A team of investors from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business bested 22 teams from 15 global schools with its top portfolio returns to win the Performance Prize in the Global Network Investment Competition.
The six-month competition, sponsored by the Yale School of Management’s International Center for Finance, began last November. Each team that competed was required to invest in five stocks.
The Berkeley Haas team, called CALiforniaflation, took first place last month with a nearly 30 percent net return on its portfolio. Judges measured the teams’ stock performances over six months, weighing their performance against that of the S&P 500.
Key to the team’s success was an investment in MuleSoft. Company shares rocketed after Salesforce announced an acquisition of MuleSoft in March, said Haas team member Jake Wamala, MBA 19.
“That locked in a great return for us,” he said. “In investing you have to get a little bit lucky. We had some opportunities in a variety of industries and the acquisition helped us a lot.”
Team CALiforniaflation also invested in NRG Energy, Jounce Therapeutics, KAR Auction Services and Smart & Final.
The team, which spent hours during the competition on Bloomberg’s website tracking their stocks in real time, included Daniel J. Clayton, Melissa Hulme, Stephen Keim, and Tejbir Bakshi, all MBA 19s. Their advisor was Ted Janus, MBA 94, and a principal at J Capital.
Bhinneka Investment Group from Universitas Indonesia won the $1,500 second-place prize with a return of 21.6 percent.
Competition has a “performance aspect”
The Global Network Investment Competition is comprised of two parts: The Performance Prize and The Security Analysis Prize, won by Incatraz for its work analyzing the stock offering of Cemex Latam Holdings, a firm investing in cement products.
Wamala, who will serve as a co-lead and principal of the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund (HSRIF) at Berkeley Haas in the fall, said the stock pitch competitions are helpful for students who are interested in careers in market investing. “Most competitions don’t have a performance aspect—you’re judged on a narrative—but this one included actual performance, which was cool,” he said.
Hulme agreed, noting that the competition was unique because the team’s performance was measured over six months.
“Given the shorter time period, we chose companies that we believed would be near-term catalysts over our investment horizon,” she said.
The team received a prize of $3,500.