Unstructured Finance

Phone home

Spare a thought for quant-heavy hedge fund firm BlueCrest.

Big in JapanThe company’s systematic trading funds rely on the supercooled servers that crunch the numbers to run their, hopefully money-making, algorithms, so it must have come as quite a shock when their Japanese hardware was put under lock and key when Lehman bit the dust.

One year on and the firm is still waiting for a postcard. BlueCrest traders have even started calling the imprisoned server ‘ET’, after the castaway alien in Steven Speilberg’s teary blockbuster.

Of course, the Japan leg of the business isn’t running it’s black box strategies through the office Casio calculator. It resurrected its own Japanese infrastructure and now has a server humming and blinking away in a third-party data centre, coincidentally right next door to its incarcerated predecessor.

Rough ride

The worst financial crisis in 80 years has tarnished many previously sparkling reputations.

rtr14aq2In fund management, as in banking, many managers who previously looked like the shrewdest around were left looking like investors who could profit well enough in a bull market, or even during the dotcom bust, but just couldn’t deliver the goods when times got really tough.

Yesterday Goldman Sachs said the two heads of its once-flagship Global Alpha quant hedge fund had resigned.