FINOS in the News - Hedge-fund managers are overwhelmed by data, and they're turning to an unlikely source: random people on the internet

June 19, 2019

FINOS Director of Member Success Tosha Ellison, recently spoke with Business Insider about the resistance of hedge funds to come down the open source path, as other financial services sections are doing more and more on non-proprietary software and systems.

"[Hedge funds] haven't fully embraced those elements of collaboration and figured out how to keep proprietary stuff close to the vest while sharing the more boring stuff," Tosha Ellison, a director at the Fintech Open Source Foundation and a former executive at Credit Suisse, told Business Insider. Even switching to operating systems on the cloud took longer than expected because of security concerns, said Two Sigma's head of technology Alfred Spector.

"We're acutely aware in the domain in which we operate that we have proprietary algorithms," he said in an interview with Business Insider. But with managers set to spend billions of alternative datasets, there is pressure on the data scientists and quants to turn that investment into alpha, and more manpower is needed — and it isn't cheap. See more: 'It's a cat-and-mouse game':

The head of technology at $60 billion hedge fund Two Sigma explains why cybersecurity is a bigger challenge than AI "If you're a hedge-fund manager today, you have to hire a quant, so that's recruiting and bringing this person on, getting systems set up, and then maybe in six months or a year, they will have something for you," Broad said. Compared to licensing data-driven signals from QuantConnect, this path is a lot more expensive, Broad added. Indeed, "increasing cost constraints" is driving more financial services firms to open source, Ellison said."


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