Cornell Students Take First Place at Real Estate Case Competition

Nov 18, 2015

Contact: Erica Heim, 607.255.6574,

Cornell Students Take First Place at Real Estate Case Competition

Ithaca, NY, November 18, 2015 – The Cornell team took first place this year at the seventh annual Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition. The six-member winning team representing Cornell was Yiwei Chen '16, Jackson Foo '16, Ryan Helkowski '16, Jack Henry Kapp '17, Sarah Murdoch '16, and Tia Wei '16. Nineteen teams of undergraduate students from the top real estate programs in the world competed for a share of $21,500 in prize money. As first place winners, the Cornell team walked away with a purse of $10,000. The other finalists of the competition were University of Sydney in second place, Indiana University in third, and University of Wisconsin at Madison and New York University in fourth and fifth place.

Organized by the Center for Real Estate and Finance at the School of Hotel Administration (SHA), the competition has been drawing an ever-increasing number of universities since its inaugural year. This year's competition garnered 19 teams from seven countries with more than 150 student participants. Daniel Quan, SHA professor and creator of the competition commented, "This is probably one of the largest such international competitions in the world. We had teams representing the United States, Canada, South Korea, China, Japan, United Kingdom, and Australia." The buzz around the event this year was that the judges and observers were duly impressed with the professional quality of the student presentations.

The competition tasks student teams to prepare an analysis of an actual commercial real estate transaction. The winning team's case was provided by Fortress Investment Group and written by Bradley Walker and Darren Wang. The Cornell team was asked to play the role of an international real estate private equity fund and had to evaluate the merits of each of three major assets held by a company that was being considered in a large scale acquisition.

This year's participating universities were: Brown University, Cornell University, Indiana University, Konkuk University, McGill University, New York University, Pennsylvania State University, Renmin University of China, Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Aberdeen, University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business, University of Cambridge, University of Connecticut, University of Guelph, University of Michigan, University of Sydney, University of Texas at Austin, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Villanova University.

The Center for Real Estate and Finance is grateful to the generous support of its sponsors: title sponsor, Access Point Financial, Inc., platinum sponsor Robert D. Kline and Chartres Lodging Group, Blackstone, Cantor Commercial Real Estate, Convene, Criterion Real Estate Capital, Grove International Partners, Macklowe Properties, Proskauer, Prudential Real Estate Investors, Related Urban Development, Sawyer Realty Holdings, Silverstein Properties, Starwood Capital Group, TIAA-CREF, Tishman Realty Corporation, Witkoff Group, and WX: New York Women Executives in Real Estate. The competition is funded in part by the Marjorie Boas Levins and Jack Levins/F.H.T. Rhodes Real Estate Case Competition Fund.
About the Center for Real Estate and Finance
The Center for Real Estate and Finance, established in 2009, is the foremost clearinghouse for hospitality real estate and finance information. Defined by its intellectual capital, industry experience, and rigorous academics, the center is respected as a leader of real estate and finance. Built on a tradition of quality research in the hospitality industry and a growing real estate and finance faculty, the center is at the forefront of research in all areas of commercial real estate—from studying the behavior of real estate assets in investment portfolios to understanding real estate capital markets and science of hedging real estate risk.

Center Members: Access Point Financial, Inc. • Atlantic Pacific Companies • The Buccini/Pollin Group • The Chartres Lodging Group • Clearview Hotel Capital • Crescent Heights • EY • Grove International Partners • Hersha Hospitality Trust • HFF • Hilton Worldwide • Hudson's Bay Company • HVS • Hyatt • IHG • Jones Lang LaSalle • LaSalle Hotel Properties • Marriott International • Paramount Lodging Advisors • PwC • Proskauer • Prudential Real Estate Investors • Real Capital Analytics • RLJ Lodging Trust • Sawyer Realty Holdings • Starwood Capital Group • Stonebridge Companies • Sunstone Hotel Investors • W Holdings • Watermark Capital Partners, LLC • Wells Fargo • Westbrook Partners • Wyndham Hotel Group