Each year, the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School holds a stock pitch competition sponsored by Bill Ackman called the Pershing Square Challenge. It is open to first and second-year MBA students enrolled in the Center’s Applied Security Analysis class.
This year there were a total of 40 teams competing and after several rounds of eliminations, five teams presented at the Paley Center for Media in midtown Manhattan on April 18. This year a total of $150,000 in prize money was awarded – $75,000 for first place, $50,000 for second place and $25,000 for third place.
For the 11th Annual Pershing Square Challenge, there was a twist – only short ideas were allowed. The first place winners presented Stericycle and felt that part of their success came from lessons they learned in Pitch the Perfect Investment:
“Using the ‘four questions’ framework (How much can you make?, How much can you lose?, What is the market missing?, and, What is the catalyst that will cause the stock to reprice?) from Sonkin and Johnson’s Pitch the Perfect Investment kept us focused on the critical issues through our hundreds of hours of research on Stericycle for the Pershing Square Challenge. We believe insights from the book and this framework distinguished our pitch and helped us win the $75,000 first prize.” – Jade Hu, Rana Pritanjali and Asher Jacobs – Columbia Business School students – 2018 Pershing Square Challenge Winners.