New Cleveland Small-Cap Fund Seeks $300M

Jul 31 2013 | 9:30am ET

Rivanna Capital alumnus Ben Mackovak has launched a hedge fund in his hometown.

Mackovack, who grew up in suburban Cleveland, rolled out his Cavalier Capital on March 1, Crain's Cleveland Business reports. The new fund will invest in small-cap companies, albeit with an eye to liquidity.

"We're trying to find these small diamonds in the rough that the rest of Wall Street is ignoring," Mackovak, 32, said. "We're really looking for good businesses, predictable businesses, businesses with valuable assets that are underappreciated by the market. We're not trying to invest in the Web site that could be the next Facebook."

Given its focus, Mackovak said that Cavalier will remain small itself, with plans to close the fund at $300 million. Larger small-cap funds "simply have too much money to put to work," he said. "We're a deliberately small fund, and we'll always be a small fund."

Mackovak would not quantify precisely how small a fund Cavalier is presently, telling Crain's only that the fund's assets have grown by 60% since its launch and that the firm has 43 investors. He plans to market the fund beyond its current high net-worth and family office base to institutional investors after Cavalier has a one-year track record, adding that he hopes to reach $300 million within a couple of years.

Mackovak most recently spent six years at Rivanna, based in Charlottesville, Va., where Mackovak earned his MBA at the University of Virginia. His firm is named in honor of that school's mascot and Mackovak's favorite basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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