University of Pennsylvania Wins Fourth Annual Corporate Restructuring Competition

University of Pennsylvania Wins Fourth Annual Corporate Restructuring Competition

Contact: John Hartgen
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November 14, 2007, Alexandria, Va. — A team from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business won the Bettina M. Whyte Trophy at the Fourth Annual ABI Corporate Restructuring Competition, held Nov. 8-10 at Northwestern University in Chicago. The second-year MBA student winners also shared a $5,000 cash prize. The Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management won the second-place award of $3,000, with the Stern Graduate School of Business of New York University receiving the $1,750 prize for third and University of Chicago students receiving $1,250 for fourth place.

The competition, which is co-sponsored by ABI and the Houlihan Lokey international investment banking firm, provides 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 Northwestern University, New York University and the Stanford Graduate Business School. Other schools in this year’s competition in addition to the finalists and past years’ winners included the University of California-Berkeley, Dartmouth University, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, University of Illinois and Notre Dame University. 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 John McNichols, Managing Director of Research for Fidelity Management & Research Co. An awards luncheon also followed the final round of the competition.

ABI acknowledges the commitment of Houlihan Lokey to the competition, led by Co-CEO Jeff Werbalowsky. Houlihan professionals, including Scott Jackson, Andrew Turnbull, Ryan Sandahl and John Colling, in the firm’s financial restructuring practice prepared the case problem.

Nearly two dozen senior attorneys and financial professionals helped judge the two-day competition including: Bruce Blackwell (MBIA Insurance Co.), Michael Buenzow (FTI Palladium Partners), Fred Caruso (Development Specialists Inc.), Paul Harner (Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker), Brad Erens (Jones Day), Penny Friedman (CIT Corporate Finance), Suzanne Kelly (Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.), Thomas Morrow (AlixPartners LLC), Jon Nash (Corporate Revitalization Partners LLC), Matthew Niemann (Cerberus Capital Management LP), Sandra Reese (Reese Partners LLC), Rebecca Roof (AlixPartners LLC), Nancy Ross (High Ridge Partners Inc.), David Shapiro (LaSalle Bank N.A.), Kelly Stapleton (U.S. Trustee), Nate Van Duzer (Fidelity Investments), Jeff Werbalowsky (Houlihan Lokey), Jacqueline Yardley (JPMorgan Chase) and Michael Zorich (Principal Global Investors LLC.).

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 11,500 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