Rules and Regulations


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General Guidelines

  • Participants must be registered undergraduate or graduate students in Canada or the U.S.A. on January 31, 2020

  • Participants should have taken finance courses covering portfolio management and valuation

  • Teams can mix graduate and undergraduate students if they wish

  • Teams should be made up of 3 -4 students each, with the option for one alternate member

  • Individuals who have been, or are currently, employed in a role for a period two years or more, whose primary duty involves(d) fundamental company analysis, unless the team member’s work was solely as an intern, are ineligible to participate in the Van Berkom Case Competition.

Competition Dates

The 2020 Van Berkom JMSB Case Competition will take place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on March 20th & 21st, 2020.

Registration Deadlines

Registration for the 2020 competition is now open! Deadlines are as follows:

  • Early Bird registration deadline: NOVEMBER 1st, 2019

  • Registration closes: January 10th, 2020

Teams can register by filling out the online form here. Teams will need to provide the names of all team members (up to 4 members) and the name of their coach (optional). Teams can also register by contacting us at

Teams are encouraged to register as soon as possible as only 25 teams will be permitted to submit a qualifying case.

Qualifying Round Selection

Qualifying cases will be sent to registered teams in January 2020. Teams must complete the written qualifying round case and submit it by mail or email by midnight of the specified due date. The qualifying cases will be judged by a panel of judges and the top nine teams will be selected to compete. Schools may send multiple submissions should they wish, but only one team will be accepted from each school. Accepted teams will be notified in the first week of February 2020 and will then have one week to confirm their attendance. Selected teams must submit their participation fee by the end of February 2020. A sample qualification case can be downloaded here.

If you or your team members will require a VISA to enter Canada, it is recommended to start the VISA application process upon registration to allow for any potential delays.

Team members must also include an up-to-date copy of their CV with the qualification case submission.

Participation Fees

For teams that registered before the early bird deadline (November 1, 2019), the participation fee is $300. For teams registered after the early bird deadline, the participation fee is $500.

Two Live Cases

The cases are selected by Van Berkom and Associates and are unique to the Van Berkom JMSB Case Competition. Cases are based on real companies using real-time, up-to-date qualitative and quantitative information. The selected companies and cases are kept completely confidential until the start of the live case sessions. The live case is one hour long. During the live case, Mr. Sebastian van Berkom and two of his associates will act as the management team for the company in question. Teams will be given a case package to review and the company management will give a brief overview before opening the floor to questions. The question period is moderated by Reena Atanasiadis and teams are each given the opportunity to ask one question. Once each team has asked their question, teams are given the opportunity to ask an additional question should they wish. Inappropriate or leading questions will not be answered and teams are encouraged to prepare their questions strategically before asking. A sample of the live case documents can be found here.

Competition Format

On day one, teams are randomly assigned to three divisions. Each division will consist of three teams, who will present to the same panel of judges consecutively. Judges will assign a score (please see below for more details on scoring) to each team and scores will be released at the end of the day. On day two, teams are reassigned to new divisions and present as in day one. Judges will again assign scores for day two and the cumulative total of each day will determine the winning teams, to be announced at the end of day two.


At the beginning of each day, teams will be assigned a team host who will guide them throughout the competition. After the opening brunch, teams will be asked to give their cell phones to their team hosts. Cell phones and other devices will be kept in a secure facility until after the presentations.

Teams will enter the live case room and the team hosts will provide them with their case documents. This will include a written summary and a USB stick containing financial statements, press-releases and other pertinent information that the teams may need.

After the live case, teams hosts will bring teams to their preparation rooms in staggered times of 30 minutes. See the visual schedule for details. Teams that are not starting their preparation directly after the live case will be asked to wait in the live case room with their team hosts.  Teams are asked not to discuss the case while they are waiting to be escorted to their preparation rooms and will be monitored by their team hosts.

All teams will be given three hours to analyse the case and prepare an oral presentation with supporting Powerpoint slides. After the three hours is complete, team hosts will notify teams and escort them to their presentation room. See what to expect for an approximated visual schedule.

Preparation rooms will be equipped with:

  • Two PC laptops with Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint, internet disabled

  • Two mice

  • Flip chart paper and markers

  • Note pads and pens

  • Snacks and water

Items allowed in the presentation rooms:

  • Number pad attachments for PC laptops

  • Non-programmable calculators

Items not allowed in the presentation rooms:

  • External laptops

  • Cell phones

  • Any device with internet access

  • Programmable calculators


The goal of the presentation is for teams to give a well-supported recommendation about buying, selling or holding a specific stock.  Teams will be allowed time for a 20 minute presentation and a 10 minute question & answer period. Time limits will be strictly enforced by a timer and teams will be notified when they have five minutes and one minute left to present. After the question and answer period, teams will be asked to step outside for a few minutes while the judges deliberate. Teams will then be invited to re-enter the room where they will be given feedback from the judges on their presentation. This feedback is intended to be constructive criticism to help the teams improve their presentations the following day.

Judges and Scoring

The judging panels are comprised of three to four finance industry professionals selected by the organizing committee and director. Judges will score teams on a total of 30 points based on the following factors:

  • Definition of Key Issue(s) - 5pts

  • Qualitative Analysis - 5pts

  • Quantitative Analysis - 5pts

  • Recommended course of action - 5pts

  • Handling of question period - 5pts

  • Presentation effectiveness - 5pts


In the case of a tie, the total of the first four factors for both days of presentation will be considered to determine the winning team. If there is still a tie, the first three factors for both days of presentation will be considered.