ModelOff Round 2 Wrap-Up

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Well done to everyone who competed last Saturday in Round 2 of ModelOff 2014. As always, a brilliant challenge set by our Question Design Team: kudos to Joseph McDaid, Dan Mayoh and Alex Gordon. Most competitors recognized that the questions in this Round were more practical in focus, a common tendency of Round 2 questions, which suited those who didn’t come from a traditional finance background.

Top Performer Comments:
Owen Auger (Fonterra, NZ) and Anup Agarwal (Bangalore, India) finished in a tie for first, with a stunning 119/120. In Anup’s case, what’s more extraordinary was that he completed the test with almost 20 minutes still on the clock! It’s no wonder Anup described the experience as “one of the most thrilling 100 minutes of my life!”

Seven finalists finished the Qualification Rounds with two triple-digit scores (i.e. over 100). They are: Alvin Woon, Peter Suen, Owen Auger, Michael Clarke, Anup Agarwal, Joseph Lau and Nick Sanford. The consistency these seven demonstrated was enough to earn each of them a well-deserved spot in New York for December’s Finals.

The 16 Finalists:
We have ModelOff’s first ever finalists from India, South Africa (indeed, the first ever African Finalist) and Sweden. Congratulations to Anup Agarwal, Christo Kritzinger and Linus Lund respectively. New Zealand’s success is a story in itself with three of her own finalists (Owen Auger, Michael Clarke and Levi Bailey). For the first time, two females have made the Top 16 (Yuan Li and defending champion Hilary Smart), but no student has made the Finals in 2014. The average age of ModelOff Finalists in 2014 has climbed to 30.3 (up from 29.4 in 2013 and 25.9 in 2012) – showing that seemingly nothing can trump real-world practical experience.

The ModelOff 2014 Finalists’ Profiles are available at

Section Breakdowns for Round 2’s Top 100:
Average Overall Score: 93/120

Section 1: Practice and Theory MCQS
Average Score: 14/20
Highlight: Nobody scored full marks, however 4 competitors scored 19/20

Section 2: Time is Money
Average Score: 20/35
Highlight: 12 scored full marks on this section

Section 3: Stepping Up
Average Score: 34/35
Highlight: The Top 100 stepped up alright. Only 14 of them DIDN’T get full marks (86% did!)

Section 4: Purple City
Average Score: 25/35
Highlight: 59 of the Top 100 scored full marks

Countries represented in Round 2 Top 100:
USA (22), Russia (16), Australia (15), UK (12), Canada (7), India and NZ (5 each); China, South Africa and Spain (2 each); Belgium, Chile, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore and Sweden (1 each)

Top Companies in Round 2:Le CFO Masque, PwC, National Australia Bank, Deloitte, Financial Consulting Group, Deutsche Bank, EY
Top Universities in Round 2:University of Melbourne, Cornell University, IESE Business School, National University of Singapore, Vienne University of Economics and Business

Operational and tech comments:

  • Next to no issues in the control room for the Round, suggesting competitors had everything they needed to complete the challenge.
  • Some of you commented that the challenge finished a couple minutes before “internet time” hit the hour mark. In reality, what happened was we opened up the challenge 2 minutes before the set start time – to account for the fact that people are so anxious to get started. That doesn’t affect the amount of time you have to complete the challenge – as your clock at the top of the page indicates, you will always have a full two hours.
  • We also note your feedback that it would be nice to have a few minutes to submit models just after the challenge finishes. We have no formal position on this yet, but we will take this to the Board for consideration as a potential development for 2015.
  • Timezones again seemed to be more favourable in Round 2, aside from one competitor who unfortunately lamented that “6:00am Arizona time the morning after my brother’s wedding … was not an ideal modeling condition, but I enjoyed the test nonetheless.” A very brave effort!

We do hope you enjoyed the technical, commercial and innovative challenges of ModelOff Round 2. We are very much excited to go to New York in a few weeks to crown a new World Champion. You can see the action unfold from around the world, even if you’re not in NYC by watching the Finals Live Stream on Sunday December 7, 2014.

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