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Alternative Market Briefing

SA2’s global fundamental quantitative macro funds use Japan as a model

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

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Robert Page
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva for New Managers:

An emerging hedge fund manager and former start trader, who runs global macro funds applying fundamental and quantitative strategies in London, talks about the lessons he learned while at Lehman and Credit Suisse.

Equipped with a couple of engineering degrees, Robert Page started his career at Lehman’s interest rate derivative option desk. In the early 90s, the bank offered him the whole Yen derivative book to trade; he moved to Japan and built the book into a large business with 12 currencies.

"It was a very interesting time to begin trading in Asia," he says in a recent Opalesque TV interview. "I arrived in Japan the week that the Japanese Government Bonds market began its collapse of 1994. In my first week of trading, I learned that the market absolutely collapses for unforeseen events; that was my first trial by fire, the first time running a large amount of risk."

Page ended up being Lehman’s most profitable trader. One of his most lucrative trades was on floors on Yen interest rate in the mid-90s. There was an element of arbitrage trading at the time, he says, well before Long Term Capital. "What I took away from that," he notes, "is that sometimes models can be wrong and you really have to do your homework, extensive amount of research and then spot these opportunities."

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