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Team “Clairvoyance Capital,” consisting of three first-year and three second-year Columbia Business School students, finished first in the prestigious National Real Estate Challenge held on November 28-29 at UT Austin.
Glen Bartley ’14, Adam Cohen ’13, James Hoeland ’13, Charles Myerson ’14, Jared Nutt ’13, and Akash Shivashankara ’14 represented Columbia on the case “Multi-family Value-Add Alternative Investments.” Acting as advisors to a value-added fund, team members evaluated two deals and then decided which to acquire based on returns and the fund’s goals and current allocations. One was a minor rehab of a B-class apartment building in a gateway city (The Cloud), and the other was a new development deal in a secondary city (Uptown Square). Lynne B. Sagalyn, Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor of Real Estate, Director, MBA Real Estate Program and Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, Columbia Business School, was faculty advisor to the team, providing advice and guidance prior to their receipt of the case. The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate supported student travel to the competition.
While both deals were viable, Clairvoyance recommended acquiring The Cloud, mainly because of preferable debt options and high barriers to entry that did not exist in Uptown Square. They also recommended reweighting the portfolio to reduce exposure to residential.
The National Real Estate Challenge, hosted by the University of Texas at Austin, is a case-based real estate competition for top business schools. Teams received the case just days prior to the competition and prepared a 20-minute presentation that was judged by accredited real estate professionals from nationally recognized companies including Goldman, Sachs & Co. and JPMorgan Chase. Registration in the event was by invitation only, and Columbia’s team was selected through a tryout process. In addition to Columbia, the 2012 participating schools were Berkeley, Chicago, Cornell, Darden/UVA, Duke, Georgetown, Kellogg, McCombs/UT, Michigan, NYU, UCLA, UNC-Chapel Hill, USC, Vanderbilt, and Wharton. The top four finalist teams won cash awards.