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Recap and Slide Show of the Battle of the Quants – Shanghai, Nov. 11th – 13th, 2013 Shanghai Hedge Fund Park

The rapid de-regulation of China’s financial system through recent unprecedented changes has increased the appeal to the global hedge fund marketplace. The announcement of the FTZ (Free Trade Zone), the Shanghai Hedge Fund Park, the QDLP program, Options Trading plans for the Shanghai Futures Exchange and a consistent flow of additional targeted announcements have garnered international interest from hedge fund managers considering trading the largest and most liquid exchanges in the world.

Recognizing these opportunities, the Battle of the Quants has decided to commence the hosting of the premier global quantitative event in Shanghai, China. The first China Mainland “Battle” took place on November 11th -13th with the attendance of over 500 people. The three day event started with the evening Cocktail Reception which welcomed international delegates and local financial leaders to the spectacular venue on the 53rd floor of the Shanghai Hedge Fund Park (Forbes article on the Park and the Battle). Sponsors of China’s first Battle included CITIC Securities Futures, Shanghai Futures Exchange, Hwabao Securities, RTS Realtime Systems, KKM Capital and the Shanghai Hedge Fund Park. Bartt Kellermann welcomed the attendees and officially announced that Shanghai will now serve as the Asian Battle event city. The Asian Quant event has most recently been held in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. Kenny Li of KKM Capital, partner and sponsors of the Battle of the Quants – Shanghai, also spoke and welcomed everyone to the evening.

Following the evening festivities the Battle got down to business with the “Quant Education Day – From Factor Models to Artificial Intelligence”. The first day provided attendees with presentations from international industry leaders in quantitative finance. Presenters included the Global CIO of Lyxor, Nicolas Gaussel, PhD who discussed Futures Trading, Joseph Oyaski of MNJ Capital (Eureka Hedge Best Quant Fund 2012) talked about the quant strategies available on the equities side and Feng Cao, PhD, IBM, the Luncheon Keynote, who discussed Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. The afternoon started with a highlights reel from the recently released “Wall Street Code” with an analysis of the current and future outlook of the HFT world by Giovanni Beliossi of FGS Capital. Other presentations covered Sentiment Analysis, how Due Diligence Hedge Funds and leveraging quantitative strategies in your portfolio.

The third and final day started of with three tracks; a 1) Capital Introduction Roundtable 2) RTS Tango Quant Education and 3) Screening of the “Wall Street Code” Movie followed by an interactive discussion with Giovanni Beliossi of FGS Capital. After the completion of the three tracks attendees gathered for the first panel discussion of the day “Setting up Your Hedge Fund in China”. This was an excellent panel because the various disciplines participated including, a lawyer, consultant, research analyst, and a quant fund in the process of setting up a new fund. Ian McGuinn of Vermillion Capital Management (Carlysle Group) shed light on the challenges he faced and continues to face when setting up in the FTZ and Shanghai Hedge Fund Park. The luncheon keynote was given by Giles Chance, a visiting professor from Dartmouth now at Peking University who examined the just finished 3rd Plenum. Many reports in the media commented that nothing of great significance was announce but Giles felt there were significant changes were afoot and he turned out to be correct as details continue to be made public on major changes happening to the capital markets. The “Man vs. Machine” panel became quite interesting as Heiko Bailer, PhD of Swiss Trust squared in his seat and took it to the quants with included Paul Beuthe from Crabel Capital and Lionel Semonin from 4 Elements. One of the best presentations of the day was given by Alfred Samson Hou, PhD, President of True Arrow. His highly successful and well known quant fund presentation had everyone focused on the challenges he had to overcome to create his company and thrive. A true lesson on how to build a firm and trade successfully. As we neared the end of the day Heidi Heiden – Blunt took the moderating podium and led top quant investors like Judith Posnikoff of PAAMCO and Li Jie of Hwabao (Hwabao just announced a seed fund for new hedge fund managers in China). The final panel chaired by Hong Yan of SAIF discussed how Social Media is increasingly being leveraged to predict price movements.

After  three days which saw attendees staying to the end of each day, the conference came to a close. Both Hwabao and CITIC Securities announced new seed fund initiatives for new hedge funds. Plans are now in place for the next Battles in NYC, Shanghai and London. Special panels are being created to help hedge funds gain clarity on opportunities in China. Shanghai will come early in 2014, end of June.

Shanghai 2013View Slide Show