Culture

WorldQuant is built on a culture that pairs an academic sensibility with strict accountability for results.

Our Mission

WorldQuant is focused on developing high-quality financial strategies that utilize exponential trends in data and technology, enabling the firm to invest across a variety of global asset classes and seek to achieve investment objectives.

Our Ethos

Learn through videos about the WorldQuant culture.

Our Values

At WorldQuant we encourage employees to relentlessly pursue investment ideas with a spirit of intellectualism and practicality and to support our commitment to industry-leading efficiency. These values underpin a culture that pairs an academic sensibility with strict accountability for results.

WorldQuant Statistics

140

Employees with Ph.D.s in a variety of subjects

60 +

Awards from math/physics Olympics and renowned science competitions

Inside View

Hear first-hand from some of our employees about their experiences at WorldQuant.

Chalee Asavathiratham General Manager and Chief Research Officer
  • Entity: WorldQuant Research (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

What do you do at WorldQuant?

I am the Chief Research Officer of the firm and general manager of the Thailand office.

What were you doing before WorldQuant, and how has that helped you in your current role?

I spent the entire ’90s at MIT and ended up with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science. After MIT, I spent three years in management consulting at McKinsey, working on projects in Southeast Asia and the U.K. I then decided to take the unusual step of joining a start-up software company in the Bay Area, before landing a job in a proprietary trading group at Merrill Lynch a few years later. I joined WorldQuant in the summer of 2008, before moving to another firm in 2010 to focus on ultrahigh frequency trading. I returned to WorldQuant in 2012 when I heard they were looking for a GM to build out the Thailand office.

The combination of my unique work experiences has helped me in many ways. As a former researcher and engineer, I know what the researchers are going through and what they have to deal with. As a former portfolio manager, I know what the customers of the researchers are looking for. Finally, and perhaps most unexpectedly, my experience in management consulting is helping me deal with organizational and people management.

Why did you decide to join WorldQuant?

When I joined WorldQuant as a portfolio manager back in 2008, I just wanted to join a stat-arb fund. When I rejoined in 2012, I was excited that the company was willing to open an office in Bangkok in order to recruit top talent. I knew right away that it would be a win-win-win: Researchers have a cool company to work at right in their home country, the company gets to employ some talented individuals, and I get to come home!

What are your biggest challenges in running an investment research office in your country?

First, it’s the talent search. Thailand has an amazing pool of talent, but many of the smartest students eventually settle down in the U.S., joining global tech companies like Google and Facebook. Most students don’t know about our presence in Bangkok, and it’s our job to reach out to them. Second, WorldQuant is still not a household name outside of the finance industry. We need to keep expanding our brand recognition. Third, advising researchers on time management is another big challenge. Like investors, researchers have to choose which project they should spend their time on in order to maximize their performance.

What is your management approach?

My guiding philosophies include treating our researchers with respect and helping them envision a future with us. Additionally, as CRO I try to align company and researcher incentives as much as possible. I avoid managing by face time, since our performance measurements are quite well established. If someone is doing well, I give him the flexibility to plan his own schedule. However, I like new researchers to show up at the office as much as possible, in order to absorb everything — system, people, culture, methods.

Describe the culture of your office and how you have incorporated WorldQuant’s culture into it. How has it contributed to the success of the team?

The Bangkok office is probably one of the most dynamic offices in WorldQuant. We are a highly collaborative office, and we work hard and play hard. Every month we hold office activities such as a Muay Thai class, mangrove planting, go-karting or a team lunch. Of all the values of WorldQuant, the one that I want researchers to pay the most attention to is humility. While most of our researchers graduated at the top of their class, they need to put in their best efforts in order to excel in a company like ours. If they’re not humble and open-minded, they are not likely to go very far.

The dynamic environment in our office has led to diversity in research ideas, interests and approaches. Our environment encourages employees to spend more time in the office. Ideally, people should want to come and hang out, even over the weekends, whether or not they’re going to be working at their desk.

Damien Neff Head of Front Office Technology
  • Entity: WorldQuant, LLC

What do you do at WorldQuant?

I am the Head of Front Office Technology and work in the U.S. 

What made you interested in working at WorldQuant?

I was drawn to WorldQuant by our CTO, David Rukshin, and his vision of building a differentiated execution platform. I’m also excited to be in an environment that is striving to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in quantitative trading and technology in general. There is a distinct culture of openness, collaboration and continuous learning; I’m excited to be part of it.

What accomplishment at WorldQuant are you most proud of? What’s your next goal?

I am proud that I have helped developed an architecture for our trading platform and designed a roadmap to that new platform.

What does it take to be successful at WorldQuant?

First and foremost: passion. We are looking for people who are passionate about what they do, and want to share that passion with others. Being passionate about what you do makes everything else easier. Of course technical excellence, and a desire to collaborate with others and enjoying continuous learning don’t hurt either.

What was your job / what did you study before joining WorldQuant? How did that prepare you?

Previously I worked for a firm where I was the head of a team responsible for building a market-making trading system.

What makes WorldQuant special?

What makes any successful firm special is the people. WorldQuant has really intelligent people who are passionate about what they do, but are also down-to-earth and approachable. WorldQuant has a founder who is actively engaged with the firm and pushes us to achieve things that require working with cutting edge ideas and technologies. He has also encouraged the company’s culture of openness and sharing, which I thoroughly enjoy. WorldQuant has regular “keystone” forums where key business initiatives are discussed openly for everyone in the firm to listen to and participate in, which improves everyone’s engagement in the company. WorldQuant also has a wealth of offices around the world, which makes it easier to hire the top talent into locations where they want to work.

Rohit Agarwal Global Research Director
  • Entity: WorldQuant Research (India) Private Limited

What do you do at WorldQuant?

My role at WorldQuant has evolved over time. I joined WorldQuant as a researcher six years ago, trying to find signals hidden in rich data. I transitioned into an advisor role and now spend the majority of my time researching with a team.

What made you interested in working at WorldQuant?

I wrote a strategy for my third-year internship at an investment bank and quite enjoyed it. When I learned about WorldQuant’s strategy at a presentation, I became very interested. As I learned more about the firm during the interview process, I became confident that WorldQuant would be the best place to start my career.

What accomplishments at WorldQuant are you most proud of? What’s your next goal?

My goal is to help other researchers discover something they can be proud of.

What does it take to be successful at WorldQuant?

  1. Creativity: Many people can have the same idea, but if we can do something new with it, it’ll be of value.
  2. Patience: The nature of our job is such that we may have routine setbacks. There can be days when we don’t have good ideas. It is important to focus and keep trying.
  3. Ambition: If you’re ambitious, you work hard to make the most of the opportunities you are given.

What was your job / what did you study before joining WorldQuant? How did that prepare you?

WorldQuant was my first full-time job after graduation. Before WorldQuant, I obtained a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay. While the courses I studied did not directly apply to financial research, I learned how to attack a problem from several different angles, ranging from simple to extremely complex. Each came with merits and demerits, but more importantly, different experiences and results.

What makes WorldQuant special?

WorldQuant strives hard to deliver results and expects the same of its employees. At WorldQuant, performance is measured, quantified and rewarded. Growth at WorldQuant is in part a function of your ambition, attitude and aptitude. For anybody looking to explore this line of work, WorldQuant is, in my view, one of the best places to start!

Weijia Li Portfolio Manager
  • Entity: WorldQuant, LLC

What do you do at WorldQuant?

I do research on alphas [mathematical models] and portfolio management at WorldQuant.

What made you interested in working at WorldQuant?

The job offered by WorldQuant is great. Building predictive models makes you feel like you are making a tangible impact. WorldQuant has talented people from all over the world who are a pleasure to work with. There is high personal growth potential. WorldQuant as an organization also has ambitious targets and never stops striving to achieve the next goal.

What accomplishment at WorldQuant are you most proud of? What’s your next goal?

I am very proud that I have contributed to WorldQuant over the years. My goal is to keep pace with WorldQuant’s ambitious goals and targets.

What does it take to be successful at WorldQuant?

Time and effort. Innovation – multiple paths can lead to individual success, but innovation is the most valuable path for both individuals and the company. Relentless thinking – at WorldQuant, people think on a deeper level and creatively. Teamwork – knowledge and tool-sharing make the work much more efficient.

What was your job/what did you study before joining WorldQuant? How did that prepare you?

I obtained a Master’s degree in Computer Science before joining WorldQuant. Because I was an expert at programming, I could start the work immediately. I also understood the research process, so I was prepared for lots of trial and error during alpha research.

What makes WorldQuant special?

WorldQuant has a global perspective rooted in the understanding that talent is distributed across the world, a unique structure which has proven to be successful and scalable and an investment process that is systematic and research driven. Our research team is the driving force of the business. WorldQuant also provides unique experiences for its employees, including a Global Summit which brings together researchers from around the globe.

Helen Zhang Portfolio Manager
  • Entity: WorldQuant, LLC

What do you do at WorldQuant?

I am a Portfolio Manager specialized in trading intraday Strategies in the global equities markets. I joined WorldQuant in 2011 initially as a Researcher in the Beijing Research office. I was a Research Adviser, managing a group of Researchers, before relocating to the U.S. to become a Portfolio Manager in 2016. While Researchers create Alphas, or signals that seek to make predictions about future movements of various financial instruments, PMs create Strategies, or a combination of Alphas, to produce target positions for a universe of securities. As a PM, I aim to develop new ways to seek to predict market movements, while contributing novel trading ideas to the firm’s portfolio.

What made you interested in working at WorldQuant?

I learned about WorldQuant during a campus recruiting event. Richard Hu, our chief research officer, gave a talk at my university. He indicated that WorldQuant doesn’t care about your background — you can come from physics, computer science or another quantitative discipline. He encouraged the audience by stating that if you want to try something challenging, if you want to build your own models and test whether they can make money, you should consider joining WorldQuant. I found that interesting. I was also very interested in working with excellent colleagues from around the world. WorldQuant attracts some of the most intelligent people from a variety of different countries.

What accomplishments at WorldQuant are you most proud of? What’s your next goal?

I think I have done a good job in different roles, starting as a researcher, then as a research adviser and now as a portfolio manager. I’m still at the beginning of my PM career. Next, I will continue cooperating with my colleagues to contribute to making my area of trading specialization more successful. I will try to grow to become an experienced and well regarded PM.

What does it take to be successful at WorldQuant?

First, you need to think deeply, going through every detail to try to figure out something that might be unnoticed by others so that you can contribute to the existing alpha pool. Second, you need to be persistent: trying and testing different ideas, improving the implementation of those ideas and developing new tools for your research. The third feature is collaboration — you need to be able to work well with people at different levels, from a small group with two or three members to a larger group that may include ten or more people from different countries and different teams.

What did you study before joining WorldQuant? How did that prepare you?

I joined WorldQuant after getting a Ph.D. in computer science at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The most valuable thing I learned there was the full process of conducting research. You typically begin by identifying a problem you want to resolve. Next, you model your problem and try to resolve the problem several ways, like reading an academic paper, talking with an experienced professor or working with some members from your research team. Finally, you would test, evaluate and improve your solution for that problem. The whole process is quite similar to the process when I work on projects at WorldQuant. My university experience was very valuable and helpful.

What makes WorldQuant special?

I believe it is our research framework. Hundreds of employees from different teams, countries and backgrounds have contributed to developing the research framework and it is continuously evolving. The result is very powerful.