Would I Clone the Best Quant if I Could?
In my recent post I took the satirical sic-fi story about Ijon Tichy's 7th voyage to satirize our decision to present more post writers (than work days per week) …
They will definitely be not multiple versions of somebody and present their individual ideas, views, experiences and achievements.
Thinking deeper about multiple versions of .. I asked myself whether the great soccer team Barca (FC Barcelona) would be unbeatable, if 10 Lionel Messi (and the Barca Goalie) would build the team? Or 10 Neymar da Silva Santos …?
Im a quite sure: no - a team has a specialist at each position and it becomes great if they interplay perfectly, if they are resilient and change strategies often.
Even better, if they play for themselves and not dominantly against the opponent.
I am sure this does not differ with quant teams - although they have an additional dimension: technologies.
A sum of identical knowledge, skills and technologies?
IMO, quant teams need to create good knowledge of data, good knowledge of financial theory, a pragmatic knowledge of market behaviors and they need to be artistic in building and utilizing multi-methods of quant finance enabling the creation of computational knowledge systems. That includes advanced numerical schemes. And they need to be great software architects, system designers and multi-language and multi-paradigm programmers.
This is a lot. And it requires to look at quant finance through the lens of physics, mathematics and sw engineering. This is how we work and no, I would not clone the best of our team …
It took us a while to understand what the best interaction and communication patterns are, but the second looks paid back.
There is a running discussion in Wilmott's Programming and SW Forum: "what does one line of software cost?". And although I do not believe that such a metric doesn't say much, I was surprised about the difference. It looks our team mix is not too bad.
Picture from sehfelder