The John Molson School of Business (JMSB) will host the second annual Van Berkom-JMSB Small Cap Case Competition on March 22 and 23. Nine teams of graduate students from eight Canadian universities will compete for a total prize pool of $6,000.
The competition is the only one of its kind in Canada and was established through a donation from Sebastian van Berkom, founder and CEO of Van Berkom and Associates, a specialized investment management firm that focuses on small-cap equities. Van Berkom’s gift provides enough funding for the competition to be run for the next four years. The event is being organized by Concordia MBA students Noor Almarestani, Rana Beiruti, Nefi Falabella, David Lemieux and Tara Walker.
Reena Atanasiadis, a lecturer at JMSB and supervising professor of the competition, is impressed with their efforts. “They bring a lot of organizational experience to the table,” she says. “Some have experience with the John Molson International MBA Case Competition. They are a turnkey team that really hit the ground running”
Small-cap stocks are those with a relatively small market capitalization, that is, with a comparatively low total value of tradable shares. Generally, the shares of a firm whose market capitalization is between $100 million and $2 billion would be considered small-cap. Van Berkom’s goal in creating the competition was to promote the virtues of well chosen small-capitalization (small-cap) stocks that have potential for growth.
Atanasiadis says the event acts as a valuable complement to what graduate finance students learn in class. “We teach our students portfolio theory and market efficiency,” she says. “Based on that, it would be very difficult to pick a portfolio that beats a benchmark. But small-cap investing is an exception since it allows for bottom-up stock picking and the pursuit of abnormal returns.”
She expects the competition to showcase JMSB in two ways. “First,” she says, “it is being held in our wonderful building that we are so proud of. Second, it shows that as a business school, we have an appreciation for some very specific niches in the world of finance. We hope to cast a spotlight on an area that often goes neglected in business education.”
• Van Berkom-JMSB Small Cap Case Competition
• John Molson School of Business
• Van Berkom and Associates