Fifteen universities compete in fourth Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition

Students from fifteen of the top undergraduate real estate programs in the world competed for a share of $16,000 in prize money at the fourth annual Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition on November 15 at the TIAA-CREF headquarters in New York City. After edging out the Cornell team in the preliminary round, the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) won the competition and the $10,000 grand prize. The other two finalists were the University of Connecticut and Indiana University. The competition was organized and hosted by the Center for Real Estate and Finance (CREF).

“In just four years, the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition has grown to be the largest such competition in the world, and this year we had teams from five different countries. The caliber of the teams—their analyses, presentations, and professionalism—gets better every year,” said competition organizer Daniel Quan, Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor in Asian Hospitality Management.

The real estate case featured in the competition was based on an actual transaction and written by Bradley Walker ’10, Darren Wang ’11, and Kyle Washington ’09. The six-member student teams had five days to analyze and make recommendations on the case. They then presented their conclusions before a panel of judges, all distinguished real estate professionals. After a preliminary presentation round, the three finalist teams presented their case solution to the full panel of judges.

Other participating schools were the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Cornell University, Maastricht University, New York University, Pennsylvania State University, Remin University of China, University of Cambridge, University of Guelph, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Villanova University.

TIAA-CREF showed extraordinary support for the event by hosting, feeding, and welcoming the 120 students, faculty, and judges. Other competition sponsors were Archon Hospitality/Goldman Sachs, AREA Property Partners, BlackRock, Clarion Partners, CreXus Investment Corporation, GTIS, National Realty and Development Corporation, New York Women Executives in Real Estate, Prudential Real Estate Investors, Sawyer Realty Holdings, and Westbrook Partners.

Judges for the competition were
John E. Beaman, head Claros trader, AREA Property Partners;
• Greg Fay, CFO, Archon Group and Goldman Sachs;
• Sally Gordon, managing director, Risk and Quantitative Analysis Group, BlackRock;
• Obaid Khan, CFO, Tishman Realty Corporation;
• Joanna Mulford, principal, Prudential Real Estate Investors;
• John G. Orrico, president, National Realty and Development Corp.;
• Thad Paul ’98, managing director, The Carlyle Group;
• Michael Profenius, senior partner, Head of Business Development, Grove International Partners;
• Kevin Riordan, president and CEO, CreXus Investment Corp Annaly Capital Management;
• Paula Schaefer, New York Women Executives in Real Estate;
• Sush Torgalkar ’99, chief operating officer, Westbrook Partners;
• Robert Vahradian, senior managing director, GTIS;
• Tim Wang, senior vice president, Head of Investment Research, Clarion Partners; and
• Shannon Wright, director of global real estate strategy and research, TIAA-CREF.

After the competition, CREF held a reception in collaboration with REMAC – Real Estate Minor Alumni of Cornell at the InterContinental Times Square. Young alumni from the real estate minor, students, faculty, and friends attended the event, which was hosted and sponsored by Tishman Hotel & Realty.

For more information on the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition, visit the competition web page.