Van Biema Ex-US Small-Cap Challenge Launches March 26th

By: SumZero Staff | Be the First to Comment


In conjunction with the recent culmination of the 1st van Biema Small Cap Challenge and subsequent allocation to the Winner Massif Capital, we are pleased to announce the immediate scheduling of the 2nd such initiative: the van Biema Ex-US Small-Cap Challenge.

SumZero challenges global pre-launch fund managers and existing funds with less than $50m in AUM to submit well-researched, well-reasoned pitches of Ex-US small- and micro-cap value opportunities. Submissions will be judged by a team of allocators including Michael van Biema of van Biema Value Partners, Chuck Royce of the Royce Funds, investing legend Jean-Marie Eveillard, and a select group of others drawn from SumZero’s Allocator pool. Finalists will be selected to meet with the judges for further vetting for potential investment.

In addition to potential allocations, finalists will receive valuable feedback on aspects of their investment processes, business development, and operations, including advice on organizational and business structure, trading practices, portfolio pricing, systems, selection of service providers, internal financial controls, personnel, and compliance policies. All finalists will be invited to attend van Biema’s conference at Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI.

At least one winner will be selected to receive ongoing monitoring and advice from the allocator group, and will be reviewed for additional capital commitment(s).


1. Submit at least 1 Ex-US small-cap recommendation (sub-$1B MC) on SumZero during the Challenge (multiple submissions will be reviewed independently);

2. Activate your fund on the SumZero Cap Intro platform.

Research Selection Criteria

Submissions should be original, current investment opportunities, exhibiting a clear, well-reasoned contrarian investment thesis. They should exhibit careful, thorough research, focused on key investment drivers and illustrating a grasp of competitive landscape, industry trends, regulatory environments, relevant transactions, etc.

Importantly, write-ups should demonstrate due consideration of downside scenarios, as well as potential avenues to achieving intrinsic value. Valuations should highlight the margin of safety inherent in the investment, and clearly demonstrate the methods used to generate estimates of intrinsic value. The van Biema team recognizes a broad spectrum of value approaches, and welcomes any and all ideas representing the spirit of the value discipline.

Key Dates
  • Now - April 6th: Cap Intro On-Boarding Period

  • Mar 26th - April 6th: Idea Challenge Opens

  • April 6th: Idea Challenge Ends

  • April 6th - April 23rd: Evaluation/Review Period

  • ~End of April: Finalists Announced

Challenge Eligibility & Requirements

  • Entrants must be members of the SumZero Buyside community;

  • Entrants must work at funds which manage less than USD$50m in AUM at the time of entry;

  • Entrants must have an active fund profile listed on the SumZero Cap Intro manager platform. Email to add your fund;

  • Entrants must submit a new research idea to the SumZero research database during the term of the Contest;

  • Idea submissions must focus on Ex-US companies with a market cap of less than USD $1B at the time of submission;

  • Idea submissions must pass SumZero Quality Guidelines for publication;

  • Thesis sections of ideas submissions must be less than 2,500 words in length (appendixes with extended/supporting materials are acceptable).

Getting Started

  • Email to list your fund on SumZero Cap Intro if not currently listed

  • On March 26th, submit 1+ Ex-US small cap idea through the standard link;

  • Opt-into the Challenge by clicking the button prior to submitting your Idea;

  • Approved Ideas are immediately sent to the Judges Panel for review and will appear, as normal, on the SumZero site 72-hours following acceptance;

  • Make sure your fund is properly listed on the Cap Intro platform;

  • At the end of the Contest, the Judges will review Ideas and eligible members to determine the Winners;

  • The contest, including all the research associated with it, takes place fully within the SumZero website.

About van Biema Value Partners

van Biema Value Partners is an SEC-registered investment adviser established by Michael van Biema in 2004 specializing in creating portfolios of small, value-oriented hedge funds around the globe for sophisticated clients and investors. Learn more about van Biema Value Partners.

About Jean-Marie Eveillard

Jean-Marie became a senior advisor to the First Eagle Investment Management Global Value team in March 2009 and now serves as board trustee to First Eagle Funds. From 1993–2004, Jean-Marie was the lead portfolio manager for all of First Eagle Investment Management Global Value investment strategies.

  • (1+) Winner(s) to be selected to receive ongoing monitoring and advice from the Judges Panel, and will be reviewed for additional capital commitment.

  • (3-5) Finalists will be considered for direct investment from the family offices of Royce and van Biema, as well as inclusion on a new van Biema Manager Platform;

  • (3-5) Finalists will have at least one meeting with Michael van Biema and Chuck Royce;

  • Eligibility to undergo van Biema’s full investment and operational due-diligence process;

  • Recognition on the SumZero site upon successful completion of that process;

  • Invitations to an exclusive conference at the Ocean House resort in Watch Hill, RI;

  • Featured exposure in the SumZero Buyside and Allocator communities;

  • Q&A Interviews on the SumZero blog;

  • Major media exposure as available;

  • Extended access to the SumZero research database.


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