NYU Stern School of Business | Groups


2021 NYU Stern MBA Credit Pitch Competition

2021 Sponsors



Credit-based securities, 3-person teams (two max)


Application deadline: October 15th
Submission Deadline: November 17th
Send all submission & inquiries to robert.dukich@stern.nyu.edu

Price Pool

1st Place: $1,500
2nd Place: $900
3rd Place: $600

Preliminary Round

Teams will be divided into different pools. Each team will have up to 15 minutes to present, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A.

Final Round

Preliminary winners will advance to pitch to new judges. Each team will have up to 15 minutes to present, followed by 20 minutes of Q&A

Official Application Form Link/Payment


Entry Fee: $150 per team. Please send payment via Venmo to @Bobby-Dukich by October 15th

Powerpoint Template Link/Deck Submission


Please submit .pptx files to robert.dukich@stern.nyu.edu by November 17th

Judging Criteria

Presentation (20%):

  • Communication skills (10%): Students are able to communicate their ideas effectively in a clear and concise manner. Team members coordinate well with each other and form a united group.
  • Presentation material (10%): Presentation material supports the investment thesis effectively with a professional look. 

Investment Thesis (80%)

  • Strength of Investment Thesis (35%): Students propose compelling arguments to justify their investment recommendation.
  • Students have introduced differentiated research (20%): Investment thesis includes elements demonstrating students have looked beyond usual industry data to support investment thesis.
  • Valuation Technique (20%): The calculation of the target price is based on valid valuation techniques and assumptions.
  • Risks (5%): Students understand the major risks of their investment thesis.
Keynote Speaker

Ashish Dafria
Chief Investment Officer | Aviva

Ashish is the Chief Investment Offficer for Aviva, managing over £250bn of assets. As CIO, Ashish is responsible for defining the investment strategy, delivering Aviva's sustainable investment ambitions, helping develop customer investment solutions, and for delivering the investment performance for shareholder and customer investments. Previously, Ashish led the formation of Aviva investors' first Global Research team and before that was Head of Credit Research for Aviva Investors North America. Ashish will speak on ESG Meets Credit.

Prior to joining Aviva, Ashish was a Director with UBS Investment Bank in New York and Chicago, and previously was a Senior Ratings Analyst with the Indian rating agency, Crisil.

Ashish is a CFA charterholder and earned his MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University, where he graduated at the top of his class. Ashish also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Indore, India.

Judge Panel

Mitch Unger
Senior Credit Analyst | T Rowe Price 

Mitch Unger is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., and a corporate credit analyst in the Fixed Income Division, covering health care and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to joining T. Rowe Price in 2018, he was a senior research analyst at Nuveen, TIAA Investments. Before that, he was a product control analyst at JP Morgan. Mitch earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. from New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Andrew Dialynas
Fixed Income Investment Analyst | Capital Group

Andrew Dialynas is a fixed income investment analyst at Capital Group with research responsibility for senior living in the municipal bond sector. He has nine years of investment industry experience and has been with Capital Group for two years. Prior to joining Capital, Andrew worked as a vice president at Jefferies. Before that, he was an associate at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of business and a bachelor's degree in economics from Pomona College. Andrew is based in Los Angeles.

Rick W.Liu
Senior Portfolio Manager | HSBC Global Asset Management

Rick W. Liu is a Senior Portfolio Manager on the Global and US Credit team at HSBC Global Asset Management, based in New York. He is the lead portfolio manager for all US and global multi-credit and total return credit strategies, helping the team manage over $25bn in credit assets under management. He also is a member of the firm's global credit allocation committee.

He joined HSBC Global Asset Management New York in 2005 as a Credit Analyst on the Distressed Opportunities investment team and moved to the US Credit team in 2011 with a primary focus on high yield credit. Prior to joining HSBC Asset Management, Mr. Liu was part of the Global Analyst rotational program of HSBC in Hong Kong and London. Previously, he had performed internships at HSBC and at Credit Suisse in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. He has been working in the industry since 2003. Mr. Liu holds a BCom(Hons) in Finance from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia and is a CFA Charterholder.


Mike Kerlan
Head of Research | Credit Capital Investments

Michael Kerlan is Head of Research at CCI. He is also responsible for the Communication Services sector for the THF and Indus.

Prior to joining CCI, Mike worked at Wells Fargo Securities, LLC in the Equity Research Group following the Communications Technology sector. He previously worked at Moody’s Investor Services, in the Corporate Credit Group, where he followed Technology, Media, and Telecom. Earlier in his career, Mike worked as a network engineer at International Paper, DoubleClick, and TD Waterhouse.

Mike completed a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, where he graduated cum laude, and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, where he completed a thesis titled, “Video Broadcast and Conferencing – A Performance Study and Traffic Characterization”. Mike also completed a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Quantitative Finance at New York University, where he was a Stern Scholar.


Robert Hopper
Director of Corporate Credit and Economic Research | Alliance Bernstein

Robert Hopper oversees the teams that provides fundamental analysis of global investment grade, high yield and emerging-market corporate and sovereign issuers and global economic analysis. Hopper is also responsible for driving the corporate credit research outlook for the fixed-income department. Hopper sits various internal investment committees and is the author of a number of published papers, including insights into corporate defaults and fallen angels during COVID, inflation risks, and rising star candidates. Earlier in his tenure at AB, Hopper was responsible for coverage of the high-yield telecom, cable, satellite, and media sectors. Prior to joining the firm in 2013, Hopper was a managing director and head of the High Yield and Investment Grade Credit Analyst team at UBS Investment Bank. Earlier in his career, Hopper served as an equity analyst at UBS, Bear Stearns, and Wasserstein Perella. Hopper holds a BS in accounting from Saint Michael’s College and an MBA from Boston College.


Robert Schiffman
Senior Credit Analyst | Bloomberg Intelligence 

Robert Schiffman is a senior credit analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence specializing in high yield and investment grade technology.

Prior to joining Bloomberg, he was the head of investment grade and crossover research at Credit Suisse, where he joined when the firm merged with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Robert has covered the global telecommunications, media and technology universe for over 25 years and had been consistently ranked on the Institutional Investor All-American Fixed Income team. He has served on the board of the Fixed Income Analysts Society.

Robert has an MBA in finance and accounting from Columbia Business School and a bachelors of science in applied economics from Cornell University.


Mark Kronfeld
Managing Director, Global Head of Restructuring | Province

Mark Kronfeld is a Managing Director at Province with over 26 years of experience as a distressed investor, restructuring advisor, bankruptcy lawyer and litigator. At Province, Mark focuses on trustee and fiduciary services (e.g., independent director, litigation trustee, etc.), litigation services and restructurings.

Mark has extensive experience in restructuring and distressed investing across the capital structure in a wide range of industries and regions. He has been a leader in some of the most complex and successful bankruptcies and distressed investments in the last two decades and has led numerous ad hoc and official creditor committees in corporate, municipal and sovereign restructurings across the world. 

Most recently, Mark was a senior executive at BlackRock where he was the Global Head of Restructuring and served on BlackRock’s Global Credit Oversight Committee. He was responsible for overseeing restructurings across the platform as well as related litigation, credit monitoring and risk functions. Mark also served as a senior member of the Office of the CIO where he managed U.S. special situations funds and led BlackRock’s distressed and credit training programs. Before BlackRock, he was a portfolio manager at Plymouth Lane Capital, managing director at BlueMountain Capital, partner at Owl Creek Asset Management, and senior analyst at Aurelius Capital. 

Before his career in finance, Mark was a bankruptcy attorney and litigator. As a bankruptcy attorney, he represented debtors, creditors, trustees and boards in complex chapter 11 cases. As a litigator, he handled a wide variety of commercial and bankruptcy litigation. Mark also served as a prosecutor in New York City, where he was a member of the Investigations Division and prosecuted cases involving complex white-collar crime, fraud, money laundering, official corruption, organized crime, and murder, achieving a 100% jury trial conviction rate.

Mark is a highly regarded restructuring expert and frequent lecturer, panelist, and author on distressed investing, restructuring, corporate governance and credit markets. He is an adjunct professor at NYU Stern where he co-teaches Corporate Bankruptcy & Reorganization and is also a lecturer at Columbia Business School where he teaches Distressed Value Investing. He was also a bankruptcy law professor at Boston University School of Law and has guest lectured at Wharton, Duke, UVA & Oxford. He earned his MBA from NYU Stern, JD from Boston University School of Law, and BA from University at Albany.

Participating Schools