Investment Banking Competition Winners Recommend Most Options for Yelp

A team of three Haas undergraduates and one economics student took first place in the 15th Annual Investment Banking Competition on Thursday, Oct. 4. The competition, hosted by Goldman Sachs and the Haas Undergraduate Program, challenged teams to analyze the financial situation of ratings site Yelp as of early 2012 and make a recommendation regarding its planned IPO, which took place on March 2.

The winning team consisted of Hanmei Wu and Noo Pattamon, both BS 14; Anthony Drew, BS/BA 14 (Business/Stats.); and Genny Chin, BA 14 (Econ). The team recommended that Yelp prepare for an IPO while remaining open to being acquired by a larger company such as Google, Yahoo!, or Microsoft.

“It’s essentially the way to have the most options,” says Drew. “I think ours was in one sense the most complicated strategy. We looked at the IPO not necessarily as an end goal, but as a tool.”

The team also succeeded in adapting to a format change announced just two days before the finals, from a 15-minute presentation and 10-minute Q&A to a 5-minute presentation and 20-minute Q&A. According to Dresden John of the Haas Undergraduate Program, Goldman Sachs Managing Director Nick Giavanni said that while all the teams handled the change well, the winners did the best job of addressing the judges’ questions and concerns.

Judges included Yelp and Goldman Sachs representatives and Haas Finance Professor Steve Etter, BS 83, MBA 89, a partner with Greyrock Capital. All finalists are eligible to be selected for Haas external case competitions in the spring.

Investment Banking Competition Winners Anthony Drew, Genny Chin, Noo Petngamying and Hanmei Wu.