March 20, 2020 | By Andrew Lamers | Back to blog
Nicholas Team NIBC
Finance and Investment Banking MBA students J.J. Liter, Hailey Nuygan, Andrew Lamers and Mason Bourne.

Earlier this month, three of my classmates and I had the opportunity to represent the Nicholas Center and the Wisconsin MBA Program in the final round of the National Investment Banking Competition (NIBC) in Vancouver.

The competition day started at 6AM with the case release. Our team then developed a strategy, built and analyzed multiple financial models, and crafted and practiced our presentation before delivering it to the judges around 6PM the same day.  The case question asked whether Volkswagen should seek to merge with Ford. Our team performed financial and strategic analyses of the potential deal with Ford, concluding it was not the optimal path forward for VW. Instead of merging with Ford, we proposed that VW should seek to complete a full acquisition of a Croatian electric vehicle technology company called Rimac Automobili. We pitched how VW could use its supply chain and manufacturing capabilities to scale up Rimac’s electric vehicle production in order to build a high-margin and differentiated luxury electric brand to compete with Tesla. In addition, we felt that sole ownership of Rimac’s proprietary technology and strong R&D team would create a key competitive advantage for VW, allowing them to leverage Rimac’s advanced battery technology across their existing line-up of electric vehicles.

Although we were not selected as the final round winners, we were proud of our work product and all the effort we put into our presentation. In addition, our team had just enough time outside the competition to explore some of the best of what Vancouver has to offer, including biking through Stanley Park, checking out the Granville Island Public Market, and getting dinner in the historic Gastown area. Overall, the trip was one of the highlights of my MBA experience. I am thankful that we had a chance to represent Wisconsin and compete with other top MBA programs in the NIBC final round!