No rest for the weary around Attain – our own Juan Carlos Herrera hopped across the pond for the CTA World Congress hosted by Terrapin. Designed to bring together world-class managers and investors, the London event was a great success with many familiar faces and a few impressive new ones.
One CTA in particular that caught our attention was Cardwell Investment Technology. We actually met them last year at the Chicago CTA Expo, but their program piques our interest a little more each time we speak with them. They’re a short-term systematic trend following program and, from what we can gather, are averaging 15 trades per day across 70 different markets. They utilize pattern recognition instead of relying on continuous statistics, and express a dedication to avoiding the curve fitting pitfall that always threatens systematic strategies. To be fair, there are still a lot of questions for us, but we’ll be interested in learning more about how they operate.
One major difference between this event and some of the stateside CTA Expos was the plentiful number of funds in attendance. This is sort of a forgone conclusion with the event happening in Europe, where investors usually refer to any sort of investment program as a “fund”, even when the access point is an individually managed account; and the common avenue for managers there is the fund route. While we generally prefer managed accounts to the fund structure (better liquidity and transparency, fewer fees), we still prefer funds to mutual funds or ETFs for investors seeking managed futures exposure at a lower minimum (the nitty gritty as to why is a post for another day), so it was interesting to learn more about how some of these funds are doing business.
All in all, it was a good experience in London, and a great job done by Terrapin. As the weather warms, conference season is about to kick off in a big way, and we look forward to meeting more and more intriguing managers as time goes on.
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