Unique challenge provides new approach to education and networking for Oxford Saïd finance students

Share Article

A team of finance students from the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, compete in The Oxford Chicago Global Private Equity Challenge

Oxford Saïd finance students

‘The uniqueness of this challenge is the combination of the best of the US and Europe

Unique challenge provides new approach to education and networking for finance students

The Oxford Chicago Global Private Equity Challenge

The finals of a unique challenge which partners two of the world’s leading business schools in finance took place last week, giving students access to leading investment banks and private equity firms, mentoring from industry professionals, networking opportunities and the chance to work on real life case scenarios, by designing a proposal for a private equity LBO transaction.

The Oxford Chicago Global Private Equity Challenge, which partners the Private Equity Institute at Oxford Saïd with the Polsky Centre for Entrepreneurship of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, is a pioneering approach to networking and learning. It is exclusively designed for students from each of the schools, who are looking to develop their careers in private equity and investment banking, to broaden their skills and experience and share expertise and learning from the USA and Europe.

The team from Oxford Saïd, Alex Bertoli, Johan Krynauw, and Daniel Schacter from the MBA programme, and Nicolas Hartmann and Julian Müller from the MSc in Financial Economics (MFE) programme, looked at the company Moleskine in Italy, and put forward an investment thesis that looked at growth scenarios, marketing transformation, financing, valuation and returns, whilst the winning team from Chicago Booth looked at the company Planet Fitness in the USA.

‘The experience for the students is more than the challenge. It is a three day focused and intensive programme that gives students access to the best education and network opportunities in finance and private equity, globally,’ said Andreas T. Angelopoulos, Executive Director of the Private Equity Institute and Programme Director, Finance Lab in Oxford Saïd. ‘Students attended an advanced acquisition finance modelling seminar, worked on a real case by Bain Capital, competed in the PE Challenge, attended the Private Equity Forum and went on a London trek; this is unique. By partnering with Chicago Booth, we are able to offer students from both schools the opportunity to connect our students and alumni with professionals from leading private equity firms, investment banks, and faculty in Europe and USA.’

As well as being challenged in the pressure of a real world timeline for their proposals, the Oxford students received mentoring from Corsini Manfredi, Managing Director of Rothschild, and Ed Goble and Mayank Kanga, two Oxford alumni from Bridgepoint in the run up to the event. They then presented their final proposals to an investment committee which included Humphrey Battcock of Advent International, Khaled Saïd of Capital Generation Partners (Oxford alumnus), James Brooks of Goldman Sachs Merchant Bank (Oxford alumnus), and Zeynep Yenel of Goldman Sachs Financial Sponsors Group.

Humphrey Battcock, Managing Partner of Advent International, said: ‘This challenge is a good opportunity for students to take part in a close to real life exercise in private equity execution. I was pleased to be part of the panel which looked at the teams’ proposals for a buyout transaction. All the team members had clearly worked hard to produce a good product and this type of exercise should help them in seeking career opportunities in private equity.’

‘The uniqueness of this challenge is the combination of the best of the US and Europe,’ said Oxford team member Johan Krynauw. ‘We are competing against the number one finance school in the USA, Chicago Booth, and I'm not aware of any other business schools offering these kinds of education and networking opportunities in private equity. We selected Moleskine as our buyout candidate as it has a strong brand but a lot of opportunity for further growth, both through geographic and product diversification. We have worked very hard to put together our proposal and financial model.’

The three day programme began when Andreas T. Angelopoulos and Tiago Dias, Corporate Finance Vice President of Altice presented a seminar on acquisition finance modelling. This was followed by a presentation of a private equity case on the LBO acquisition of TeamSystem in Italy, by Luigi Bartone, Director of Intermediate Capital Group, Luca Bassi, Managing Director of Bain Capital, Federico Leproux, CEO of TeamSystem, and Roberto Ippolito, Managing Partner of RiverRock (Chicago Booth alumnus).

After presenting their proposals to the investment committee panel, the teams had an opportunity to attend the 10th Annual Private Equity Forum in Oxford, which brings together academics and investors like Blackstone GSO, Goldman Sachs Merchant bank, Ardian, Advent and CDC Group to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the private equity sector. The following day they went on a London trek to visit Goldman Sachs where team members networked and attended an overview of the private equity, mergers & acquisitions and leverage finance landscape presented by Managing Directors of the firm as well as Jamie Rivers, Partner, BC partners (Oxford alumnus), and James Brooks (Oxford alumnus) of Goldman Sachs Merchant Bank.

Oxford Saïd team member, Nicolas Hartmann said: ‘The Oxford Chicago Global Private Equity Challenge was a unique opportunity for me. As one of the MFEs on the team, I had the chance to benefit from the professional experience of some of the other team members which was extremely rewarding. I was very impressed by the professional advice we could gather. We gained insights from multiple managing directors from investment banks as well as seasoned private equity professionals. Not only did it help us tremendously to develop our buyout thesis but it was also an outstanding chance to further develop my network in London. Overall, I am very grateful for this opportunity.’

To participate in the Challenge, students must have first taken part in the ‘Bridgepoint Private Equity Challenge’ sponsored and run by Bridgepoint in association with the Private Equity Institute. This challenge aimed to find the smartest assessment of leveraged buyout opportunities in the UK. Andreas T. Angelopoulos chose the team of five from more than 200 students that participated in the Bridgepoint PE Challenge and mentored them for five weeks in the run up to the Oxford Chicago Global Private Equity Challenge.

To be eligible for the Challenges, students must have registered in the Oxford Saïd Finance Lab, a joint venture between the Private Equity Institute and Oxford Saïd, which allows students to take part is a series of practical workshops on financial and valuation modelling, challenges sponsored by Centerview, Bridgepoint and Hermes, and real-life case studies offered by a number of senior executives in leading banks and funds, providing networking opportunities with company representatives.

For more information or to speak Andreas T. Angelopoulos or one of the students please contact the Press Office:

Jonaid Jilani, Press Officer, Saïd Business School
Mobile +44 (0)7860259996; Tel +44 (0)1865 614678
Email: jonaid.jilani(at)sbs.ox.ac.uk or pressoffice(at)sbs.ox.ac.uk

Josie Powell, Senior Press Officer, Saïd Business School
Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403
Email: josie.powell(at)sbs.ox.ac.uk or pressoffice(at)sbs.ox.ac.uk

1.    About the Oxford Saïd Finance Lab

The Oxford Saïd Finance Lab is a joint venture between the Private Equity Institute and Oxford Saïd. The Lab, which founded and offered by Andreas T. Angelopoulos, Executive Director, Oxford Private Equity Institute, is an extracurricular 150 hour programme for the University of Oxford’s graduate and undergraduate students looking to progress their careers in investment banking, private equity and asset management.

The Finance Lab connects theory with practice through a series of practical modelling workshops, real-life case studies offered by leading banks and funds, and challenges sponsored by Bridgepoint in Private Equity, Centerview in Mergers & Acquisitions, and Hermes in in Asset Management.

The Finance Lab is bridging the gap between university offering and industry requirements, where employers want students with metacognitive and specific technical skills (oral communication, problem solving in diverse areas, effective interaction with peers in a group context, specialised applied analytical and modelling skills) rather than just subject-area understanding and complex advanced theoretical concepts.

2.    About the Private Equity Institute

The Private Equity Institute at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford was founded in 2009 to provide a forum to promote research, education and networking in private equity. Oxford Saïd ran its first private equity elective in 2000, and introduced the Private Equity Forum in 2006. Together with the Oxford Saïd Finance Lab which began in 2012 and two leading global executive education programmes, the Private Equity Programme and the Oxford Chicago Valuation Programme, the Private Equity Institute offers unprecedented access to top private equity practitioners and research.

3.    About Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

4. About the Polsky Center

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Chicago Booth provides immersive, experiential education and venture creation resources for UChicago students and alumni who are interested in entrepreneurship, private equity, venture capital, and taking their existing businesses to the next level. The Polsky Center’s premier start-up launch program, the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), is designed to help student teams turn their ideas into viable businesses. Launched in 1996, and currently celebrating its 20th anniversary year, the NVC is recognized as the #1 university accelerator program. The program has graduated more than 100 companies, including GrubHub and Braintree, and has created thousands of jobs for the economy. Learn more about the Polsky Center at: chicagobooth.edu/entrepreneurship and the NVC at: chicagonvc.com.

5.    About the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is one of the leading business schools in the world, consistently ranking in the top 10 and frequently in the top five. The school's faculty includes many renowned scholars and its graduates occupy key positions in the U.S. and worldwide. The Chicago Approach to Management Education is distinguished by how it leverages fundamental knowledge, its rigor, and its practical application to business challenges.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Josie Powell
Follow >
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Like >
Visit website