We believe that financial markets are constantly evolving and that the markets have a degree of predictability made increasingly more apparent by data. This creates a strong environment to create alternative investment strategies that provide risk adjusted returns with a low correlation to traditional investment markets benchmarks.
We believe that:

  • Most alpha trading models decay over time
  • Delivering continued value is only maintained by an ongoing research and development effort
  • Risk management is of utmost importance
  • Diversification works

Technology

Over half of our employees are IT engineers and since our inception in 1991, we have invested over €100m in sophisticated information technology systems. This state of the art platform gives vast processing power to collect and sort the data needed by the research teams. Today, we have over 1,500 servers enabling the collection and presentation of 2.5 terabytes of information every day, the equivalent of a typical academic research library.

The data team, comprised of approximately 20 IT engineers, collects, cleans, and manages terabytes of incoming data every day. We thrive on new forms of data as inputs to systematic trading ideas. Data is also collected to simulate the whole production chain from end to end to ensure that positions and performance are in line with back tests. Data sets need to be as broad as possible to inspire new ideas, but also reliable and readily accessible to the research team.

Systematic trading also requires advanced technological capability whether this is placing orders, reconciliation or monitoring risk. We are connected in real-time to about 20 counterparties (exchanges, execution brokers, electronic platforms, banks, etc.). We have developed control systems to monitor operations and manage potential errors.

Research

As a firm, research is in our DNA and the basic principles established in 1991 remain unchanged today. We create models based on the statistical properties of financial instruments and then use these models to develop systematic trading strategies.

We have assembled a team of top researchers with strong academic track records. Most of our researchers hold Ph.D.’s, from some of the world’s leading academic institutions, mostly in physics or other hard sciences. We carefully select our research team ensuring that most of them join us directly from academia, a distinct point of difference for the firm. This gives us a uniquely dispassionate and unbiased approach to our research, which is ultimately reflected in the strategies across our programs. In particular this is important in our legacy and flagship programs, where the researchers’ distinctive backgrounds are critical in order to drive the consistent innovation and R&D necessary for maintaining the programs’ alpha characteristics.

Risk

All trading strategies are rigorously tested and piloted prior to deployment. A dedicated team monitors trading portfolio risk to gauge risk levels and performance. This process relies on in-house developed monitoring software. In periods of extreme market volatility or unprecedented market events, the board has the authority to override the algorithms and reduce portfolio risk. We manage other risks and in addition, we have built over two decades professional functions including: IT, HR, legal and compliance to support the firm and its clients.