Winning Approaches: UT Austin Real Estate Challenge

L. to r., and top to bottom: Mogabgab, Kepler, Eder, Simmons, McEachron, and Romero take on a market in turmoil

The Competition: Real Estate Challenge, UT Austin, Nov. 2011.

The Team: Full-time students Christian Eder, Josh Mogabgab, Derek Simmons, Nicholas Romero, and Tyler Kepler, all MBA 12; evening student Charlie McEachron, MBA 12.

The Outcome: Second place (second year in a row).

The Field: Haas came in ahead of Stanford, MIT Sloan, Wharton, and Yale.

The Challenge: How to buy a partner out of a joint venture involving three office buildings.

The Winning Approach: The Berkeley team used rights embedded in the joint venture agreement to buy its partner out of the deal.

Defining Principles at Work: “We learned to think about deals from the perspective of each party at the table—developer, investor, counter-party, lender—and evaluate each of their incentives to push a potential transaction forward,” says Romero of a Students Always approach.

The Motivation:  “We’re interested in how the built environment shapes urban areas,” says Kepler. “There is still tremendous opportunity to think creatively about real estate finance-related issues leftover from the recent financial crisis.”

Fuel of Choice: Take-out Thai food, Cut Copy mixtapes, Peet’s coffee, and Tony Romo jokes.

Demonstrated Prowess 2011-12: Education, management of organizations, marketing, entrepreneurship, and real estate.

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