We focus on attracting the best people, those with excellent technical and investment knowledge, and a different and inventive way of looking at the world. We have a thought leading position in the industry, we are highly differentiated and we have a truly collegial, research driven culture.
The principles behind our culture are teamwork, belief in our philosophy, professionalism, long-term thinking, commitment, and challenge. We believe teamwork is the key component and that teams can achieve much more than individuals working in silos. Teams should be diverse and motivated to work co-operatively, take long-term views, and therefore be better able to provide the services required by clients. Our strong culture is essential to employees working better and more efficiently in a team-based structure – all with a focus on looking after clients’ interests. It is the lifeblood of our organization.
A Rothko Career Case Study
Raj Shah, FIA has worked in senior roles in the investment industry for the past 15 years, and sought a role in Rothko because, as he puts it, “ I saw that Rothko’s approach is the future of investment management”. Raj grew up in Kenya, and won a place on one of the top STEM degree courses in the world; Masters in Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics (MMORSE) from the University of Warwick. More recently, he completed a Masters degree in Data Science and he is now an important part of the Rothko setup.
In this piece, Raj recollects on his journey to joining an AI-driven fundamental investment shop, Rothko Investment Strategies, following a decade spent in the investment consultancy world. Raj also considers what the future may hold for an industry ripe for disruption.
Raj, can you summarise your career experience?
I started my career in investment consulting back in September 2008, just at the dawn of the global financial crisis. Over the following 11 years, I held roles at Mercer, Buck Consultants and Hymans Robertson having qualified as an actuary. I am keenly aware of the funding challenges these institutional investors plans face and I decided that I could better serve those needs using my technical and quantitative skills, as a systematic equities investment manager.
Why do an advanced degree in machine learning?
Machine learning will be the future for the finance sector, and as a numerate individual, to learn highly relevant and applicable skill was a “no brainer” for me. On my Masters course, I met many other highly motivated individuals that see this inevitable reality too. The future is hugely exciting, but as investment management tends to lag other data-driven industries, disruption is inevitable.
How did you come to join Rothko?
I joined Rothko because it’s the only investment manager, as far as I know, that successfully applies AI to bottom-up stock selection. Rothko is a highly collaborative and collegial place to work. We are based in London, one of the most important artificial intelligence research hubs in the world, and we benefit from our links with some of the worlds top artificial intelligence researchers. During my Masters degree course I was mentored by one of the senior members of Rothko, who saw my potential and supervised my final year research project, which was highly relevant to alpha generation in emerging markets equities stock selection.
How are you finding your role?
I’ve also been involved in many different research projects – one of the first projects I was tasked with when I joined was to use the vast array of data available to identify emerging markets companies with weak governance and at greater risk of fraud. By finding patterns and commonalities, we are able to guide our AI system to look for any signs of deception or deliberate accounting malpractice. This is a good example of man and machine working together to make the whole system more robust. This is one of many areas where machines can learn to search for the most subtle fundamental “tells”, and with every project like this, we see the system becoming “wiser” and stronger.
What do you think the future of the asset management industry looks like?
I believe the quantitative investment management industry is ripe for disruption as models based on linearity will become obsolete. A new generation of investment managers will emerge, that will make full use of the computing power and data available. A well designed AI investment engine can overcome the instability and dimensionality problems encountered by linear models.
Luckily, one manager that does this already exists!