Penn Team Takes First Place at International Real Estate Competition

Six undergraduate students from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania took home the first place title and top prize of $10,000 from the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition, Nov. 13-14, in New York City.

Seniors Amrajan Aujla of Vancouver, B.C., Elena Clarfield of Malibu, Calif., and Elizabeth Powers of Cleveland; juniors Carol Chen of Taiwan and Thomas Wu of Vancouver, B.C.; and sophomore Katherine Salvatori of Sarasota, Fla., delivered the best proposal for a hypothetical investment opportunity.

On a Thursday competitors were provided a case based on a real retail property located in a major retail corridor in Madrid. By Monday evening, the team from Wharton and their peers had to submit final investment strategies.

“They worked creatively and quickly over the weekend, dividing tasks and running the numbers for a range of scenarios regarding changing forecasts for economic conditions,” said Benjamin Keys, the faculty advisor for the case competition and assistant professor of real estate.

The case required the students to weigh the costs and benefits of the investment property, research the Madrid retail market and develop a “pro forma analysis” that outlined the possible risks and returns in order to recommend a specific investment plan.

“They had a great vision for how to approach this project and make the most compelling presentation possible. Their final presentation was polished, professional and quite nuanced given that they only had 15 minutes to present it to the case judges, who are industry professionals,” Keys said. “I was deeply impressed by their approach and expect that this group of students has a great future in similar real-life deals ahead of them.”

Wharton Real Estate Competiiton