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Point72 Asset Management announced that a team of Penn students would advance to the final round of their annual case competition, where students presented stock recommendations on JetBlue Ariways. | Courtesy of GotCredit/Creative Commons

A team of Penn students is advancing to the final round of the annual case competition held by Point72 Asset Management.

The team is composed of Wharton junior Jackson Wei, Wharton sophomore Jiecheng Bao and College and Wharton junior Han Tian. According to Jessica Anderson, the head of Investment Talent Development at Point72, the firm started the competition to recruit talented future investors.

“What better way to attract top talent than to have a competition?” Point72’s Managing Director and Head of Corporate Communications Mark Herr added.

Competition and talent seemed to be the operative words. According to Anderson, the Point72 Case Competition has seen a 100 percent increase in applications since it began in 2014. This year, 202 teams across 24 schools applied to the competition. Of this pool, 63 teams across 19 schools competed.

“Submissions were of extraordinary quality,” Anderson added.

The competition asked teams of three students to present stock recommendations on JetBlue Airways to Point72 representatives. Competitors created PowerPoint presentations and Excel models and presented the rationale behind their decisions and price targets. The competition was narrowed down to the top five teams, which included groups from Penn, Binghamton University, Duke University, Harvard University and the University of Michigan. After assigning a mentor to each team, Point72 gave the competitors three days to revise their presentations. Then, the company flew the finalists to New York for the final round of the competition, which took place on Saturday, Oct. 17.

Herr said that competitors had to be “really smart, really dedicated and really good to get it right.” Anderson added that all of the finalists “generally had a great perspective” on the stock and were able to support their conclusions with “rigorous data and research that they had done.”

According to Herr, the winning team will be announced this week. In addition to a monetary award, the winners will receive special consideration if they choose to apply to Point72’s Summer Analyst Program. The ten-week training program is led by Point72 investment professionals and is part of the Point72 Academy, which provides university graduates with training in equity investment.

“It’s the only one of its kind,” Herr said of the program.

Point72 considers qualified Academy members for positions within the firm following their completion of the program. According to Herr, Point72 seeks candidates who “have the skills and the mind” to be great investors.

“What we’re looking for is performance, not pedigree,” he said. “The next generation of great investors is sitting in a Penn classroom somewhere. We want them here.”

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