2020 Outlook: Jared Broad, QuantConnect
Jared Broad is Founder and CEO of QuantConnect.
What were the key themes for your business in 2019?
In 2018, we pioneered the distribution of crowd-sourced alpha to institutional clients with our Alpha Streams marketplace, allowing quants to make money from their ideas while retaining their intellectual property. In 2019, we focused on how to educate, empower, and measure high-quality alpha from our growing community of 90,000 quants.
To do so, we built key technology the community needed to facilitate alpha generation, such as debugging technology and a deeply integrate Jupyter research lab that eased user’s coding pain points. Since the deployment of these new tools, we’ve seen a 100% increase in user engagement on our platform.
We’ve also produced educational resources such as Udemy-style boot camps and tutorials. With these materials, we’re equipping the community with core quantitative fundamentals to add to their toolbelt, increasing the output of high-quality alpha.
What was the highlight of 2019?
In October, we launched Alpha Five, a first-of-its-kind institutionally solicited algorithmic trading competition. This competition empowered the buy-side to tap into the power of the crowd to solicit designer trading strategies, while giving quants not only the opportunity to win part of a client-sponsored cash prize pool, but also the potential to be licensed by the sponsoring institution.
It’s an exciting use case for our Alpha Streams model, which allows institutions to leverage our community of quants to generate alpha.
What trends are getting underway that people may not know about but will be important?
The key trend we’re heeding is the rise of the independent quant. We believe that great talent isn’t solely found at the highest-performing trading companies, and that bright minds everywhere should have opportunities to learn, showcase, and make incomes from their skills.
This will have wide-ranging impacts on the trading industry, as talented students, mathematicians, and engineers won’t need to be tied to larger institutions in order to develop and utilize their trading skills. Our goal is to provide the infrastructure to drive this shift.
Firms are accelerating the buildout of digital transformation strategies.
Expect to see several new entrants in the equity exchange landscape.
CEO sees big potential for financial innovation in digitized assets.
Capital markets will continue to integrate and globalize.
SFTR implementation and the demise of LIBOR will be key themes this year.