Born in London to kiwi parents, grew up on the Kapiti Coast from the age of 2.
Studied political science at Victoria University, graduated 2001.
Went on to work in some of the world’s leading political consulting firms – for Labour parties in NZ and Australia with UMR Research, and then moved to the US in 2003 to work for Democrats and UK Labour with Stan Greenberg and James Carville at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Democracy Corps in Washington, DC. In 2007 moved to New York to work in PR and strategic communications with reputation management giants Rubenstein Communications. In 2010, joined Huge, at the time a small digital design studio, and led communications and marketing for the company, helping to turn it into a 1500 person agency driving digital transformation efforts for many of the largest companies across North and South America, the UK, and APAC.
In mid 2017, moved from NY to Minneapolis for family reasons. I currently provide strategic communications services as a consultant but I am also launching two startup ventures:
1: an agile think tank called AI Policy Labs focused on increasing policymaker literacy in AI and creating ongoing dialogue between the AI research and federal, state, and local policymaking communities in order to to get ahead of the enormous changes AI will create for society and the economy in the coming years.
2: A strategic leadership consultancy called Ends Inc, focused on creating more Elon Musks by helping people with the means to drive change define their vision and build the products and organizations necessary to achieve them.
Hobbies: twin eight year olds keep me too busy for real hobbies these days, but when I was in NYC I trained regularly at Krav Maga Federation with Rhon Mizrachi – recommended for anyone interested in personal development, self defence, or a good workout. These days I try to swim regularly and am cooking my way through the Momofuku Cookbook
KIWI CLUB OF NEW YORK, INC., ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will be held on March 29th at a time and location TBA. If you are interested in being a Board member please email the President at email@example.com as soon as possible
RIP Alfred “Bunty” Preece – The last surviving commissioned officer of the Māori Battalion has died. Alfred “Bunty” Preece, who was in his late 90s, died on Friday, his biographer Tom O’Connor said. His funeral was held on Sunday in Chatham Islands, where he was from.
Introducing Fellow NZer Jared Broad and his company QuantConnect (from the Financial Times 2018)
Jared Broad was a teenager when he learnt a painful, but valuable, lesson: humans are imperfect traders, and emotionless machines are the future of financial markets.
The 15-year old had sold some old dusty computers from a library he was working at in New Plymouth, New Zealand and ploughed the proceeds into a penny stock. His delight as it tripled turned to horror as it quickly crashed to zero.
Mr Broad, 33, is now founder and head of QuantConnect, one of several new platforms attempting to harness the skills of freelance computer wizards and data scientists who would rather code an automated trading algorithm than invest directly in the markets themselves. This month QuantConnect took a step out of the shadows, opening up for outside hedge funds to “subscribe” to the algorithms coded by its users.
“It feels like it’s becoming mainstream,” he says. “Computing power is going up, the price of data are going down, and you can find talent around the world. There’s very real progress now.”
Yet QuantConnect faces a daunting challenge, with better-funded rivals and widespread scepticism that a “crowdsourced” approach can master one of the most complicated corners of finance. Even Quantopian, one of the highest-profile companies in the field, has struggled to get its crowdpowered hedge fund turning a profit.
The setbacks have solidified the view of many established quants that these upstarts and their Silicon Valley-tinged, fantastical visions of “democratising” investing will inevitably end in failure. While their platforms might be useful for quant dilettantes — some of which have managed to code
Equities QuantConnect platform jostles in crowded ﬁeld of DIY quants
New Zealand founder is unbowed by the scepticism over freelance coders ability to beat markets
Some algorithms that have made money — scaling this up to a lucrative business model will be tough, the sceptics say.
Mr Broad acknowledges the obstacles, and the fact that several of its rivals are better-financed and more established. But he remains optimistic that QuantConnect’s model will triumph. “They are the hare and we are the tortoise,” he says of rivals.
It has certainly been a circuitous, tortoise-like journey to the world of finance for the biomedical engineer from New Zealand. After working a few years as an engineer in Auckland, he sold all his belongings, paid off his student loans, and went travelling around Asia, and eventually ended up at NGOs working on humanitarian projects in places like Myanmar, Haiti and Chile.
It was in Chile, after working on the clean-up of the country’s 2010 earthquake, when he finally started designing what became QuantConnect, helped by a $40,000 grant from the Latin American country’s start-up incubator. By early 2016 he and a Chilean co-worker had decamped for an office in downtown Brooklyn so small they nicknamed it “The Cupboard”.
Money is a little easier nowadays. QuantConnect raised $1m in January 2016, and some of its coders pay $20 a month for its full package that allows users to design, test and unleash trading algorithms on stocks, currencies, options and futures. This October it added cryptocurrencies to its platform.
The company this month launched what it calls “Alpha Streams”, where hedge funds can subscribe to follow the signals generated by the 45,000 freelance coders on its platform. So far the only signup is Tibra, an Australian firm, but Mr Broad says he expects to bring more hedge funds on to QuantConnect in 2018, offering them a way to both find new talent and to tap into the collective insight generated by its users.
This is a different business model from the two best-known platforms for aspiring DIY quant traders, Quantopian in Boston and Numerai in San Francisco, generally viewed as the leaders in the very niche but crowded field, which run embryonic hedge funds powered by their members’ efforts.
Both have big-name backing from the worlds of finance and technology, with Point72 Steven Cohen and Andreessen Horowitz invested in Quantopian, and Paul Tudor Jones, FirstRound’s Howard Morgan and Union Square Ventures invested in Numerai.
Numerai’s Silicon Valley sensibilities permeate its model. Its users download free but encrypted financial data, using artificial intelligence to sniff out patterns that can lead to predictions. They submit these predictions to Numerai, which rewards the best ones with its own cryptocurrency (Numeraire) and uses them for its own hedge fund.
How successful this has been is unclear, with Numerai declining to comment on its performance. Quantopian’s hedge fund this summer began to take in some external investment, but the $52m vehicle has lost about 3 per cent since launching, according to people familiar with the matter, and this autumn let its investment chief go.
John Fawcett, Quantopian’s founder, insists that its 160,000-plus members are producing enough good working material in the form of profitable algorithms, but the challenge has been picking the right mix for its hedge fund’s portfolio. He shrugs off the crows of the sceptics.
“There are things we definitely need to worry about, but what people think is not one of them,” he says. “The first thing we can do to change minds is to improve the performance.”
Jared can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Club Free Time – If you have a day off (great idea for visitors) and are looking for something to do in NYC you may want to consider joining Club Free Time. It costs approx. $20 per year and each week they email you with free things to do. Please see latest details below or check their website at https://www.clubfreetime.com/ or contact them at email@example.com
Best Free Things To Do in NYC This Week
|Monday, March 5, 2018
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|Sunday, March 11, 2018