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Alternative Market Briefing

John Locke's CEO Bonnin (1): How he discovered the world of quant and why the French like it so

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

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Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque London.

French hedge fund manager François Bonnin graduated from Paris' "Grande Ecole" ISG (Institut Superieur de Gestion). He was director of convertible trading at RAFE S.A. (AXA Group) before setting up the asset manager CAP STARDEX in 1992. After selling the firm to ING, Francois founded Paris-based John Locke Investments, which is owned by its managers and BNP Paribas, which holds a 15% minority stake.

Into the world of quant Bonnin told Matthias Knab in a video interview (Part One here) last month, held in Asterias' offices in Paris, how he stumbled upon the alternative quantitative investment world, around 20 years ago.

A friend told him: "I have a system base on some technical indicators which we can make money out of. Come and have a look." Bonnin was very sceptical but had a look anyway. He saw two moving averages, two RSIs, a very large Lotus spread-sheet with 400 columns and an equity curve.

A moving average is an indicator used in technical analysis showing the average value of a security's price over a set period; and a SRI - which stands for Relative Strength Index - is a technical momentum indicator that compares the magnitude of recent gains to recent losses, in order to determine overbought and oversold conditions of an asset.

"I thought to myself, wo......................

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