2023 Best & Brightest MBA: Archie Preston, CEIBS

Archie Preston          

China Europe International Business School

“The China-Europe cross-border banker making the move “in-house” to a Chinese healthcare giant.”

Hometown: London, UK

Fun fact about yourself: I am a retired/failed child actor.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Chinese Studies, University of Cambridge

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? DealGlobe Advisory (cross-border China-Europe M&A advisory firm), Vice President

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? Yuwell Medical Technology Group, Overseas Strategy and Investment Director

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

President of Finance and Investment Club

Emerson Scholarship, Community Service Scholarship, China Ambassador Scholarship

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Organising a series of well-attended events as President of the Finance Club, and personally organizing over 15 job interviews for fellow classmates using my network.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In 2020, at my previous firm, I managed a team based across London and Shanghai, and led the execution of three complicated $100m+ cross border deals (and several smaller deals), reporting directly to our CEO. It was a high-pressure period of time, and completing the deals without any employee turnover during that period is something I am very proud of.

Why did you choose this business school? CEIBS is the only business school which has a combination of international top tier teaching with a sufficiently detailed China focus.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Visiting Professor Jeffrey Sampler was able to combine theoretical learnings with vivid real life case studies and a good sense of humor. Learnt a lot during his course.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? Marketing – it was something I had never encountered before, and although I am by no means a marketing genius having taken the course, I felt I learnt a lot about an area I previously knew nothing about.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I was lucky enough to present the CEIBS annual CNY gala. It was a fantastic performance of modern Chinese music, and the ability to meet alumni from a wide range of years and courses was a lot of fun.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would have worked harder to get to know more alumni earlier on

What is the biggest myth about your school? I had no prior expectations of CEIBS, I was going in blind.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? Shanghai is a special city – it has something for everyone. A lot of good food, fascinating modern history, and lots of places for weekend breaks only a short train ride away.

What surprised you the most about business school? How diverse the classmate pool was, both in terms of where people had come from and where they were looking to go – it was not all bankers and consultants as I had feared!

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I was very clear on why I was applying, and what I wanted to get out of business school – I believe that’s what gave me an edge. I also spoke to several alumni before applying to get an idea of what the school looked for in candidates/ what the school’s values were.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Camilo Cadena. He had an intriguing and unusual background coming into the MBA, having done a number of things, including founding a company which coordinated large scale public art projects across the world. He has a passion for art and design, and is also an intelligent thinker in terms of strategies and business. Despite having been successful in a number of previous ventures he stepped out of his comfort zone and decided on an MBA. But what I found most admirable about him was his emotional intelligence. He supported all classmates, and was universally liked and respected across the whole year. No matter the situation, he was able to keep calm, personable and strong. Exceptional soft skills. I benefitted a lot from his guidance and was very glad to hear he had landed an excellent job post MBA.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Successfully acquire and then integrate a Western company into a Chinese company – much easier said than done!
  • Have a material impact on China-Europe business relationships.

What made Archie such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“As Archie’s professor for Corporate Finance, I have had the pleasure of witnessing his academic and professional achievements firsthand. I strongly believe that Archie is an outstanding candidate for this award due to his exceptional leadership, cross-cultural expertise, and his strong commitment to academic and professional excellence.

Archie’s background speaks for itself. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with first-class honours’ in Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Chinese Studies. With over 7 years of experience in cross-border M&A and fundraising transactions in Greater China, Archie has excelled in leading and coordinating large cross-cultural teams. During his tenure at Altus Capital, Archie led five HKEx IPO applications as a sponsor, demonstrating his outstanding expertise in corporate finance.

At DealGlobe Limited, Archie has been leading the China office of a specialist China-Europe cross-border M&A firm, where he has personally completed six deals, including three successful $100m+ M&A and fundraising deals across the healthcare, TMT, and consumer sectors. His fluency in Mandarin and deep understanding of modern Chinese history have enabled him to navigate the complexities of China’s business environment with ease.

Moreover, Archie is a proactive student who is always willing to help other students. He contributes actively to classroom discussions, and his insights and perspectives have always been insightful and valuable. Archie’s commitment to excellence and leadership potential make him a standout candidate for this award.

In conclusion, I have no doubt that Archie Preston would be an excellent recipient of Poets and Quants’ Best and Brightest MBA award. I strongly recommend him for this award and believe that he will continue to make meaningful contributions to the business world in the years to come.”

Dr. Fang Yu
CEIBS Professor of Finance;
Gotofreight.com Chair in Finance;
Associate Dean and Director of Finance MBA (FMBA) Programme


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