AlphaChallenge details, schedule, rules, and contact form

  • Each team must consist of three full-time MBA students, of which at least two must be first year students and one of which must be a female. Masters of Finance students are also allowed.
  • For the equity bracket: student teams will be making two (2) recommendations: a long from a pre-defined universe of stocks, and also a “wildcard” (long only) with parameters on the wildcard to be outlined closer to the competition. For the fixed income bracket: students will also be making two (2) recommendations: one high-yield corporate bond pitch and one investment-grade corporate bond pitch.
  • For the defined universe, each team will receive an email approximately one month in advance of the competition, informing them of the universe of stocks available for recommendation. The available stocks will be selected from specific industries and exclude companies in which trading is not considered sufficiently liquid. From the list of available stocks, students must make one, and only one, buy recommendation. (Note(1): if the stock submitted with your resume is in the universe, it cannot be used as any of your pitches (“long" nor "wildcard"); Note(2): the additional “wildcard” selection can come from the universe, but it does not have to; Note(3): the "wildcard" selection must be a US *traded* name, but does not need to be a US domiciled company). The investment horizon is twelve months and the students should assume they represent a $1 billion fund that will fully invest in these two (2) positions.
  • Students will be permitted to use any research tools that are available through their respective school, including Bloomberg, FactSet, StockVal, professionally prepared equity research and industry contacts. FactSet will be made available to each participating student.
  • Presentations must be submitted electronically as two (2) individual PowerPoint files. A template will be provided when the universe is distributed, no later than Nov 1st. File names must include the name of the team’s school, type of pitch, and the stock ticker (example: Long-UNC-MSFT.ppt ). Presentations should not contain any video or other excessively large data objects. Presentations must be emailed to Drew Johnson, Charlie Rodgers, Alyssa Habig, and Mitch Forss no later than 8:00pm EST, Sunday, Nov 14th.
  • Morning rounds will be begin promptly at 7:45am EST for the equity bracket and 8:45am EST for the fixed income on Thursday, December 3rd, and there will be 8 competition Zoom rooms: four (4) for longs and four (4) for wildcards. Teams will be randomly split into two (2) groups of ten (10) schools, and will make two (2) separate pitches, one in each of their assigned Zoom room for a long and wildcard.
  • Each team will have seven (7) minutes to present its stock recommendations. The presentations will be followed by up to ten (10) minutes of questions by the judges. Schedules for the competition will be distributed at the time of the event indicating which room to present in. Time limits will be strictly enforced by the official.
  • Following the first-round presentations, the judges will assign a rank of 1 (best) through 5 (worst) to each team in their room. For the equity bracket, the top eight (8) teams will move on to the semi-final round to pitch the stock from their winning room. The top four (4) teams from the semi-finals will move onto the finals. For the fixed income bracket, the top four (4) teams
  • Judging will be based on the quality of the investment idea, its communication and current risk/reward, to “which idea would you allocated the most capital?”
  • During the lunch break, KFBS representatives will reveal the teams/pitches that will compete in the semi-finals for both the equity and fixed income brackets. The order of presentation for finalist teams will be determined by random drawing.
  • At 3:30pm EST final round presentations will begin; all attendees are invited to observe. Each team will have seven (7) minutes to present their stock recommendations and up to fifteen (20) minutes of questions by the judges. The proceedings will be officiated by a member of the Kenan-Flagler Business School community. Time limits will be strictly enforced by the official.
  • Following the presentations of all four (4) finalists in both brackets, the judges will assess their rankings and the winners will be announced shortly thereafter. The first, second, and third place teams will receive awards.

Pat Hartley Performance Award: Return Calculation Rules

All results are based on the cumulative total percentage returns of both stock recommendations, assuming an equal weighting of each. For determining return, the closing price of the relevant securities on the US exchange trading date exactly three (3) weeks prior to the current competition is used as the ending value, and the closing price of the relevant security on the date of the previous year’s Alpha Challenge competition is used as the beginning value.

The performance award is based only on the positions selected by students during the previous year’s competition. Positions cannot be changed,


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Equity Competition

7:00 AM


7:45 AM

Equity Round 1 - Session 1

8:50 AM

Equity Round 1 - Session 2

9:55 AM

Equity Round 1 - Session 3

11:00 AM

Meet with Mentors

11:30 AM


12:15 PM

Equity Semi-Finalists Announced 

12:30 PM

Equity Semi-Finals - Session 1

1:45 PM

Equity Semi-Finals - Session 2

3:15 PM

Equity Final Teams Announced

3:30 PM

Equity Finals - Session 1

4:45 PM

Equity Finals - Session 2



Evening Events

6:30 PM

Student Reception (Equity & Credit)

6:30 PM

DOR Roundtable

7:00 PM

Judges and Sponsors Dinner

8:15 PM

Awards Ceremony


Credit Competition

8:15 AM


8:45 AM

Credit Round 1 - Session 1

9:50 AM

Credit Round 1 - Session 2

10:55 AM

Credit Round 1 - Session 3

12:00 PM

Credit Round 1 - Session 4

1:00 PM

Meet with Mentors

1:30 PM


3:15 AM

Credit Final Teams Announced 

3:30 PM

Credit Finals - Session 1

4:45 PM

Credit Finals - Session 2


Friday, December 3, 2021

Interview Day

7:00 AM


7:30 AM

Interviews (running every 30 minutes)

12:00 PM

Women's Luncheon (By Invitation Only)

4:00 PM

Interviews Conclude