Quant Hedge Funds Balance Computer and Brain Power

Rival U.K. firms Aspect Capital, Man AHL and Winton are doubling down on machine learning and other quantitative investing efforts, but don’t expect them to short human ingenuity. Page 1 of 2 When panic struck the Chinese stock market last August, Man AHL wasn’t caught flat-footed. The London-based systematic trading firm avoided losses during the massive sell-off thanks to a machine learning algorithm that analyzed its positions and reacted faster than traders could to the spike in volatility. “Machine learning helps us to spot patterns that humans can’t easily spot or couldn’t spot at all in the sheer amount of data being created today,” says Sandy Rattray, CEO of $19 billion Man AHL. The firm began its life in 1987 as commodity trading adviser AHL, the quantitative investing pioneer founded…


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