At the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF), students are encouraged to go above and beyond their studies to enhance their learning outside the classroom through attending conferences and competitions. On March 4, a group of University of Waterloo students competed at the Association of Canadian Intercollegiate Investment Clubs (ACIIC) pitch competition. The team, comprised of students from different disciplines including Accounting and Financial Management (AFM), Computer Science (CS), and Software Engineering (SE), came in third place at ACIIC’s annual stock pitch competition. Rushil (SE), Ivan (AFM), Luka (AFM), John (CS), Pratham (AFM), and Alex (AFM) came in with unique perspectives and they listened to each other’s ideas to create the strongest possible end product.
ACIIC is an organization that seeks to bring together the brightest young financial minds from across Canadian schools, including the University of Waterloo, the University of British Columbia, and Concordia University, to name a few. The organization seeks to mentor students in preparation for an annual pitch taking place in the heart of downtown Toronto.
The task assigned required analysts to pitch a stock within the US or Canadian markets that would make an attractive candidate in a take-private scenario. The companies pitched needed to have a market capitalization between 500M and 10B, and analysts needed to provide commentary on the business, investment thesis, value creation strategies, valuation and potential risks. Teams then had to conduct a 10-minute presentation alongside a 10-minute Q&A with judges from Blackstone, OMERS and Onex to showcase their idea.
The University of Waterloo team is extremely pleased to place third among such a wide array of students. They are also pleased to have had the opportunity to present in front of such credible and inspiring judges. It was incredibly fulfilling for the team to see a wide variety of companies being pitched, including those from retail, technology, energy, transportation and industrial segments. The team had to utilize strong communication skills, analytical understanding, critical thinking, and teamwork in order to find a company with a strong investment opportunity and convince the panel of judges that it was the right fit for their portfolios.
The team’s advice for any SAF students looking to succeed in a pitch is to be open to new ideas and to be willing to cooperate and include others in the decision-making process. This, alongside a deep need to understand the company being pitched, is the key to success.