Today's Hedge Fund Alert article features BattleFin. It highlights BattleFin's Discovery Day and Big Data Combine event coming January 27th.
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Here is the story by James Prado Roberts:
BattleFin Pooling Quant Talent
BattleFin is planning a second fund.
The multi-strategy vehicle, BattleFin Fund 2, would select a group of 10 quantitative specialists to develop its trading algorithms. The plan is to start off with an undisclosed amount of internal capital in March.
From there, BattleFin would seek an outside backer to supply acceleration capital — one with deep-enough pockets to bring the most promising strategies in the portfolio to more than $100 million apiece. Presumably, the firm would offer the product to a broader audience later on.
BattleFin founders Tim Harrington in Rowayton, Conn., and Brian Tomeo in Miami have been reviewing potential programmers for the fund, whose allocations would come at their discretion. The plan is to evaluate finalists at a “Discovery Day” and “Big Data Combine” the firm is hosting on Jan. 27-28 at the Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach.
The focus is on data scientists who are able to identify profitable trading algorithms but haven’t formed their own shops. Some could come from a pool of traders selected for a “Data Science Incubator Platform” that BattleFin is developing.
That program calls for candidates to submit proposals showing how they would use data from sources including Dow Jones, I-Sentium, Psychsignal and Ravenpack to produce trading profits. Those chosen will receive up to a year of free access to those services, with the idea that they could gain an edge by acting on information that isn’t in widespread use by other quantitative managers.
BattleFin views Fund 2’s format as a way to attract fledgling quants before they’ve built track records elsewhere or have moved into other businesses where startup money is more readily available. Its formation follows the July launch of BattleFin Fund 1, a vehicle that directs money from a small group of investors mainly to stock pickers who have hung their own shingles.
Those individuals include: Jim Creighton of Maniford Partners; Boris Dinaburg of BD-Algotrade; Jeff Ferro of Ferro Investment; John LaChance of Alexandria Capital; and Paul Sinsar of Seismic Funds. There also is a component designed to hedge BattleFin bets while directing capital to managers who aren’t ready for stand-alone allocations.
Fund 1’s managers will be on hand at the Miami Beach event. In all, BattleFin expects as many as 40 managers and programmers, along with up to 30 potential investors in its products.
The firm is best known for running a series of competitions in which traders compete for access to capital from third-party backers. It currently is conducting its seventh such tournament, pitting some 65 equity traders against one another for shares of a $25 million pot from Discovery Capital. That contest started in September and wraps up this month