Columbia Bags Up Competition at Distressed & Restructuring Industry Conference

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 04, 2012) -  If last year's competition was equal parts American Idol and Glengarry Glen Ross, then this year's event was March Madness meets Cinderella Man. On November 17, 2012, teams from Columbia, Northwestern, University of Florida and NYU gathered at the Marriott Marquis in New York to compete in the 2nd Annual Valuation Case Competition hosted by Wall Street Training, making their case for the restructuring of Supervalu, Sprint, Caesars Entertainment and Books-a-Million, respectively.

This year, 138 teams from 60+ schools, including seven Ivy League schools, competed for the grand prize of $5,000 and HP12c calculators. To prepare for their presentations, Final Round teams accessed Platinum Sponsor Gerson Lehrman Group's network of expert consultants, including current and past senior management of the companies being analyzed. The "Final Four" shared the stage with industry leaders at Wall Street Training's Distressed & Turnaround Industry Conference, where they presented their corporate restructuring scenarios. When all was said and done, the Columbia team emerged victorious, proposing their turnaround plan for grocery retailer Supervalu.

The conference featured a variety of distinguished keynote speakers and roundtable panelists, including Peter Cuneo, former CEO of Marvel Entertainment, who spoke about his experiences and keys to success in turning around the bankrupt intellectual property giant. Matthew Kenagy of Las Vegas Sands shared his thoughts on the future of the gaming industry and its challenges. Michael Brennan, co-founder of First Industrial Realty Trust, highlighted opportunities in real estate in the wake of the credit crisis.

Steven Davidoff, the "Deal Professor" of the New York Times DealBook, moderated the roundtable panel, holding court with representatives from buy-side distressed private equity, sell-side advisory, loan workouts and high-yield bond trading. The contrast between financial and operational representatives made for an enlightening discussion about the growing dichotomy between access to capital for large-cap, high-yield issuers and their smaller, less liquid relatives. Although the panelists agreed that covenant-light deals have rebounded, they debated if capital is smarter and more discriminatory today; whether or not investors have truly learned their lesson from the credit crisis remains to be seen.

Wall Street Training provides financial modeling and valuation training to buy-side and sell-side financial services firms, government regulators and universities. Special thanks to Platinum Sponsor Gerson Lehrman Group, and corporate sponsors, HP, CIT, EDGAR Online and Commerzbank.

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