Investment Firm Offers $25K For Best Financial Research

Whitebox Advisors is seeking the “best published contribution to the art and science of investing.”
Investment Firm Offers $25K For Best Financial Research

A local hedge fund has launched an annual contest that awards $25,000 to the author of the research paper that it believes will best benefit the investment community.

Whitebox Advisors, LLC, a Minneapolis-based investment advisory firm that currently manages about $2.5 billion, is soliciting published work that has “the potential to enhance the performance of the investment industry, improve returns to capital for investors, and help a broader audience to better understand financial markets and investing in them.”

Whitebox sent letters to roughly 5,000 industry professionals and academic institutions to attract submissions for this year's competition, which marks the third time that Whitebox has held the contest. In addition to the overall winner, who will receive $25,000, Whitebox may select up to 10 finalists to receive additional prizes.

Submissions are being accepted through January 30, and the winners will be announced in the spring. Entries may be submitted to Winners and runners up will be posted here.

“New ideas benefit investors—within our industry and beyond—and we believe, now more than ever, it is crucial to find innovative approaches to getting the most out of our capital,” Whitebox founder and CEO Andrew Redleaf said in a statement.

Last year’s winning submission was “Time Series Momentum,” a research paper by Tobias Moskowitz, Yao Hua Ooi, and Lasse Heje Pedersen that was published in the Journal of Financial Economics. “By focusing not on a security's return relative to its peers but on its return relative to itself, the authors give investors an actionable investment hypothesis and confirm what has long been believed about the power of momentum as a means of position selection,” Redleaf said.

Twin Cities Business in 2011 published an in-depth feature on Redleaf and Whitebox. In 2012, the company launched alternative mutual funds, marking its first foray into products that are available to retail investors. More recently, the firm said Jonathan Wood, its former president and chief operating officer, stepped down to lead a local charity. The search for his successor is ongoing.