Schulich students take top spot in Wall Street competition

Students from York’s Schulich School of Business captured first and second place in the Clear Indexes LLC investment competition along with a second place spot in the Financial Post MBA Portfolio Management Competition.

Schulich undergraduate students Sean Vrbica, completing second year in the BBA Program and Vlad Berbece, completing second year in the iBBA Program, teamed up to take top prize in the competition for future Wall Street leaders – the Clear Next Generation Exchange-Traded-Fund (ETF) Contest – beating nearly 200 other student submissions from a select number of top-rated business schools such as Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Cornell University. Vrbica and Berbece proposed an International Sports investment vehicle that would hold publicly-traded equities of companies owning professional sports teams and clubs.

Right: Vlad Berbece

The grand prize comes with $5,000, a paid internship with the competition sponsor, Clear Indexes LLC – a Wall Street-based firm that creates and publishes custom indexes for the investment industry – and the chance to participate in an exchange bell-ringing ceremony celebrating the launch of their new International Sports investment concept.

The Wall Street competition challenged business students from seven select schools throughout North America to come up with novel concepts for an exchange-traded fund (ETF) – an investment vehicle similar to a mutual fund that is traded on stock exchanges. The judging criteria focused on the quality and distinctiveness of the proposals, as well as on their marketability.

Left: Sean Vrbica

In addition, the Schulich team of Daniel Abramov – first-year MBA, Doug Guan – third-year iBBA, and Vily Sarbinska – second-year BBA, shared second place in the ETF contest with students from Cornell University and Johns Hopkins University. Each second-place winning submission received $1,000 in prize money, while Schulich students Boris Gotzev, third-year iBBA; and the team of Saed Shabbir, second-year BBA, and Masrur Shareef, first-year BBA, each received one of seven honourable mentions.

The winning continued with a group of MBA students from York’s Schulich School of Business placing second overall in the Financial Post MBA Portfolio Management Competition.

Above: The Schulich Financial Post MBA Portfolio Management Competition team

Teams from 16 business schools from across Canada took part in the third annual Financial Post competition between Oct. 1, 2007, and March 31, 2008. Each team was asked to manage a hypothetical investment of $1 million, which could include any mix of cash, stocks, preferred shares and income trusts traded on the TSX or Venture Exchange. Teams were ranked on how much risk they took to generate their returns in addition to their overall returns.

The Schulich team included the following first-year MBA students: Stuart Browne (captain), Andrée St.-Germain, Ankit Malik, Ashish Ghangrekar, Bradley Walman, I. Hsiao, Kirill Kopytin, Ravi Patel, Sanjay Patel, Sudatta Karve, Aniket Choudhary. The team was coached by Schulich MBA student Richard Pak.