Fulcrum builds out its Quantitative Investment Strategies team with two new hires

  • Justin Simler joins as Managing Director
  • Dan Wales joins as Director

Fulcrum Asset Management announces two senior hires to its Quantitative Investment Strategies (QIS) team. Justin Simler has responsibility for commercial development and business strategy and Dan Wales joins as a senior economist.

Justin Simler joins from abrdn where he was Head of Multi-Asset Product Strategy and Investment Specialists. Before that he fulfilled a similar role for Ninety One, where he helped to build the foundations of multi asset income and global macro allocation. Prior to this he held two transformative posts as head of the product management teams for Schroders in Quantitative Equity Products and then Multi Asset. 

Dan Wales joins from the International Monetary Fund. His PhD in Economics is from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Janeway post-doctoral Research Fellow in Economics. He has also been an Economist at the Bank of England.

The team began in 2012 as a Research and Development capability for Fulcrum and now spearheads Fulcrum’s innovative quantitative macro strategies business. It has twelve members, including 6 PhDs, who are responsible for economic analysis, research, modelling and systematic strategies. They work closely with a scientific advisory board of senior academics at leading global universities and together they are working to explore and extend the frontier of investment techniques at the intersection of macroeconomics and quantitative finance.  Juan Antolin-Diaz, Chief Research Officer and head of the QIS team at Fulcrum Asset Management says:

“Fulcrum was created with the aim of delivering innovative solutions that leverage research-based insights into the interaction of markets and macroeconomics. I believe that the future is increasingly data-driven. Advances in computing power and AI mean that complex investment problems can now be solved using a sophisticated quantitative approach that combines modern macroeconomic theory with the latest computational techniques.”  

“Justin Simler and Dan Wales are two extremely high calibre individuals who will be great additions to the team.”

The team developed the firm’s highly acclaimed nowcasting methodology which utilises available data to generate macro-economic forecasts. Fulcrum’s nowcasting methodology has been published in top peer-reviewed journals and adopted over the years by numerous central banks, including the New York Federal Reserve, especially after COVID, when conventional nowcasting approaches struggled to cope with the extreme shock to economic growth.

Another success for the team is its Macro Allocation and Risk System (MARS). MARS represents the latest generation of dynamic portfolio construction algorithms, combining in a single framework macroeconomic and return forecasting, portfolio optimisation, and trading. It leverages more than a decade of research and development in the fields of Bayesian econometrics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence at Fulcrum. It is a versatile return engine that can be configured to match different investors’ objectives, tolerance for risk, and constraints, and to construct long-only or long-short investment solutions. The QIS team now uses the MARS framework to manage 40% of the risk of Fulcrum’s flagship absolute return strategy as well as a standalone long-short systematic global macro strategy for a sovereign wealth client.

Commenting on the unique capabilities of the team, as well as its growth, Gavyn Davies, Executive Chairman, Fulcrum Asset Management, said:

“Other managers may do elements of this (MARS) but none has the capability to put all the parts together in a consistent and coherent solution that leverages the latest technology.”

“In recognition of this, and the increasing demand from clients for the team’s approach and insights, we are delighted to welcome Justin Simler and Dan Wales on board.”

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