Mathematical Finance Seminar

Alternative Data in Finance – Interworking of a Buy-Side R&D Team

Speaker: Gene Ekster, Alternative Data Group

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 5:30 p.m.


In the last 5-10 years, Alternative Data has been quietly transforming the investment process across Wall Street. In this talk, we will briefly introduce the audience to the nascent, yet growing field of alternative data in finance and present concrete solutions to common technical problems utilizing widely available computing and machine learning tools. We will give the audience a sneak peek of the inner workings of a modern buy-side R&D group which enables traditional funds to use non-traditional data in the investment process. This includes sourcing, compliance and PII, paneling, bias minimization and alpha generation related to revenue estimates. We're going to walk through examples of how noisy, unstructured data becomes an investable signal and the skill sets necessary to make it happen.  Finally, we will discuss the trends which will shape the future of alternative data in finance.

Gene Ekster, CFA is the co-founder and CEO of Alternative Data Group. Previously he has worked in the alternative data industry on the buy-side as head of R&D at Point72 Asset Management as well as the independent research side as a Director of Data Product, 1010Data and Senior Analyst at Majestic Research. He holds a degree in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Cornell University.