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What Should We Be Teaching the Next Generation of Quants?

Posted on July 2019

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​​​Oliver Cooke, Managing Director of North America, has been invited to QuantMinds Americas to moderate the much-anticipated panel, “What should we be teaching the next generation of quants?” The panel will discuss the future of quant talent and skills, as well as exploring how quant modeling compares across different sectors. Looking ahead to the event, Cooke shares some key themes that he looks forward to hearing more about from the esteemed panel.

Quantitative finance has evolved dramatically in the last 30 years. Quants have gone from a group of individuals operating in a think-tank style environment, fairly separate from the front-office, to being a key extension of any trading desk, client-facing and the most sought after talent in the market.

One of the key developments that came out of QuantMinds International in Vienna, this past May, was how ubiquitous machine learning and AI techniques have become in any quant's day-to-day. Although many of these techniques have been around for decades, they are now have become more mainstream. There are even examples of applying AI techniques to more traditional quantitative problems such as option pricing. It’s clear that any up-and-coming quant should be educating themselves and actively practicing machine learning and AI techniques as they will only become more relevant in the future.

The rise of the 'Quantitative strategist' (or 'strat') was pioneered by the likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley more than 15 years ago. Almost every bank now has a quant 'strat' team or has that model as part of their entire approach to quantitative support. What does that mean? That quants are a true extension of the trading desk. That they need to have a high level of quantitative skill, alongside computer science ability, topped off with true business understanding and soft skills to work with the trading desk to implement their solutions. Having both technical and soft skills is becoming essential in order to be a top quant in the industry.

Finally, quants have the opportunity to help firms solve wider business challenges through the use of data and analytics. We are lucky enough to have an amazing, world-class panel of practitioners joining us for panel discussion at QuantMinds Americas. In particular, Afsheen Afshar and Shimon Senderowitz have been at major organizations such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Blackrock. In these groups, they have been using quantitative and data science techniques to solve key business challenges. This shows the wider impact quants can have both within finance and beyond, solving organizational challenges, talent challenges, efficiency and operational challenges. This means that the options for up and coming quants to apply their skillset in different ways is vast and will only become bigger in the future.

QuantMinds Americas will bring together experts from banks, investment managers, regulators, Silicon Valley, academia and beyond, to learn, network and share expertise on the future of the quant industry. Attendees will hear about the latest breakthrough research, as well as the biggest issues facing the industry, from some of the world’s most revered quant thought-leaders.

Registration for both QuantMinds Americas, and the co-located RiskMinds Americas is now open. Click below, and enjoy an exclusive 15% discount on your registration for either event.


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