TechBullion caught up with entrepreneur and co-founder of macro analytics firm Quant Insight to discuss his background, plans for growth and ambitions to take the company forward.
Please tell us more about yourself?
I have lived in London since I was six years old and studied at the London School of Economics for both my undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.
After University, I started my career working in derivative products working for Morgan Stanley. I then spent the next 10 years working as an options trader, before moving onto the asset management side, working for large hedge funds as a macro portfolio manager.
When the 2008 financial crash hit, I was convinced that the overall investment environment was becoming much more difficult and complicated. Global interconnectedness, the deluge of data, quantitative easing, the rise of China and greater market complexity was making investing more challenging.
Over time, with the price of computing reducing substantially and rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence, it became clear that there was an opportunity to develop a product to help investors cut through all the noise, complexity, and data.
Tell us about Quant Insight and why you founded the company?
Qi was founded in Dec 2014 and as noted above, the idea came from my personal experience as an investor at major institutions. I was also frustrated with the highly subjective nature of macro commentary.
Basically, much of the research, blogs and market commentary out there is based on hunches and opinion. Hard evidence in decision-making was sorely missing. Much of the commentary is inconsistent. I increasingly started to view much of the research world as less of a help to investors and more of a hindrance. I also wanted to bring in absolutely world class quantitative expertise to the process.
Our Chief Scientist is Prof Michael Hobson, Cambridge Univ. Michael was Vice-master of Trinity Hall, Chief Data Scientist at the Cavendish Astrophysics Labs at the University of Cambridge. His IP has been used to get the Juno probe to Jupiter at the European Space Agency and to discover the Higgs-Boson (“God particle”) in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Our other advisor is Prof Ryan P Adams at Princeton.
Ryan taught machine learning at Harvard, sold his Ai start-up to Twitter in 2015, worked for Google Brain as an Ai research scientist. He won a JPM award in 2020. This combination of world class scientific expertise and investment experience drives Qi’s key advantages as a company.
Can you give us some practical insights as to how Qi can be used day-to-day?
Yes indeed. If you are an investor today, you want to know why the stock market sold off in the last 2 weeks. You want to know whether it is news about China stress, or the Fed moving to lowering QE or whether it is the sharp rise in energy prices. Qi’s algorithms find the deep underlying relationships between asset prices and all the key info to help you understand why things are moving.
You can also use Qi to get an objective read on whether asset prices are under or overvalued, given the current information. Qi has been signalling gold weakness for several months, and the machine has spotted that the underlying gold dynamics have not been bullish.
What are the key benefits for clients using QI?
Time – we are deluged with data and information. It is hard just to keep up. Qi gathers 6mm data points a day and flags the 2 to 5 key things you need to know as an investor. It is a big market “brain” that turns data into useful, actionable knowledge.
Transparency – Understand what is going in in markets under the surface
Quality – World class data science available to all
What’s next for your company?
We are very excited about our new retail sub-brand, “iQ”. We want to take the benefits of Qi to all investors globally. There are 50mm new retail investors since 2015 in the US alone. These investors are poorly served right now and we want to give them access to state of the art analytics.
Mahmood Noorani, Co-Founder of Quant Insight