2019 INTERNATIONAL QUANT CHAMPIONSHIP
Competition Overview and Guidelines
1. An individual (“you” or the “participant”) who wishes to participate in the International Quant Championship (referred to herein as the “IQC”) must be eighteen (18) years of age or older (or of legal age of majority in his/her jurisdiction of residence, whichever is greater) and not otherwise prohibited from participating in the IQC by any applicable law, regulation, agreement, binding obligation or policy. The IQC is sponsored and administered by WorldQuant, LLC (“WorldQuant,” “we” or “us”).
2. While the IQC is designed to be a global competition, any individual may be deemed ineligible to participate and/or to receive a cash prize pursuant to applicable law or regulation. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, residents of the following countries or regions shall be ineligible to participate in the IQC: (a) the Crimea region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sudan or any other area or country subject to applicable sanctions by the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and (b) Brazil, Italy, or the Canadian province of Quebec. In addition, participants who are residents of certain countries may participate in the IQC, however, such participants will be ineligible to receive any cash prize or cash equivalent in connection with the IQC pursuant to applicable law or regulation, including without limitation, residents of Kenya and Nigeria. Other local rules and regulations may apply to you, so please check your local laws to ensure that you are eligible to participate in skills-based competitions.
3. To participate, you must first register as a WebSim user and be issued login credentials. During the registration process for a Websim account, you will have the option to elect to participate in the IQC, which will then allow you to create or join a team upon approval of your Websim account. Existing WebSim users meeting the other eligibility requirements detailed herein may also compete in the IQC by visiting the International Quant Championship Overview page from the “Competitions” tab after logging into WebSim (available at: https://websim.worldquantvrc.com) and creating or joining a team through the relevant registration page (as detailed below). Individuals who are Websim Research Consultants as of the commencement of the IQC (March 20, 2019) are not eligible to participate in the IQC.
4. There is no fee to register for a WebSim account or to participate in the IQC. Each participant may register only once for the IQC. No alphas submitted by a participant prior to registering for the IQC will be considered for scoring in the IQC.
5. A participant’s account and login credentials may not be shared with any other individual. A participant may only have one active WebSim account. Duplicate accounts for one individual are grounds for disqualification not only from the IQC but also from WebSim and the WorldQuant Challenge. Please ensure that you immediately deactivate any duplicate accounts you may knowingly or accidentally have created by using the following URL: https://www.worldquantvrc.com/deactivate
6. You are responsible for complying with any employer or university policies applicable to you in association with participating in a competition of this nature. You are also responsible for obtaining any third party permissions necessary for your participation in the IQC, including, but not limited to, from any employer or university.
7. The IQC is a team-based competition with each team being comprised of a single individual up to a maximum of six (6) individuals. All team members must be associated with a single university. Teams may consist of current students, faculty or alumni, however, each team member must be associated with the same university. Violation of this rule will lead to disqualification of the entire team. A team is considered active in the IQC when at least one eligible individual has registered the team for the IQC and accepted these guidelines. The registration page for a team’s creation is available here. Individuals may be required to show proof of association with the university shown on his/her profile in a form acceptable to us (as we determine in our sole discretion) or certify as to such association, otherwise the entire team may be disqualified.
8. An IQC participant accumulates points by building quantitative predictive models (alphas) using historical market data and predefined operators to simulate equity positions, assigning weights to securities based on a prediction of the expected returns in the next-defined time period. Alphas are considered for scoring if they qualify for out-of-sample testing. Each qualifying alpha is scored based on its performance against other alphas submitted by the other participants in the IQC. Since the IQC is a team-based competition, the scores for each individual on a team are aggregated to produce a team score. A leaderboard will show the ranking of each team competing in the IQC. The leaderboard will have location information about each team and its members that will allow users to filter the leaderboard by Country, City and University. Team scores will be updated periodically and posted to the leaderboard. A participant in the IQC will not see his or her individual score.
9. The scoring methodology for the IQC may vary in each stage of the IQC, at the sole discretion of WorldQuant. In the event of a tie in more than one teams’ total scores, the internal WorldQuant VRC team will assign ranks based on average alpha performance among other factors in its sole discretion. We reserve the right to change the scoring methodology for the IQC at any time.
10. WebSim will tag team members to each alpha simulated and/or submitted during the IQC, but for all other purposes, sole attribution of the alpha will be assigned to the individual participant submitting the alpha.
11. Teams can only be formed from March 20, 2019 through May 15, 2019. During this period, IQC participants can create new teams, join existing teams or switch among teams. At any given time, however, you can only be part of one team. After May 15, 2019 and for the duration of the IQC, teams will be locked and there will be not be an option to make any changes to existing team structures or to form a new team.
12. In the event that IQC participants who have accumulated points in separate teams decide to form a team together prior to May 15, 2019, the alphas of each individual participant will be aggregated into a new team pool. A correlation test will then be run on the new team pool and the most recently submitted alphas (as determined by the timestamp for each such submitted alpha) that fail the correlation test will be removed from the aggregated pool, at which point the aggregated alpha pool will then be re-scored to provide the new team with its score.
13. If a team member deactivates his or her WebSim account, such team member will cease to be a part of the team and the IQC, and the participant’s individual scores will no longer accrue to the team for the remainder of the IQC though the team will continue to exist and participate in the IQC. If all members of a team deactivate their respective Websim accounts, then the team will be discontinued and the former team members will no longer be able to participate in the IQC or the WorldQuant Challenge.
14. A team will be automatically disqualified from the IQC if it fails to qualify for the next stage of the IQC. All teams will be automatically discontinued upon conclusion of the IQC. After the IQC ends, team members with active Websim accounts may continue to participate in the WorldQuant Challenge as individual participants.
15. The IQC will run from late March of 2019 through mid-September of 2019 and will be composed of the following stages:
a. Stage 1 (university level), March 20, 2019 to May 20, 2019: Teams associated with individual universities will compete against one another to represent their institution in the national / regional stages of the IQC. On May 20, 2019, the leaderboard will be frozen to permit all final score calculations and communicate with the teams that will advance from Stage 1 to the qualifying round of Stage 2. Between May 20 and June 1, 2019, you may continue submitting alphas, however, your team’s score will not be updated to reflect such submitted alphas until June 1, 2019 at the commencement of Stage 2.
b. Stage 2 (national/regional level), June 1, 2019 to July 7, 2019: Stage 2 will be comprised of a qualifying round and a final round. In the qualifying round, multiple university teams from a given country or region that won in Stage 1 will compete against one another to determine who will advance to the final round of Stage 2, where up to the top 10 teams from each country or region will compete against each other to determine who will represent their country or region in Stage 3. Depending on your location, the Stage 2 finals may take place virtually over video conference or in person at a WorldQuant office or other pre-determined location.
c. Stage 3 (global finals), July 8, 2019 to September 6, 2019: The highest scoring national and regional teams from Stage 2 will be invited to travel to Singapore for a two-day live alpha-building challenge and presentation, which will be judged by a panel of WorldQuant’s senior management, that will determine the overall IQC winner.
16. In connection with the Stage 2 finals round and Stage 3 global finals, a participant may compete (i) in-person at a location selected by WorldQuant or (ii) via other means (such as video conference), in each case as determined by WorldQuant in its sole discretion. In the event that a participant is selected to travel to either the Stage 2 finals round location or the Stage 3 global finals location, WorldQuant may, in its sole discretion and subject to applicable law, pay for certain of such participant’s transportation and/or accommodations related to such travel.
17. Top scoring teams from the Stage 2 finals round and Stage 3 global finals will be considered eligible for the following cash prizes (or cash equivalent in jurisdictions where cash prizes are prohibited or restricted by law) to be divided equally among the eligible team members:
• Stage 2 (finals round):
1st place team - US$ 3,000
2nd place team - US$ 2,000
3rd place team - US$ 1,000
• Stage 3:
1st place team - US$ 20,000
2nd place team - US$ 12,000
3rd place team - US$ 8,000
18. All prizes will be divided equally between all members of the respective winning team(s). Prizes may be awarded to winners in his or her respective local currency at WorldQuant’s discretion. If the prize is paid in the local currency, it will be based on the then-current exchange rate as determined by WorldQuant. Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, provincial, state and local taxes, if any. Prizes cannot be transferred or substituted. All prize details are at WorldQuant’s sole discretion.
19. Potential winners of Stage 2 (finals round) and Stage 3 will be notified via email on or about July 31, 2019 (in respect of Stage 2) and on or about September 30, 2019 (in respect of Stage 3) and may be required to execute and return a Declaration of Eligibility and a Liability Waiver and, unless prohibited, a Publicity Release within the time period specified by WorldQuant. If any potential winner does not respond to the initial notification within the time period stated, all required documents (including any tax documentation) are not returned by such winning team member within the specified time period, the notification is returned as undeliverable, and/or a potential winner is not in compliance with these guidelines, such individual participant will be disqualified and, at our discretion, the prize allocated to him or her may be redistributed to his or her other team members or to the next highest-ranked team (in the event the entire team has been disqualified).
By accepting any prize, you hereby agree to the use of your name, city/state or province and country, likeness and/or prize information by WorldQuant and its designees for promotional purposes in any manner and medium, now or hereafter devised, worldwide for a period of three (3) years, without additional compensation, notification or permission.
20. Any winnings restricted or prohibited by applicable law shall be deemed void. If a potential winner is a U.S. citizen, the potential winner must also sign and return an IRS W-9 form, or if a non-U.S. resident, an IRS W-8BEN form, within the stated time period in order to claim the prize. Potential individual winners (or the entire winning team) will be disqualified from receiving a prize and the prize may be redistributed to the individual winner’s other team members (or awarded to the next-ranked team on the leaderboard) if:
• the required documentation is not returned within 45 days after receipt of any request to provide documentation; or
• the potential winner is disqualified from IQC for any other reason as set forth in these guidelines.
21. It is each participant’s responsibility to ensure that his or her profile information is accurate; if a participant is found to have falsified his or her university affiliation or any other information, he or she will be disqualified from the IQC. Any participants using any illegal, offensive, inflammatory, abusive, libelous, defamatory, discriminatory, obscene or otherwise inappropriate image, language or other content in their profile or otherwise on this site shall be disqualified.
22. By participating in the IQC, you agree to grant certain rights to your alphas and other input as set forth herein and to comply with these guidelines and the WebSim Agreement (incorporated herein by reference). By participating in the IQC, you represent and warrant that any alpha submitted by you is your original work. No part of the alpha can be subject to the rights of any other person or entity.
23. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO AMEND THE SITE, ANY ELEMENTS OF THE IQC OR THESE GUIDELINES AT ANY TIME IN OUR SOLE DISCRETION WITH OR WITHOUT NOTICE TO THE PARTICIPANTS, AND TO CANCEL, CHANGE OR TERMINATE THE IQC OR DISQUALIFY ANY PARTICIPANTS WITHOUT ANY COMPENSATION, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, DEEMING A PARTICIPANT INELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A CASH PRIZE (OR CASH EQUIVALENT) PURSUANT TO ANY APPLICABLE LAW OR REGULATION.
24. We reserve the right to review any submitted alpha and disqualify the alpha or terminate the participant’s and/or the team’s account without any notice if we find the deliberate introduction of “noise” to subvert our scoring systems. Furthermore, if we detect any signs of “gaming,” sharing, cheating or any other unethical or dishonest behavior, we will terminate the participant’s and/or the team’s account and may report the matter as necessary.
25. The IQC is administered in the English language and by participating in the IQC, you acknowledge and agree that you understand the English language and you have read, understand and agree to the terms set forth in these guidelines in English. In addition, you acknowledge that the IQC is organized and directed from the United States of America and subject to the laws of the USA.
26. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE IQC OR WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE IQC MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, WORLDQUANT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.
27. RELEASED PARTIES: Except in the event that WorldQuant has breached its obligations whether legal or contractual or where prohibited by law or otherwise excluded herein, each participant agrees to release, indemnify, discharge and hold harmless WorldQuant, and its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the foregoing (individually a “Released Party” and collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from your participation in the IQC or any IQC-related activity, the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of a prize and/or WorldQuant’s use of the rights granted herein.
IF YOU ARE A RESIDENT OF GERMANY THIS PARAGRAPH APPLIES TO THE EXCLUSION OF THE ABOVE UNDERLINED PARAGRAPH: The Released Parties shall be liable for damages caused by culpable injury to life, body or health. For any other losses or damages of any kind that result from acceptance, possession or use of any prize or from participation or attempted participation in the IQC, you agree (by participating in the IQC) to release the Released Parties from any and all liability whatsoever unless the damage of the Participant is caused by gross negligence or wilful intent of a Released Party. The Released Parties are especially not liable for defective prizes, unless such defect is caused by gross negligence or wilful intent of a Released Party. In an event of slight negligence, the Released Parties shall be liable only for breaches of a material contractual obligation (“Cardinal Duty”). A “Cardinal Duty” is an obligation whose fulfilment makes the implementation of this IQC possible in the first place and on the fulfilment of which you may therefore generally rely. Liability in case of a breach of a Cardinal Duty shall be limited to the typical, foreseeable damages.
GENERAL CONDITIONS: Released Parties are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, delayed, misdirected, undelivered, or garbled entries, email or mail; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the IQC, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the IQC, the processing or judging of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any IQC-related materials, including receiving prize claim documents executed by winners.
Except in the event that they have breached their obligations whether legal or contractual: (i) Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the IQC; and (ii) Released Parties are not responsible for damage to any person's computer related to or resulting from participating in this IQC.
IF YOU ARE A RESIDENT OF GERMANY RELEASE OF RESPONSIBILTY AS DESCRIBED IN ABOVE TWO UNDERLINED PARAGRAPHS DOES NOT APPLY IN CASE OF GROSS NEGLIGENCE OR WILFUL INTENT OF A RELEASED PARTY.
For U.K. participants, the Released Parties do not exclude or limit their liability where it would be unlawful to do so, including for (i) fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; and (ii) death or personal injury caused by negligence. The Released Parties will not be responsible for (and will have no liability in connection with) the following occurrences, to the extent that they occur for reasons beyond the reasonable control of the Released Parties:
• any postponement or cancellation of the IQC;
• any changes to prizes or the way in which they can be used;
• problems with the dispatch of prizes (such as prizes failing to reach the intended recipient); and
• any act or default of any third party supplier.
For Australian residents only: Nothing in these guidelines restricts, excludes or modifies or purports to restrict, exclude or modify any statutory consumer rights under any applicable law including the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).
28. FOR HUNGARY RESIDENTS: If any winner is a resident of Hungary, the prize won by such winner qualifies as taxable income of the winner. The winner shall comply with his or her tax return and tax payment obligation by the 12th day of the calendar month following the calendar quarter during which the IQC ends. Any such winner shall pay personal income tax (15%) and social contribution tax (19.5%) upon a tax base of 84% of the value of the prize. WorldQuant rejects any and all liability in relation to the performance of such tax obligation. By participating, the winner(s) acknowledge(s) the above tax related obligations.