Q. Can you go into more detail on the QMM setup?

Our Quantbot Multi-Manager (QMM) setup caters to Portfolio Managers who have experience running strategies or building alphas and attributing PnL of those alphas when deployed in production. We especially look for those with experience trading and generating PnL based on fully-automatic systematic trading. Generally, our QMMs have worked at bigger firms but haven’t been happy with risk allocation, trading performance or the growth path of their strategies.

We have been able to attract talented portfolio managers with the focus on our collaborative and supportive platform:

  • Since our QMMs tend to be single-person teams, we offer a unique platform where PMs can take advantage of work done by Quantbot support such as:
                -Data acquisition, processing and cleansing
                -Daily operations and automated batch jobs
                -Monitoring production trading
                -Global expansion to the US, EU and AS markets
                -Developing strategies in equities and futures
  • QMMs also have access to a very strong, in-house team of researchers with experience in: portfolio optimization, trading systems, trading algorithms, data mining and strategy analysis, along with expertise in high-performance computing.
  • QMMs have free access to existing data products and new data sets in various markets that Quantbot already handles and we would work with any QMM if he or she should need a new dataset.
  • We have invested millions of dollars in a high-end computing grid with more than a petabyte of disk and full support for cloud-based computing resources

While we don’t believe in micromanaging the research process, we’re always willing to offer help and guidance when requested. This support allows QMMs to really focus on developing their alpha through their own research on all the different data sets we provide. In the past, we have seen significant improvements in QMMs’ return characteristics when they have incorporated some of our freely provided ideas.

- Ashar Mahboob, CIO

What is unique about the Quantbot that encourages the success of your QMMs?

Beyond the platform advantages we provide, we also believe in giving our QMMs the flexibility to achieve their best working environment. In regards to our computing platform, the core Quantbot team uses tools developed on Linux and preferred programming languages like C++, R, and Python, but, if a QMM needs Matlab, for instance, or other tools then we are willing to be flexible to accommodate (within reason). QMMs have the option of being geographically located anywhere and not bound to a particular office. While some of our QMMs prefer to work out of an office for the immediate access to help and support, we also have successful QMMs that work in out-of-office locations and different time zones. We strive to make the platform as fair as possible for our QMMs with our policies on IP and non-competes. As a QMM, any IP brought in is solely yours but any IP developed at Quantbot and any strategies deployed by the QMM is co-owned by the QMM and Quantbot. If a QMM decides to move on from Quantbot, we don’t believe in keeping people out of work, so we not only have a 45-day notice but we give them a copy of their track record and co-owned IP. Most of all, we want our QMMs to feel part of Quantbot’s success as well as their own, so, qualified QMMs may have the option to co-invest in a fund managed by Quantbot. We strongly believe that successful QMMs will see enough potential for career growth and professional fulfillment that they would choose to stay at Quantbot for the long term.

So do you feel excited about becoming a QMM? The QMM model is a joint venture and partnership between the QMM, Quantbot and the Schonfeld Group. Quantbot’s role is to fully manage research, risk, trading and all aspects of running a successful quant strategy while Schonfeld commits capital for every single PM’s strategy. After an initial set of joint Quantbot and Schonfeld interviews and discussions over your business plan, we would offer qualifying potential QMMs a term sheet that explains our payout structure, roll-out schedule, data requirements and other technicalities. Once all terms have been agreed upon, we move to a full-employment agreement and confidentiality agreement, and you become an employee of Quantbot.

- Ashar Mahboob, CIO

In most firms, portfolio managers are segregated and effectively ‘on their own’. Here at Quantbot, even if QMMs joined as a single-person team, they ‘don’t feel alone’. QMMs have direct and constant communication channels open to a variety of our teams, and get their questions answered by our global team on an almost 24 hour cycle. This ability to have access to a global pool of knowledge but at the same time keeping your alpha implementation separate is what makes QMMs feel at ease and encourages their success.

- Michael Lisak, Partner & Co-Founder