In her recent appearance at Delivering Alpha, Systematica Investments CEO Leda Braga explained her view of where trading is headed and how she feels the ‘systematic approach’ will prevail in the long run.
For human investment managers, the news from leading algorithmic trader Leda Braga is both good and bad. Good, because she thinks there’s still a place for discretionary, human trading in certain corners of the market. Bad, because in her view, that place is shrinking. “The business of investment management is the business of data management,” said Braga during her appearance at Delivering Alpha today. “The algorithmic approach is the best way to do that.”
Braga, 48, has been described as the most powerful woman in the global hedge fund industry. After nearly 14 years at prominent European firm BlueCrest Capital Management, most recently as the head of its systematic trading fund, the Geneva-based Braga earlier this year launched her own firm, Systematica Investments. Systematica now has $8.8 billion in assets under management. At BlueCrest, Braga’s fund, which returned 12.7 percent in 2014, sat next to a fund run by discretionary traders; Systematica focuses exclusively on algorithmic trading. There’s a considerable cultural difference in the way systematic and discretionary traders approach the investment process: Discretionary desks are little more than “a collection of traders doing their own thing,” according to Braga, whereas the systematic style involves much more teamwork: “There’s a real process-driven culture to us,” she said.
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