Quantopian CIO Said to Leave As Returns Disappoint

Nov 8 2017 | 11:16pm ET

Jonathan Larkin, the chief investment officer of crowd-sourced quantitative investment algorithm platform Quantopian, has reportedly left the firm following disappointing returns in its inaugural hedge fund.

The company’s “1337” vehicle was launched last summer with approximately $50 million devoted to the best quantitative ideas of its community of members. Backed by the likes of Steven Cohen and famed VC fund Andreessen Horowitz, Quantopian’s unique platform allows authors to research and test their quantitative investing algorithm ideas with a catalog of high-quality datasets. The company’s membership consists of professors, finance professionals, research scientists, developers, and students who have combined to put more than 500,000 algorithms up on the Quantopian platform to date. 

Submitted algorithms are reviewed and allocations made based on return, risk, style, capacity and interaction effects, with authors of selected algorithms receiving a 10% share of the net profits generated from their investment strategies. 

Larkin joined the Boston-based firm in June of last year just prior to the disclosure of Cohen’s $250 million investment and plans to launch its own hedge fund. He left in September, according to an article in the Financial Times citing unidentified individuals familiar with the matter. The fund, which started investing earlier this year, is said to be down about 3% since June.

Larkin brought a strong Wall Street pedigree to Quantopian when he joined. He was previously a quantitative long/short equity fund manager at Hudson Bay Capital Management, and was global co-head of equities at BlueCrest Asset Management, head of Americas equities trading for Nomura and global head of equities at Millennium Management.

In light of Larkin’s departure, the 1337 fund will reportedly be managed by the other members of Quantopian’s investment team on an interim basis, the FT article added. 

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