Undergrads Take First in Georgetown Stock Pitch Competition

Winners: Charles Sun, BS 13 (EECS), president of the Berkeley Investment Group (BIG); Jeff Totten, BS 13, executive adviser of BIG; Franklin Yin, BA 16 (Math), BIG equity research officer; and Jordan Tipton, BS 16, BIG equity research officer.

A deep drill-down into the natural gas industry helped a Berkeley Investment Group team with two Haas undergrads take first place Saturday in the Georgetown Stock Pitch Competition.

The winning team, which took home $2,000, consisted of Jeff Totten, BS 13; Jordan Tipton, BS 16; Charles Sun, BS 13 (Elect. Engineer. & Computer Sci.); and Franklin Yin, BA 16 (Math). Their pitch for GasLog—an international owner, operator, and manager of ships that carry liquefied natural gas—beat out teams from such schools as Wharton, Darden, and Georgetown's own McDonough School.

In the first round, the Berkeley Investment Group team defeated Darden and George Mason University in a 10-minute pitch followed by 10-minutes of Q&A with judges. In the final round, which was judged by representatives from Sands Capital and Credit Suisse, the team defeated Georgetown, Miami University, and James Madison University.

“Our experience as officers at Berkeley Investment Group thoroughly prepared us for the competition, both in terms of researching and developing a compelling investment thesis and in terms of presenting it," says Tipton, a first-year Haas student and one of the club's equity research officers.

The Berkeley Investment Group is the largest investment club at UC Berkeley with more 400 members, 20 officers, and a portfolio of more than $70,000 of real investments. The Haas-sponsored club hosts weekly educational meetings, manages a real mutual fund, teaches the Introduction to Wall Street Decal course, and consults for investment managers.

The winning team began exploring the natural gas industry in December after reading a Wall Street Journal article on the projected increase in natural gas exports from the United States. After investigating supply, demand, and export numbers, students concluded that the liquefied natural gas shipping industry will benefit most from the natural gas boom.

"This brought us to GasLog, which we believe is the best public pure-play on the industry," explains Yin, a first-year mathematics major and another equity research officer. "A lot of work went into this thesis so we were happy with the result.”

The first place finish was the third in a row at national competitions for the Berkeley Investment Group. Previous victories include the group’s Diamond Foods pitch at the 2012 Georgetown Competition and its Express Scripts pitch at the 2012 Michigan Interactive Investments Conference.

"We like competing with students from the top business schools," says Totten, executive adviser to the Berkeley Investment Group. "But the highlight of the Georgetown and Michigan conferences is meeting students with similar professional interests."