M&R Investments Takes First Place in Our 2021 Global Finale

by Diana Drake

In what can best be described as a year of uncertainty, the 2020-2021 Wharton Global High School Investment Competition offered high school students worldwide something they could count on: the 9th straight year of collaborating with teammates and teachers, building creative investment strategies, analyzing industries and companies, trading stocks in real time, and learning a lot about finance.

A total of 972 teams from 35 countries submitted final investment reports for judge evaluation, the most ever for the competition, which this year was sponsored by Citibank N.A. Singapore for Regions 1 and 2 and BTG Pactual for Region 4.

Following the regional competition rounds, it all came down to Friday, May 7, the Global Finale. The 10 top teams representing five countries answered challenging questions online from the judges and attended a virtual ceremony hosted by Wharton Global Youth Program Executive Director Eli Lesser to find out who would take home this year’s top honors.

Congratulations to the winners of our 2020-2021 Wharton Global High School Investment Competition! They are:

1️⃣ First Place: M&R Investments, Marvin Ridge High School, North Carolina, U.S. (Team Leader: Esha S., Team Advisor: Sree Singaraju)

2️⃣ Second Place: Wells Street Capital, Walter Payton College Prep High School, Illinois, U.S. (Leader: Leo K., Advisor: Kathryn Person)

3️⃣ Third Place: Avant-Garde Investments, Tesla STEM High School, Washington, U.S. (Leader: Dhruv S., Advisor: Matthew Travis)

⭐ Honorable Mention: TSRSM Capital, Shri Ram School, Moulsari, India (Leader: Vansh J., Advisor: Vandana Sharma)

Two key themes shaped the virtual Global Finale: gratitude for student teams’ disciplined commitment to the competition and admiration for their financial knowledge and skills.

“Advice from my seat in investing: maintain the discipline of your investment process and be flexible when things don’t work out.” — Virgilio Aquino, Competition Judge

“I was very impressed with many of the suggestions that you guys came up with,” said Florian Hagenbuch, a 2010 Wharton graduate and successful entrepreneur who served as this year’s competition client. Student teams were building investment strategies around Hagenbuch’s financial objectives in hopes of “winning” his business as the best strategists and analysts. “I made sure to review each and every presentation you put together,” he added. “In fact, there are a few recommendations in your portfolios that I will even look forward to implementing in my portfolio.”

This year’s Global Finale judges included: Virgilio Aquino (C’07, WG’12), investment director at Aberdeen Standard Investments; Linda Cox, a retired business education teacher and former investment professional who previously advised two consecutive winning teams in the competition; Muk Rao (C’94, GSE’97), senior technologist at Wharton Research Data Services; and Patrick Yung (WG’00), senior vice president, corporate development and strategic investments for Independence Blue Cross.

The judges took a moment on Friday to say a few words to the top 10 teams.

“When I saw all the different presentations, I was truly amazed,” said Yung. “The maturity level, the thoughtfulness and the amount of time and effort for each of you to do that on top of your studies as a high school student really is impressive.”

Added Aquino: “You are already way ahead of the curve. When I was your age, I did not know what a Monte Carlo simulation was. To see those concepts being applied in presentations just blows my mind. Advice from my seat in investing: maintain the discipline of your investment process and be flexible when things don’t work out.”

Students on this year’s first-place team received full scholarships to the Wharton Global Youth Program Future of the Business World online summer course. All teams are taking home winning plaques and certificates.

Registration for the 2021-2022 Wharton Global High School Investment Competition begins June 1! Visit the website for all the key dates in next year’s competition, as well as to read about exciting changes to the rules. Questions? Email wghs-invcomp@wharton.upenn.edu.