WorldQuant Challenge's Virtual Army Takes Aim at Alphas In a recent article, Bloomberg reporter Dani Burger describes how WorldQuant has assembled an army of part-time research consultants to find trading signals.

In 2014, then Indian Institute of Technology undergrad Ayush Gangwar entered the WorldQuant Challenge, an online competition where he got to test his skills at building predictive trading models, using WorldQuant, LLC’s WebSim platform. At the time, the IIT Kharagpur mining engineering major knew little about finance, “so I had to Google a lot to learn the different terminologies,” he told reporter Dani Burger for a recent Bloomberg article. A fast learner, Gangwar ranked in the top 50 among the contestants that year and was offered a part-time position as a WorldQuant research consultant.

Gangwar is one of more than 500 part-time consultants assembled globally by WorldQuant, creating what Bloomberg calls a “virtual army” to help the firm grow its library of “Alphas,” or trading signals. To date, WorldQuant consultants have contributed 10,000 signals to the Alpha library, according to the Bloomberg article. “What makes WorldQuant different is the technology we use, the people we have and the large quantities of diverse data we have access to,” Jeffrey Scott, director of WorldQuant's Virtual Research Center, which heads up the Challenge, told Bloomberg. “Having so many part-time consultants that are contributing unique ideas provides us greater opportunity to significantly diversify.”