Credit Pitch Logistics and Rules


Fink Center Credit Pitch Competition Rules and Logistics


  • 1. Composition: Each team will consist of between three and four members who must be full-time or fully-employed MBA students. Teams may be comprised of first or second year MBA students. Only one team can represent an invited university.
  • 2. Submission and Notification: Invitations will be e-mailed to all invited teams with a registration link in the Winter before the competition. All team member resumes, emails, and names are due by 11:59 PST on January 16, 2018. If your team is selected, a registration fee of $275 will be due by January 22, 2018. 
  • 3. Team Names: All schools will be given a Greek letter team name by the Credit Pitch organizers, so their school affiliation will not be identified by each other or the judges.
  • 4. Substitutions: Accepted teams may only change team members on a case-by-case basis, with permission from the event coordinators.
  • 5. Dress Code: Dress code is business formal.
  • 6. Travel: Each team is responsible for its own travel to Los Angeles, CA and travel advice will be given before the competition.
  • 7. Accommodations: All teams will receive one free night hotel stay for April 17, 2018. More details will be provided after teams are accepted.


  • 1. Each team starts with $100k "paper money" to invest in bonds included in the Merrill Lynch High Yield Master II.
  • 2. Portfolios must include at least 10 bonds that belong to the Merrill Lynch High Yield Master II.
  • 3. Performance will be measured based on Bloomberg pricing on a weekly basis and reported to teams weekly.
  • 4. All trades placed during the week are due by 11:59 PM EST Sunday and will be priced using the prior Friday’s EOD price. Trades will take effect on Monday morning (not the day the trades are submitted).
  • 5. Each team is able to do 20 trades over the span of the 11-weeks. A trade is either a purchase or a sale of a high yield bond mentioned above. April 10th will be the final day of performance.
  • 6. Teams must write up a two page or less investment thesis to be submitted to the Credit Pitch organizers by Monday, January 22, 2018.
  • 7. No limitations on sector allocation, or trade concentration.
  • 8. A "scoreboard" will be posted on the Fink Center website and updated on a weekly basis. The "scoreboard" will list weekly and cumulative performance, so teams can track each others' performance. 


  • 1. Team Presentations: Teams will be randomly divided into divisions. As part of this process the presentation order for teams will be randomly assigned.
  • 2. Pitch Content: Pitches will be judged based upon presentation of bond idea, fundamental analysis of bond issuer, bond specific investment considerations, and risk vs return analysis.
  • 3. Timing: Presentations will begin in the afternoon. Each team will have up to 15 minutes to present, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A with the judges. All team members are expected to contribute to the presentation and Q&A. Each presentation will be officiated by a member of the UCLA Anderson School of Management community. Time limits will be strictly enforced by the official. All teams are required to stay for the entirety of the presentations.
  • 4. Judging: All presentations will be judged by industry professionals. The order of presentation for finalist teams will be determined by random drawing. An evaluation form will be provided with the judging guidelines for both judges and participants. Areas of evaluation will include: quality of analysis, presentation skills, Q&A expertise, and strength of investment thesis. Following all of the presentations, the judges will deliberate. The officiating member will sum the ranks of the team with the highest score to determine the winner of the judges’ award.


  • 1. Awards: There will be a prize awarded for the best 11-week portfolio performance, as well as prize(s) that will be given out based on team performance during Phase 2.
    Announcement of the winners will be made at the awards ceremony immediately following the conclusion of the final presentations.
  • 2. Publicity: Press coverage of the Fink Center Credit Pitch Competition is sought, and although there is no guarantee, it is possible that reporters could be in the rooms during the competition. UCLA Anderson will dispatch a press release on the results of the event. All team members agree to allow their names and likenesses to be used in press materials. Students may list their accomplishments on their resumes. A resume book will be put together and mailed to the judges after the competition.


  • 1. No External Aid: No outside help will be allowed from anyone in preparing the materials and presentation; help can be solicited from industry contacts to better help analyze data.
  • 2. Research Integrity: All data sources are fair game, including the Internet and any proprietary quantitative or fundamental models developed in advance. However, proper attribution must be provided (i.e., sources must be clearly marked on each slide).
  • 3. Team Firewalls: It is expected that teams will fully respect one another's privacy, and that team members will neither seek nor provide information to anyone outside their own team.
  • 4. Violations: Any violation of these rules constitutes grounds for disqualification and notification of the Academic Services dean at the offending team’s graduate MBA program.