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Opalesque Futures Intelligence

Manager Profiles: Up-and-coming managers comment on their strategy and the markets

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Up-and-coming managers with diverse approaches describe their strategy and what they see happening in the markets. Their comments have been edited.

Bill Dreiss of Dreiss Research Corporation
After getting an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Harvard, Bill worked at a think tank in the late 1960s, using game theory to model war. Then he got into trading and moved from the United States to Australia.

2008 return: 101%Comments: “Dreiss Research Corporation trades a wide array of global futures markets using a very long-term systematic approach, with a pattern recognition system based on the concepts and tools of fractal geometry. We feel strongly that most of the profits made available by markets are due to long-term trends related to the business cycle or to fundamental shifts in supply and demand in various industries. While shorter-term techniques usually take a series of bites out of the major economic trend, our approach attempts to capture as much of this trend as possible in a single trade.”

Charlie Wright and Rob Friedl of Fall River Capital
Charlie and Rob had known each other for more than ten years when they formed Fall River in November 1999. They share a strong interest in developing systematic approaches to markets.

2008 return for Global Strategies HL: 27%Comments: “If we can understand philosophically how markets work, we should be able to get a better understanding of our psychology and be better traders and investors. We develop our programs from over thirty years of historical daily price data. In the last thirty years we have seen almost all the economic and trading environments imaginable. We design our programs to either trade profitably or conserve equity through all of these environments. We trade approximately 84 futures markets from a worldwide universe of over 100 markets. The primary criteria we use is liquidity. Each market must have enough volume to enable us to trade effectively given the size of our orders.”

John Joseph of SEMA4 Group
John has degrees in biology and mathematics and is a published researcher in math.

2008 return for SEMA4 Global Diversified Program: 14.9%Comments: “The Diversified Program provides access to every liquid futures market in the world through a quantitative model that evaluates asset allocation among worldwide alternatives in commodities, equities, fixed income and currencies in a highly-scalable portfolio. It performs optimally during the most adverse market conditions while producing competitive returns during normal market environments. We have other strategies, such as the SEMA4 Russell 2000 Day Trading Program, which exploits transient intraday pricing inefficiencies in futures on the Russell 2000 index. These pricing inefficiencies are generally created and driven by the activity of institutional equity traders operating on a much longer timescale than our trades.”

John McLane of Mobius Asset Management
John has been working in the commodity futures industry since 1977, when he began his career with Merrill Lynch as a futures broker in Rochester, New York. He has worked as a futures specialist at Prudential Securities, EF Hutton and Dean Witter.

2008 return for Energy Trading Program: 6%
Comments: “Our Energy Trading Program combines both trend following and counter trend following within a systematic technical methodology. Trading decisions are driven by a proprietary multi-system approach that seeks to capture changes in short term and long-term price momentum. One of the significant features of the program is its capacity to respond quickly to directional changes in markets.”

Kent and Todd Horsager of Compass Strategic Investments
Kent was the chief executive and president of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Todd is a CPA with big-four public accounting firm and private equity experience.

Return since Inception (April 2008) for 5-Year Treasury Program: 9.5%
Comments: “This is an enhanced benchmark return (portable alpha) managed account program that invests in US Treasury bonds.”

This article was published in Opalesque Futures Intelligence.
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