The 2020 Fowler Center Impact Investing Competition
The Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit would like to thank the students, judges, and Weatherhead faculty members who helped make our Inaugural Impact Investing Competition a big success. We would also like to give a special thanks to our sponsoring organizations EPOCH Pi, and McDonald Hopkins.
The inaugural Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit Impact Investing Competition took place Feb. 28, 2020. Fourteen student teams presented before a panel of eight judges, all representing a unique and diverse field of investing and social impact-oriented practitioners.
Presenting students included full-time, part-time, and undergraduate students at the Weatherhead School. Numerous degree programs were represented in the competition and students presented a wide range of unique ideas and solutions to the challenges of the case. Judges were able to give feedback to students during a networking event held at the end of the day.
The case was presented to students as a memo between 10-15 pages which provided all the information needed to analyze and obtain the per-share value of a specific B Corporation.
Students used this memo to create an internal memorandum addressed to an investment manager detailing their recommended price for the company and providing analysis of the company and its industry in terms of growth, profitability, and sustainable value creation. The student memorandum was advised to be no more than one page single-spaced (Times New Roman size 12 font, not including appendices or supplemental information).
Students constructed the memorandum as if they were presenting a recommendation to an investment manager or an investment committee who was determining whether or not to include the company in the allocation of a particular social impact investment portfolio. As such, students discussed the merits of the company as an investment in terms of both its financial and social merits.
Students were allowed to supplement the materials within the case with their own additional research, however, they should have adhered to the dates provided within the memo and not use later information. Students received detailed submission rules and guidelines with the case memo. The memo included all other submission requirements.
Students also gave a ten-minute powerpoint presentation on the date of the competition to summarize their findings and highlight important points.
Successes of the Competition
Both students and judges gave feedback to the Fowler Center regarding the various strengths of the competition.
- The majority of the students felt that the competition was a good way to learn about impacting investing and social value creation
- Almost all students felt that the competition was challenging and required the use and development of real-world skills
- Judges enjoyed seeing the creativity and the thought processes of the students
- Students were able to learn more about the Fowler Center’s mission, vision, and values
- Students enjoyed the flexibility to work with and compete against Weatherhead students from diverse degrees
Out of 14 participating teams, our judges selected a first- and second-place team. Congratulations to our first and second-place Impact Investing Competition Teams!
Our first-place team was team Finsight. Finsight's members were Lily Anne TranCat (BS, economics), Marisa Katz (BA, economics, MSM-Finance), Jasmine Butcher (BS, business management), Victor Xie (BS, business management), and John Wen (BA, economics).
Our second-place team was the team “Famous Five.” Famous Five's members were Nicholas Kobernick (MBA), Manpreet Kaur (MSM-Finance), Aditi Deshmukh (MSM-Finance), and Vaibhav Kharuna (MBA and MSM-Finance).
All the participating student teams worked hard and served as great representatives of the Weatherhead student body. We hope students enjoyed themselves and learned from the experience.
Co-founder of EPOCH Pi, Lynn Carpenter has previously served as director for both South Franklin Street Partners and Candlewood Partners LLC. She also worked as an associate on the buyout team for Morgenthaler where she assisted in the management of $1 billion in capital. Carpenter has experience using culture assessment tools and is certified in using Denison Consulting's Organizational Culture Survey and has substantial experience adding both cultural and strategic alignment to traditional investment banking.
Co-founder of EPOCH Pi, William Vogelgesang was previously a co-founder and CEO of Candlewood Partners LLC and South Franklin Street Partners. Vogelgesang has also served on the board of numerous Cleveland-based companies. He has also served as chair of the Management Committee of Brown Gibbons Lang and a lender for Citicorp and KeyBank. Vogelgesang is also certified in using Barrett Values Center's cultural transformation tools, to help EPOCH Pi clients align their values in merger and acquisition transactions.
Christal L. Contini
Christal Contini is a member and a co-chair of the McDonald Hopkins Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group. She also provides general corporate counseling to a variety of middle-market businesses, business owners, boards of directors, management teams and investors on matters relating to corporate governance, commercial contracts, compliance and operational issues. Her industry experience covers a wide array of industries such as healthcare, restaurants,and manufacturing.
Amy Wojnarwsky is an associate in the McDonald Hopkins' business department. She has provided counsel to privately held businesses in merger and acquisitions, contract and lending matters, new entity formation and business succession planning. Wojnarwsky earned her JD, cum laude, from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2013. She also received a master of elementary education, summa cum laude, from Arizona State University in 2009 and a BA in political science from Yale University in 2007.
Heather Frutig received her MBA from Weatherhead in 2016. She earned her BS in environmental policy and behavior from The School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan. Prior to beginning her MBA, she spent three years working in fixed income research at Capital Group Companies, one of the world's largest privately held investment management firms. There she focused on domestic utilities and regional banks. Before that she was a research associate with ReefDoctor, a non-profit marine conservation organization in southwest Madagascar. For the past four years, Frutig worked at J.P. Morgan as a client advisor. She has a strong interest in impact investing and entrepreneurship and will be supporting the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship here at Case Western Reserve University.
Ben Cooper is senior vice president of utilities, power, and renewable energy, where he helps Key Bank invest in renewable energy, with a focus on solar and wind electricity generation, as well as utility-scale batteries. Cooper joined Key after completing his MBA at Weatherhead in 2015, where he was also an inaugural Fowler Center fellow. Before moving to Cleveland, he earned his BA in Economics from the University of Chicago. In his eight years in Fitch's Global Infrastructure and Project Finance Group, he concentrated on conducting credit analysis on power projects. In his spare time, Cooper enjoys strength training and remembering when he played ultimate frisbee.
Chris Jeannot is a relationship management officer specializing in Portfolio Management in Glenmede's Cleveland office. Jeannot works with senior investment professionals to provide tailored tax-efficient advice for Private Wealth Clients. Before working at Glenmede, he was an investment advisor at PNC, where he worked with clients to provide comprehensive investment advice and portfolio management. He also gained experience at Vigilant Capital Management, where he served as chair of the Proxy Voting Committee and member of the Investment Policy Committee. Jeannot received his BS from The University of New Hampshire and is also a CFA charterholder.
Susan P. Mucciarone is the executive director of private wealth at Glenmede. She leads the Glenmede regional offices and investment and advisory professionals who are responsible for delivering comprehensive wealth management to individuals and families across the country. Mucciarone has more than 30 years of experience in the private wealth and institutional investment management industry. Her experience includes executive positions at Wachovia (now Wells Fargo), including managing executive of the nationally-recognized family office practice, and president of the Alternative Investment Management Group. Mucciarone holds an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and a BS from Bowling Green State University. She currently holds board appointments with Case Western Reserve University, Natural Lands, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania and the Forum of Executive Women. She is the president of the Trust Management Association.