Leda Braga
14/4/2022
16/9/2022
Why Quant is the Future – With Leda Braga, CEO & Founder of Systematica

Leda Braga has earned the nickname “the queen of quants”. After a PhD in engineering from Imperial College London, she spent seven years at JPMorgan as a quant the bank’s derivatives research team. After a stint at a start-up spun out of JPMorgan, the Brazil-born Leda then helped establish one of the industry’s leading systematic trend-following funds at Michael Platt’s BlueCrest.

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Leda Braga has earned the nickname “the queen of quants”. After a PhD in engineering from Imperial College London, she spent seven years at JPMorgan as a quant the bank’s derivatives research team. After a stint at a start-up spun out of JPMorgan, the Brazil-born Leda then helped establish one of the industry’s leading systematic trend-following funds at Michael Platt’s BlueCrest.

In the wake of eye-popping financial crisis success - the flagship BlueTrend fund made 43 per cent in 2008 - Leda spun out Systematica into a full-fledged standalone hedge fund group (though she reluctantly retired the Ducati motorbike). As chief executive of Systematica she has ridden through a tough time for trend-surfing systematic funds and solidified Leda’s reputation as a bold-faced name in the quant industry.

In this wide-ranging discussion with our guest presenter, the FT’s Robin Wigglesworth, Leda explores everything from gender balance in hedge funds and how “algorithm aversion” is no longer spooking investors to the different forms of trend-following and how quant is the future of the investment management world – whatever the old guard may say.

Leda Braga

Leda is the founder and CEO of Systematica. Prior to joining Systematica, Leda was the President and Head of Systematic Trading at BlueCrest Capital Management for 14 years. Prior to BlueCrest Leda was part of Cygnifi Derivatives Services (a J.P. Morgan spin-off). At Cygnifi she was part of the management team and was head of its Valuation Service. Prior to Cygnifi, Leda spent nearly seven years at J.P. Morgan as a Quantitative Analyst in the derivatives research team. Her past experience includes modelling of interest rate exotics, FX/interest rate hybrid instruments and equity derivatives. She holds a PhD in Engineering from Imperial College London, where she worked as a lecturer and led research projects for over three years prior to joining J.P. Morgan. In addition Leda has served as an advisor to the board of the pension fund of  CERN in Geneva and on the advisory board of the London School of Economics' Systemic Risk Centre. In 2019, she has joined the Board of Trustees for the Standards Board for Alternative Investments (SBAI).

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