1. What does Itaú Asset Management's Quantitative Research area do?
Itaú Asset Management is the main asset manager in the market with focus in Latin America serving the most sophisticated institutional investors globally, including pension funds, endowments and sovereign wealth funds. Itaú Asset Management is one of the largest Brazilian asset managers and has a multi-asset organization with dedicated portfolio management and research teams for each asset class. It offers products from ETFs to refined hedge funds.
The Quantitative Research area of Itaú Asset Management is responsible for managing the quantitative funds and the development of quantitative tools for other internal areas of Itaú Asset Management. The tools we provided range from asset allocation models over derivatives pricing to automated trading strategies. It is the most complete quantitative area with focus in Latin America and owns a unique experience with trading models in these markets.
2. How has the CQF benefited Itaú Asset Management's Quantitative Research area?
Our team consists of professionals with PhD and MSc and a large portfolio management experience. They are originally from several different areas: engineering, physics, mathematics and computer science. CQF helps to unify the diversified knowledge of our professionals enabling the improvement of our internal communication easing the interaction to the development of our projects. Even for our more senior professionals, CQF provided not only a refresh in their knowledge but also a different view of common subjects in the quant area such as stochastic calculus.
3. What do you think the CQF offers that other courses do not?
CQF offers a broad basis to act in the derivatives space. Consequently, it is possible to use it as a quality measure to make sure a person has the ability to understand and model different types of derivatives. Its compact format is nice for professionals since they can accomplish the course in just one semester and the theory provided is sufficient to understand the concepts without unnecessary formalisms. In addition, the distance learning is fundamental to allow everyone to work at his own speed.
4. How is the quantitative market in Latin America?
Quants in Latin America are more common in risk and credit models areas. In areas related to trading and portfolio management, quants are still incipient and the demand for good professionals is growing. Consequently, there is a lack of experienced professionals and the need to teach people after hiring them. CQF eases the training process and fills the existent gap, especially for those with weak mathematical background. The local markets have many singularities from legislation to liquidity restrictions requiring the development of different models or the adaptation (called tropicalization) of them. In major part of the cases, the models complexity increases a lot and requires well-trained professionals.