BigDataFr recommends: Interview with Quantopian’s CEO, John Fawcett
[…] Some entrepreneurs have a knack for finding a conquerable problem and then executing a solid plan to address it. On the back of John Fawcett’s successful exit from his first company, Tamale Software, Fawcett appeared to be that kind of entrepreneur. But after he left Tamale, Fawcett started spending time with quantitative traders (i.e., quants) and the more he learned about how they created trading algorithms, the bigger and bolder his next idea became. The outcome of his thinking led him to a pivotal insight: the time had come to disrupt the exclusive world of quantitative hedge funds. How would he do it? By harnessing the power of crowdsourcing to build a community of quants, feeding that community with lots of data and incentivizing the community (through regular contests and events) to produce new strategies that could be used in live trading. Today, that unique approach has been transformed into one of the mostly closely watched fintech companies in America. For the company’s next act, Fawcett and his co-founder, Jean Bredeche, are hard at work in laying the foundation to launch an in-house hedge fund utilizing strategies generated from its 100,000+ member community. The FR’s Gregg Schoenberg recently sat down with Fawcett to learn more about his company and the bold moves he’s making to level the playing field in one of the most lucrative — and heretofore undisrupted — corners of the investment management universe.
The Financial Revolutionist: John, it’s great to speak with you. Can I call you Fawce?
John Fawcett: (Laughs) Yes, everybody does.
FR: How did you become interested in quantitative trading?
JF: When Advent acquired Tamale in 2008, it started selling our products globally to different kinds of asset managers. Our product was a repository for all the internal research and we started getting the feedback that there could be signal sources in our database. That was the first introduction I had to quantitative research. […]