Villanova School of Business team takes second place in Real Estate Challenge

Villanova, Pa., April 26, 2016 — A team of six Villanova School of Business undergraduates placed second among eight universities earlier this month at the USC Marshall International Case Competition.

VSB’s team was comprised of Morgan Cooke ’16 VSB, Nicoletta DeSimone ’16 VSB, Sean Doherty ’16 VSB, Tyler Margraf ’16 VSB, Christian Vergilio ’16 VSB and Alex Zeuli ’16 VSB.

The VSB students were challenged with analyzing an industrial development prospect along with the opportunity to refinance three underperforming industrial properties in the current portfolio of 10 assets. Through comprehensive research and analysis, the group presented a solution to pass on the development opportunity and to refinance and sell the underperforming assets in order to finance the purchase of a separate asset that better fit their investment objectives.

With only four days to prepare their case, the team presented the findings to a panel of 32 judges comprised of professors and industry professionals.

“The success of these students represents how they are able to connect theory with business practices, a key aspect of the Villanova curriculum,” said Shawn Howton, Faculty Director, The Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate and Associate Professor, Finance. “We are very proud of their performance in this case competition.”

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is ranked #1 in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek and has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Serving over 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, VSB is home to six Centers or Institutes of Excellence (the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, the Center for Business Analytics, the Center for Global Leadership, the Center for Marketing & Consumer Insights, the Center for Church Management & Business Ethics and the Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Institute) with each center and institute designed to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research and teaching opportunities for business faculty. VSB is known for academic rigor; creativity and innovation; hands-on and service learning opportunities; a firm grounding in ethics; and an applied education that prepares students to become outstanding leaders and global citizens within the ever-changing, complex, and fast-paced world of business. For more, visit

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