Dr. Christian Zimmer on Defining Quant Trading in Brazil

Quantitative trading in Brazil is not as defined as it could be…yet.

According to Dr. Christian Zimmer, Head of Quantitative Portfolio Management and Research, Itaú Asset Management, it’s not easy to differentiate objectively what a quant fund is, but it’s good for marketing to have a “quant fund” in Brazil, because an investor will assume that your returns will not be correlated with returns of other funds, said Zimmer. That does not mean that this is necessarily true, which is the tricky part. Watch the video interview here to hear him talk about quantitative trading. And read below for a synopsis of what he spoke about.

Zimmer looks at the situation in two ways: quantitative asset management and quantitative trading. The first relies on good methodology that will allow you to make wealth, he said, where the second is really about making money out of the market and involves a different kind of decision making process.

At the moment, Zimmer sees firms in Brazil hiring two different kinds of people for these two different quantitative roles. For the quantitative asset managers, it’s more difficult to find a job because it’s difficult to start up a fund right out of school – but the people in these roles inevitably are PhD holders who have backgrounds in physics, mathematics and/or statistics. The quantitative traders, on the other hand, have backgrounds in computer science, IT, poly-tech, etc., and can thus find work more easily right out of school with financial firms.

Zimmer said that in the future, Brazil will head more into the quantitative trading environment. More automatic, algorithmic trading will be taking place, he said.

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