IE is well-known for promoting entrepreneurship and a business mindset, not only through its courses but through the many extracurricular opportunities it offers to its students. A leader in this is the Investment Club, which was created in Segovia, in Santiago Quintana’s first year of university. The latest Stock Pitch Competition took place this November, organized by the Investment Club and the EDEN fund – a student-run investment fund.
Santiago Quintana is a 4th-year PPLE-LLB student, and cofounder of the Investment Club and Eden Fund. Quintana shared, “I was at the residence La Floresta where I met Cris and Carlo […] Carlo and I invested since we were 14. It has always been part of our personality given that we have always liked finance. Yet we saw that in some way, for being first years, we had much more experience than the average.”
In addition, Santiago mentioned how he and Carlo found other clubs unfulfilling, given that they didn’t learn skills within their interests. “We always wanted to teach the practical side of the world of investment,” Quintana said, “we asked ourselves, ‘why don’t we create a club?’” In the beginning, Carlo and Santiago themselves gave classes. Then, from time to time, they would bring in guest speakers. Nevertheless, they always focused on providing a practical approach to investing.
Due to their mission, they asked themselves, “what would be the most practical event that we could create?” This is how the Stock Pitch Competition (SPC) was born in 2021. Through the competition, undergraduate students have the opportunity to step into the shoes of financial analysts. It is hosted twice a year, growing more with every edition.
“Our motivation is to build an investment culture in IE.” Sebastian Perilla (1st-year CS student, officer of the Investment Club) said, “we noticed many investment student-run clubs in the United States which manage a lot of money; it’s also very important in many financial-focused universities or schools. We wanted to bring that to IE.”
Moreover, the SPC is a challenging experience for students, because they delve into the world of finance and perform advanced analyses; which are not yet taught at their level in university. Therefore, they are left to their own means to teach themselves these new concepts and tools. Erick Portales, 2nd-year BBA-BDBA student, described his experience, “it was challenging because prior to the competition, I didn’t know a lot of the things that I ended up doing. I learned a lot about financial terminology; how to do a valuation; a DCF, and what one is supposed to look at when evaluating a company.”
The competition takes place during a couple of months, from the incubating until the presentation. That being said, not all teams gain the opportunity, or privilege, to present. When students decide to apply to the competition, they have the freedom to choose their own stock and have to create a three-slide stock analysis. If judges consider their work worthy enough, students pass the preliminary stage and receive feedback from experts to prepare for the final presentation.
On Friday, the 25th of November, 5 teams were present together with a panel of 4 judges; as Quintana said, “we tried to bring the best judges available in the investment world of professionals in Spain.” This edition was honored with the presence of Andrea Dagnino (Executive Director at Singular Bank), Carlos Garcia (former COO at BNP Paribas), Daniele Cipollone (Executive Director at UBS) and Laura Nuñez (Professor of Finance at IE).
Participants had 10 minutes to present their stock and try to convince the panel to invest in it. Each presentation was followed up by an informative Q&A segment where students’ knowledge was put to the test; as judges found minimal discrepancies or points of discussion. The students’ handled the debate impressively. At some point, the judges even debated amongst themselves and recognized how competent the students were.
At the end of the day, there were three winning teams. First place was awarded to Joshua Kovacs, Thiago Schymura, and Vicente Gullo pitching for Qualcomm; and Berenice Desjars and Eliott Lombard pitching for GKP. Lastly, second place was awarded to Alberto Padilla, Carlos Codert, and Erick Portales pitching Sherwin Williams. Overall, the event was impressive and can be described as one of the most professional, finance-oriented activities at IE. As Perilla said, “we believe it will become one of the biggest events in IE, being in a year, in two. It has already gained a lot of popularity”.
To conclude – a final message from Quintana, “for students that are thinking about joining in the next edition, the most important thing is not to be scared. It can sound daunting or threatening to have to present in front of judges; but in the end, all the learning, nervousness, and pressure, nourishes many skills and abilities – which is something that truly makes you better.”