Laurence Fauchon is CTO and co-founder of Quantilia. She has worked for BNP Paribas until 2015 both in Paris and Hong Kong for Equity & Derivatives and Quantitative Research. She co-founded her first ethical start up called HelperChoice which aims to eradicate modern slavery. At Quantilia she runs operations and acts as a bridge between the technical team and the sales team.
What tempted you to get into the finance industry in the first place?
I started as a desk quant on a trading floor, working closely with structured products trading teams. Working in a challenging and fast environment while doing mathematics is a rare opportunity that mostly only the finance industry offers.
What is most interesting to you in this field?
I’m very fond of mathematics. This field is the intersection between technology and finance, which basically consists of mathematics.
We focus on quantitative strategies which are still difficult to access to many portfolio managers, including some big institutional investors. Researching these still uncommon strategies and making them available to investors is fulfilling, as I get to know many highly-skilled people and am given the opportunity to work with them. The data and information is all out there – there is just no one yet who has gathered them all and structured them in a way that it is uncomplicated.
Why did you join Quantilia?
We see frustration on both sides: It is difficult for investors to find the information they are looking for, and providers spend too much time trying to communicate to the investor what is available, when actually they should focus on finding solutions and implementing them, thereby adding more value.
This is why I joined Quantilia – because it allies finance and technology. We created a platform where we have established our own benchmarks to make it easy to compare and evaluate quantitative strategies, so that investors can make better decisions. While doing all this, we aim to remain an easy-to-use website.
Why quantitative strategies? What are their benefits?
Pension funds in Scandinavia, US and Japan have understood for a long time that quantitative strategies are a great, cost efficient way to complement a portfolio.
Rule Based strategies can be tested and assessed with both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Also, in this time of volatility, there are no human beings who do not make a mistake or take a wrong decision due to stress or pressure.
These strategies play an increasingly important rule in the portfolios of any institutional investor. Also, if very focused, they allow the manager to be accurate in his choice. For example, one can invest in one risk factor only, while usual investment mixes include different factors at the same time.
How do you think quantitative strategies will further develop?
They will become more accessible.
Investment boards, regulators, …: They all need to become more transparent and introduce more objective tools. This is why a platform like Quantilia can help them. From a pure investment point of view, the demand is very high, especially for simple building blocks which managers can combine with each other. The days when people expected a strategy to perform in whatever market has passed – active management is necessary, across different providers.
How do you think Quantilia can help institutional investors?
We help them focus on their real added value, by having the most time consuming parts done by the platform. We gather all relevant information, find strategies that investors may not have had access to before and gather all of them in one single place. Investors can use our portfolio construction tools: easily test thematic baskets of strategies, different weighting schemes and selection processes.
By connecting investors and providers in an efficient, regulation-friendly way, we hope to accompany the growth of the biggest development in the asset management business since the introduction of ETFs.