This field-based case uses the experiences of an equity analyst at his first job post-MBA to explore challenges of persuading a boss to support an action that the analyst determined would benefit the firm. In the A case, Fred Hill had been at his job for two years and believed he had come across a fresh idea?a long stock position in J. C. Penney (JCP). The company was misunderstood by the market, had a catalyst, and the valuation was cheap, all the things his boss usually required to initiate a size position in the portfolio. Hill knew it would take multiple conversations, clear analytical deliverables, and a passionate pitch with the boss to get him comfortable enough to buy JCP. Hill had intended to introduce the stock briefly at the meeting as a prelude to a larger pitch in the next day or two, but the tables had turned and it was time to do it now. The analysis had to be right and the communication crisp or Hill would be fired. At the end of the case, Hill's job is to convince his boss to buy more JCP stock. The A case includes an Excel supplement with Hill's valuation of JCP and would be suitable for an introductory finance class in addition to management communication.
The B case provides Hill's actual pitch, his boss's responses, and the challenge to communicate effectively the reasons to stay with the position during the volatile days that accompanied any new investment in the stock market.