Northwestern University Wins Fifth Annual Corporate Restructuring Competition

Northwestern University Wins Fifth Annual Corporate Restructuring Competition

Contact: John Hartgen
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November 11, 2008, Alexandria, Va. — A team from the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy at the Fifth Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition, held Nov. 6-7 at Northwestern University in Chicago. The second-year MBA student winners also shared a $6,000 cash prize. Students from the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business won the second-place award of $3,500, with the University of Illinois College of Business receiving the $2,500 prize for third place.

The competition, which is co-sponsored by ABI and Houlihan Lokey, an international investment banking firm, provided 11 of the nation’s top MBA programs with a unique opportunity to learn by solving a real-world restructuring case problem. The students had a week to “solve” the problem and prepare comprehensive presentations showing their operational and financial plans before panels of judges representing a mock board of directors and bondholders, with a final round before mock first and second lienholders.

Past winners of the Corporate Restructuring Competition include the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, New York University Stern School of Business and the Stanford Graduate Business School. Northwestern also won the Third Corporate Restructuring Competition in January 2007. Other schools in this year’s competition in addition to the finalists and past years’ winners included the Purdue University Krannert School of Management, University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Management, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia Darden School of Business, University of Michigan Ross School of Business and Notre Dame University Mendoza School of Business. Prof. Tim Thompson of the Kellogg School of Management serves as the lead faculty advisor to the competition.

In addition to the case presentations, the competition featured a sponsored networking dinner keynoted by ABI Executive Director Sam Gerdano, who spoke on bankruptcy issues in the new Congress. An awards luncheon also followed the final round of the competition.

ABI acknowledges the commitment of Houlihan Lokey to the competition, led by Matt Neiman, Scott Jackson, Andrew Turnbull, Ryan Sandahl and John Colling in the firm’s financial restructuring practice, who prepared the case problem.

Some top bankruptcy practitioners and financial advisers served as competition judges, including: U.S. Trustee Diana Adams (New York), Bruce Blackwell of MBIA Insurance Corp. (Armonk, N.Y.), Michael Buenzow of FTI Palladium Partners (Chicago), Rick Chesley of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker (Chicago), Acting U.S. Trustee Roberta DeAngelis (Philadelphia), Brad Erens of Jones Day (Chicago), Penny Friedman of CIT Corporate Finance (Chicago), Ed Green of Foley & Lardner (Chicago), J. Eric Ivester of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (Chicago), Suzanne Kelly of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. (Washington, D.C.), Melissa Kibler Knoll of Mesirow Financial Consulting (Chicago), Tom Luther of Prudential (Chicago), Thomas Morrow of AlixPartners LLC (Southfield, Mich.), Jon Nash of CRG Partners (Houston), Matt Nieman of Houlihan Lokey (Chicago), Sandra Reese of Reese Partners, LLC (Chicago), Rebecca Roof of Alix Partners LLC (New York), Nate Van Duzer of Fidelity Investments (Boston), David Shapiro of Houlihan Lokey (Chicago) and Michael Zorich of Principal Global Investors, LLC (Chicago).

To find out more about the Corporate Restructuring Competition, please visit


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 11,700 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