Home: Sydney, Australia. Birthplace: Cairns, Australia. Profession: Investment management. Title: Quantitative analyst. Alma mater: Australian National University; Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Languages spoken: English and German.
Current project: Portfolio management with a focus on systematic global macro trading. Latest accomplishment: Writing on a number of issues I’ve been eager to explore. Three papers so far, two of which have been in the top ten downloads in their respective fields on SSRN. Latest contribution to others: Helping my Mum and extended family with their retirement investments. What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Teaching myself how to program. Harnessing the power of computers in an age of such technological advancement has allowed me to ride that wave, rather than being run over by it. Hobbies: Surfing. Recent travel or adventure: Hiking in the Austrian and Italian alps around Tyrol and the Dolomites. Recently viewed and recommended: Deutschland 83, the story of a reluctant East German spy in the Cold War era. Recent unique acquisition: A handheld luggage weighing device that fits in your pocket.
What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Driven. How do you define an ideal business relationship? Win-win. What is your greatest joy? My beautiful children. What is your greatest fear? Backtest overfitting. What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Navy SEALs / Special Forces. How do you relieve stress? Lifting weights. As a quantitative analyst, I think it’s great to balance working out the mind with working out the body. What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Stunning nature and a balance of exercise and rest with some time to reflect.
What was your first paying job? At an ice cream parlor. What was your favorite college course? Two: Portfolio Management and The Philosophy of F. A. Hayek. Both groundbreaking in my later personal and professional development. What book have you repeatedly read? Market Wizards, by Jack Schwager. What movie have you repeatedly watched? Amadeus. What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Be obsessed or be average. What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? Python programming. What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Getting away from the computer and mobile accompanied with a pencil and paper. Flights, libraries and hikes often bring me new ideas.
What is your big idea? Limit the function of central banks to “lender of last resort” and allow large banks to issue their own coins to facilitate a market-based outcome for short-term interest rates. What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? I’m consciously creating a nicer, more thoughtful environment in the trading industry, in contrast to the menacing “dog eat dog” experience which tends to prevail. What widely held belief do you reject? That the person who talks the most in group settings is more suitable to become the leader. In fact, we won’t understand the views of the group until we’ve invited the quieter voices into the discussion.
What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s practically my doppelganger. I think it’s the 22-inch biceps. Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? Marcus Aurelius. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A lego designer. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Sunrise surf followed by a family breakfast; then hitting the gym with buddies before going on a family hike and picnic; finally, a BBQ with all my friends and family.
Personal mission: Reaching my potential and helping those around me reach theirs. Favorite quote: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right” (Henry Ford).