LLP), Mort Branzburg (Klehr Harrison), Mark Buschmann (Blackstone), Kathryn Coleman (Hughes Hubbard & Reed), Dan Dooley (MorrisAnderson), Joe Fallon (Blackstone), Eric Fromme (Jeffer Mangels), Kevin Hembree (Alston & Bird LLP), Tom Kirby (Deutsche Bank), Teresa Kohl (SSG Capital Advisors), Lisa Poulin (Deloitte), Charles Reardon (Asgaard Capital), Suzanne Roski (Protiviti), Gary Schildhorn (Eckert Seamans), Russ Silbergleid (Richards Layton & Finger), Pat Tinker (Office of the U.S. Trustee), Lowell Thomas (AlixPartners LLP), David Vanaskey (Wilmington Trust Company) and Spencer Ware (AlixPartners LLP).

ABI thanks the major sponsors of this year’s competition, including AlixPartners LLP, Alston & Bird LLP, Blackstone, Deloitte and Mesirow Financial Consulting.


ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 13,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit For additional conference information, visit