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        College, FMA, Finance

        Auburn Students Win Third Consecutive FMA National Championship

        April 20, 2022 By Michael Ares

        All News


        Team Advances to Finals of Prestigious International Competition

        FMA Team wins FMA National Competition

        Luke Sexton, Maggie Richard and Nick Iannone

        Auburn University’s Chapter of the Financial Management Association (FMA) once again secured top honors in the America’s Region of the global Kroll One Team Challenge. The win marks the third year in a row that a team of Auburn students took the top spot.

        Auburn beat out fellow student finalists from The University of Southern California and Yeshiva University to win the right to move on to the annual YOUniversity Deal Challenge contest in London, England. The annual challenge engages teams of business students from leading universities and colleges across the world to showcase their finance skills through simulated case studies. The top college teams from each region – the Americas, Asia, India, and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) – will square off in London on May 9th for international honors.

        The Harbert College of Business sat down with Nick Iannone, a junior in Finance at Harbert and leader of this year’s winning FMA team, to find out how Auburn students continue to excel in this unique competition, which blends proficiency in core financial analysis principles with real-world experience and practical, market-based factors.

        Interview with Nick Iannone, Team Leader

        Harbert: Let’s start with the basics – how did you and your Auburn teammates Maggie Richard and Luke Sexton manage to get to the finals of the America’s region for the third consecutive year to begin with? How many teams in your region vied for those highly coveted three spots?
        Nick: As for who we were up against, there were more than 100 teams from across the North Americas region competing for a spot in the finals – some of the highest-ranked programs in business education. As for how we did it? Getting to the national finals once again wasn’t easy by any stretch, but in my opinion, the “secret” to Harbert’s unprecedented record of success is two-fold – it all comes down to willingness of all team members to go above and beyond coupled with the tremendous, virtually unlimited support we are blessed with here at Auburn.
        Harbert: Let’s start with the team – can you describe the process and how you and your colleagues approached the challenge as a team?

        Sure. All teams in this year’s competition were provided information on a hypothetical digital media company serving the sports and entertainment industry. We all were tasked with the same three objectives:

        • The first was to provide an analysis of the industry in which the hypothetical company operates…a market analysis.
        • The second was to conduct an equally deep analysis of the phantom company itself, including – importantly – establishing a valuation.
        • Third – and perhaps most important – we all were tasked with creating a strategy and plan of action for raising $50 million in capital to support the hypothetical company’s progress going forward.
        These three components of the challenge demand a wide range of skills and a high level of cooperation from team members. While there were individual steps and tasks to be completed, it was the integration of those tasks into a clear, concise and compelling pitch that made the difference. That process required each and every one of us to work together to ensure all the parts fit. Each of us had to step up and deliver our individual contributions while also being mindful of how those contributions needed to be framed in the overall pitch.
        Harbert: Moving on to the support you cite as the second key component of success. Can you elaborate? What resources were available to you and how did that contribute to your team’s success?

        While we are a student-run organization, the Auburn FMA program wouldn’t be where it is today without Tracy Richard, Director of the Integrated Financial Leadership Program in the Department of Finance. It all begins with Tracy. She started the FMA program at Auburn and, in fact, Tracy was the first person I spoke with when I transferred to Auburn as a junior.

        It was clear to me from the start that she cares deeply about Auburn and Auburn students – FMA or not, she wants us to be successful. And she’s been willing to put her reputation on the line for her students to make sure we get all the opportunities available to us here at Harbert.


        But it doesn’t end there in terms of the support you received, does it?


        Not by a long shot. Our team’s success wouldn’t have been possible without the insight, guidance and relentless support we received from our FMA predecessors.

        I’d start with Kennedy Jarvis, she’s a Senior at Auburn and FMA President. As a senior, she’s not eligible to participate directly again, but she generously served as a critical source of mentorship for this year’s team. She and the other FMA alums were eager to pay back the support they received in the past – that was invaluable.

        I’d also like to thank Jimmy Brewster and Krista Alexton – both FMA alums – for their support. They never hesitated to answer our questions or hop on a call with us to walk through the various aspects of the model we were developing and the presentation we were creating.

        Harbert: That sounds like “paying it back” or “paying it forward,” depending on how you look at it.

        Exactly. I’d say both. What you’ll find with FMA alums is that they value their experiences in FMA so much that they want the next class of FMA at Auburn to have even more success, even better opportunities than they did.

        That’s the DNA of Auburn’s FMA program. We’d like nothing better than to help next year’s Auburn team succeed. We’re here because of the great guidance and help we received along the way, and we want to pay that effort and value back to Auburn students, especially the next class of FMA.