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USD Team Wins International ARGUS Challenge

REAL ESTATE: 2024 Marks 8th First Place Win for Knauss School of Business

SAN DIEGO – Altus Group Limited (TSX:AIF), a leading provider of asset and fund intelligence for commercial real estate, announced on April 23 the 2024 winners of its 15th annual ARGUS University Challenge.

More than 85 students from 20 universities from around the world competed for $25,000 in scholarship awards.

A team of five University of San Diego Knauss School of Business Master of Science in Real Estate students, all set to receive their MSRE degrees this year, were awarded first place in the ARGUS Challenge. The USD team included Kevin Dixon, Dillard Harvey, Hunter Loncar, Grant Neeley and Sandis Seale.

Charles Tu, Ph.D.
Academic Director, MSRE Program
University of San Diego

Charles Tu, Ph.D., the Daniel F. Mulvihill Endowed Chair of the Real Estate Department and academic director of the MSRE program, served as the team’s faculty advisor.

‘Complex Investment Scenario’

For this year’s challenge, the competing teams were evaluated on their ability to leverage ARGUS Enterprise to present a summary investment recommendation based on a hypothetical case study. The report was to include a summary investment recommendation to the King and the Investment Committee of the Royal State Fund, regarding Kings Courts.

The report was to encompass a comprehensive analysis of the property’s performance for the next 10 years, considering building, pre-letting, financing, development, and market data, along with personal assumptions using ARGUS Enterprise.

The winners were selected by a judging panel consisting of leading industry experts.

“This year’s ARGUS Challenge presented a complex investment scenario in a fictional European real estate market,” Neeley said. “The Altus Group tasked our team with a 10-parcel mixed-use development opportunity with constrained equity and debt parameters. Our team was able to create a unique hold/sell scenario for certain assets along with a creative financing strategy to achieve a sizable return for this year’s judges.”

“The 2024 ARGUS University Challenge brought the best out of our team,” Dixon said. “We worked tirelessly for hours in-person and over Zoom. Our willingness to work with each other and commit fully to our parts throughout the report paid off in the end. Each team member brought a certain level of expertise.”

History of Competition Wins

USD teams have done exceptionally well in this competition, taking first place on eight occasions (including 2024), second place on five occasions, third place on one occasion and an honorable mention on one occasion.

“I’m so proud of our students for their exceptional performance in this year’s ARGUS University Challenge,” Tu said. “They not only utilized the software but also applied a broad range of knowledge and skills cultivated throughout the MSRE program. Their deep understanding of real estate markets, coupled with strategic thinking and strong problem-solving abilities, truly set them apart.”

The other teams who placed in this year’s ARGUS competition include the International Real Estate Business School at the University of Regensburg (second place); Cornell University (third place) and Baruch College (fourth place).

University of San Diego
FOUNDED: 1949
PRESIDENT: James T. Harris III
STUDENTS: 8,000+
ACADEMIC DIVISIONS: 8
WEBSITE: sandiego.edu
NOTABLE: USD began as separate colleges for men and women, founded under the leadership of Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill and Bishop Charles Francis Buddy of the Diocese of San Diego.

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