MBA Students Place Second in Business Ethics Competition

An LMU MBA team took home second-place honors at last week’s International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC), a contest challenging teams of students to tackle some of the business world’s most pressing ethical issues.

The team of Laura Geraghty, Peter Jean-Francois and Brian Paggao – advised by LMU alumnus Bill Murin and LMU clinical assistant professor of management Jeff Thies – won second place in both the 25-minute and 90-second competitions for their presentation on the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The team analyzed the financial, legal and ethical dilemma surrounding the pipeline, including loss of sovereignty and the potential environmental damages. Their recommendation to avoid Sioux territory would bring more value to shareholders in the long term and mirrors the mission statement that stands by the communities and the environment in which they conduct business.

“The competition took us on a condensed journey where we learned the importance of conscious capitalism and the value of making decisions that are in line with the company’s mission,” said Laura Geraghty.

The team also won second place for the women’s run division overall in the “World’s Most Intellectually Daunting Biathlon,” an academic/athletic event that raised money for The School of Choice, which serves children living in extreme poverty in rural Haiti.

“We learned a lot about the process of ethical decision making in business and the effects a decision may have on multiple stakeholders,” said Brian Paggao. “I’m proud of our team and the skills we brought from the LMU MBA program to communicate effectively and win awards in this tough competition.”

In its 21st year, IBECC took place from Wednesday, April 19 through Friday, April 21 at the JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot. The competition featured 35 teams from five countries participating in a series of contests designed to challenge their skills at ethical analysis and problem solving.

“Overall, IBECC was a great learning experience,” said Peter Jean-Francois. “It provided Brian, Laura and myself the opportunity to showcase our knowledge, skills and abilities on a global platform and allowed us to compete against students from domestic and international universities.”

IBECC is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious event of its kind. It was founded by LMU Professor Thomas White and is jointly sponsored by LMU’s Center for Ethics and Business, the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), the W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University (Massachusetts) and the Ethics & Compliance Initiative.

To learn more about IBECC, visit