You might've heard about artificial intelligence, big data startups, quantum computing, and millennials running crypto hedge funds. The fintech revolution has experts divided and confused, from crypto evangelists, to huge skeptics. Is this a boom or bust?
Running a quant hedge fund for the past 7 years, I have experienced the applications and limitations of various technologies in finance. You can book me for your next event by messaging me on Linkedin or booking through All American Speakers.
Christina Qi serves as Co-Founder and Partner at Domeyard LP, a hedge fund known for its focus on high frequency trading. Domeyard started out of her dorm room in 2012, closed its Series C in 2017, and trades up to $1 billion USD per day. Her company’s story has been featured on the front page of Forbes, Nikkei, and other publications. Christina brings experience in investment management, sales and trading, derivatives operations, and technology across Goldman Sachs, UBS Securities, Zions Bank, and MIT Lincoln Labs. She is a visiting lecturer at MIT, within Nobel Laureate Robert Merton’s “Retirement Finance” class since 2014 and is a case study protagonist at Harvard Business School.
Christina sits on the Board of Directors of The Financial Executives Alliance (FEA) Hedge Fund Group, the MIT Sloan Boston Alumni Association (MIT SBAA), Invest in Girls, the U.S. Non-Profit Boards Committee of 100 Women in Finance, and the Scholarship Committee of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association. Christina and her Co-Founders have been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 and Boston Business Journal 40 Under 40 lists, and is the Women’s Wealth Forum 2018 Founder of the Year. She holds an S.B. in Management Science from MIT and is a CAIA Charterholder.
"Christina's reputation as the most sought after woman in her industry is well earned. Right after graduating from MIT, she co-founded Domeyard, a high-frequency trading hedge fund that was started out of her dorm room. Six years later, Christina and her co-founders are now the preeminent forces in the Hedge Fund and FinTech space." - Michael Elkins, MLE Law
"Christina always gets top ratings from my class even by comparison to much older, very successful guest speakers including founders from the financial services industry. They resonate to her in so many dimensions...honesty, talent and a sense that one should be giving back to society from the outset and not just after a cumulative great success." - Robert C. Merton, 1997 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Services
"Domeyard has captured the interest of the greater financial community for its distinct managerial philosophy, embrace of AI and its positioning as a next-generation hedge fund." - Gregg Schoenberg, The Financial Revolutionist
Co-Founder, Christina Qi, describes the growing pains of a hedge fund, and addresses the "hype" surrounding artificial intelligence in finance. What will finance look like in 5-10 years?
I always stay for the entirety of any event I'm booked for, answering a long queue of questions from the audience, and giving them plenty of takeaways and inspiration. Contact me on Linkedin or book me through All American Speakers.
• For-profit organizations: Keynote or motivational speech (full-day commitment, up to 90-minute talk) starting at $5,000.
• Non-profit organizations: Usually free if I like the cause and the organization can cover travel expenses.
• Schools and universities: Keynote or motivational speech (full-day commitment, up to 90-minute talk) starting at $2,500.
Wall Street’s as competitive as ever, so how do you build your own firm when the incumbents are trillion dollar businesses? One of the largest millennial events in the world, hosted by Forbes.
The paces of technological change and the rise of artificial intelligence is leading some to question whether the hedge fund proposition will even exist in a few years. What should hedge funds do to maintain their value amidst artificial intelligence and related technologies, and a growing demand for responsible investment options? This is one of the premiere hedge fund events in the Middle East, hosted by The AIM Summit.
For today's investor it's all about gaining access and staying ahead of the competition by being better, faster, and smarter and technology is an undeniable component of that. From the explosion of data to advances in artificial intelligence and quantitative strategies how are today's investors evolving with the digital landscape? What's the right mix of new versus traditional strategies and research? Are the concerns about technology causing instability and volatility overblown? We'll gather leaders in the space to look out on the horizon to better understand how investors and the industry are evolving. This is private event, hosted by Bloomberg Live.
Machines have been learning finance for decades, and algorithmic, high-frequency trading has received much attention. However, recent developments in data availability and storage, computer speed, and learning techniques might dramatically change and accelerate technology's participation in the financial system. This session will explore the strengths and weaknesses of using ML to design and execute portfolio strategies. This is a private event for government officials, global financial firms and policy institutions, hosted by The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
An annual update on the HFT industry. This is private event for hedge fund investors hosted by Bridge Alternatives.
A fireside chat with Bloomberg News about the uses and limitations of machine learning in quantitative trading. This is an annual event hosted by MIT CNC.
An update on the current state of high frequency trading, including the recent M&A activity, impact on the markets, and effect on smaller HFT firms. This is an annual event hosted by Macquarie.
Recent headlines about high frequency trading mention decreased profits, heightened regulatory scrutiny, and a surge in competition. To what extent are smaller firms affected by these developments? In this talk, we discuss some current trends in automated and high frequency trading, from the latest infrastructure developments to the challenges that funds are facing amid stiff competition. The discussion examines unique challenges and insights from the perspective of an HFT hedge fund. This is an annual event hosted by Quantopian.
In partnership with 100 Women in Finance, we discuss the economic and financial challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in 2016. This is an annual event hosted by MIT Sloan.
In partnership with the CAIA Foundation, Christina spoke at the 100WF Annual Gala about the CAIA Charter and the doors that it has opened. Christina was introduced by Jane Buchan, CEO of PAAMCO. This is an annual event hosted by 100 Women in Finance.
This talk presents a common paradox in the context of quantitative trading and how advancements in technology can confront this problem. This is an annual event hosted by Open Data Science Conference.
After the 2008 crisis, hedge funds today face higher barriers to entry and a surge in competition. In this talk, Christina discusses the modern hedge fund and how to overcome early challenges. This is an annual event hosted by Bloomberg.
About nine years ago, I came home from an internship at an investment bank, feeling overwhelmed and estranged by the snail pace of technology adoption at this bulge bracket institution. I later realized that this frustration - lack of technology, transparency, and recognition - is shared amongst millennials, aka the largest generation in the US workforce.
A few years later, at one of these trading desks, my assigned mentor (who I respect and admire) sat me down and told me the lay of the land. "These are the long-lasting strategies we've been using for years." "You'll have to take your ideas elsewhere." "Also, I know this sounds wrong, but someone said your presentation style is too aggressive for a woman." It was a huge blow - I was put in my place. I remember going home crying, totally freaking out my friend by bawling into the sofa and regressing into otaku mode, watching anime and eating 2000 calories of chocolate chip cookies.
After returning home again, I sat down with two classmates and proposed the idea of forming our own company. We would create a place for people of the 21st century. An environment open to innovation and inclusiveness, hopefully free of the frustrations that we felt at our previous companies (more on this later).
But how could we compete against the financial giants, who have people, profits, and power? One of the areas that we focused on was speed. We knew that if we could take actions faster than our opponent, that we would gain a statistically significant edge over even the largest institutions. Thus came the idea of focusing on high frequency trading, which today - believe it or not - continues to be our main focus.
Before "Flash Boys" desecrated high frequency trading, before "The Wolf of Wall Street" painted the trading floor as a cocaine-driven boys club, it was just me and my nerdy co-founders, trading out of a dorm room at 3AM, hoping to make enough money to walk away from the big banks.
After "Flash Boys", and after "The Wolf of Wall Street", we became 3 people with a purpose: to paint a realistic picture of quantitative finance, and to inspire the younger generation to enter the financial industry.
Times have changed. People are moving to Silicon Valley in droves, seeking the work-live balance slightly-less-evil influence of Google, Facebook, etc. And yet, the need for financial talent permeates every single industry. Even a non-profit organization needs to manage its finances, raise funding, and create its annual budget.
1998 vs. 2018. Today, if you want to enter finance, you don't study finance. You study computer science or applied math. Finance is evolving into fintech, and soon the two words will be synonymous.
2013 vs. 2018. Five years ago, people thought we were crazy for starting a quant trading hedge fund. Today, most hedge fund launches are cryptocurrency funds. At a private hedge fund conference last year, we were the most vanilla strategy in the room. I felt like a dinosaur amongst all the new crypto funds. (I have a lot to say about crypto hedge funds, but more on that later.) The face of hedge funds is finally starting to diversify.
2017 vs. 2018. That trading desk with the long-lasting strategies laid off its team a few years later. The firm has gone full quant, re-branding themselves a technology company. Over 50% of their job postings required some sort of technical skillset.
So here I am today. I co-founded one of the few hedge funds with a 100% focus on ultra low-latency / black box / high frequency trading. We're a high Sharpe, low capacity fund. As one of the world's fastest HFT firms, we utilize all areas of computer science and mathematics, from creating our own software to assembling our co-located hardware. With zero legacy systems, and with proper planning and documentation, we are able to adapt quickly, live at the cutting edge of technology, and stay two steps ahead of issues that may arise.
Being a part of the Domeyard family has been the greatest privilege of my life. We started at a huge disadvantage, with no money, connections or credibility. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of competitors come and go, and somehow, contrary to the overwhelming data that young fund managers fail, we’ve thrived and continued breaking barriers in this hypercompetitive, overcrowded industry. It’s not just about hiring a bunch of developers, knowing market microstructure, getting PR, or finding reliable signals to trade. We’ve differentiated ourselves by focusing on employee wellbeing, firmwide culture, and making sure that everyone – from the recent grads to the HFT veterans – is contributing to meaningful projects, learning new skills, working together across teams, and feeling excited and refreshed each day.
I would not be here without the support of my family (who still don't quite understand what HFT is), friends (thank you for letting me cry), the MIT community (brb sobbing), and Boston (Dear Boston, you are cold and smelly. But your people treat me like family, always welcome me unconditionally, and hold me up on the lowest of days.).
If this hits home with any of you, I welcome your comments or ideas. Please let me know on Twitter or Linkedin. I have a billion stories, from fundraising nightmares and lawsuits, to making the Forbes list and accidentally becoming a public speaker. Perhaps I'll make this into a book...
People say that I'm the most sought-after woman in my industry.
I know what it's like to be ignored and rejected. So it's in my nature to respond to every single person.
I'm a millennial and a huge tech geek. Growing up in the internet era has various effects on us. The main effect is that I read every message and email, but I block cold-calls and don't like being sold things in general. Traditional sales tactics don't work well on millennials. I've never taken a sales call, because it's the 21st century now.
That being said, I do respond to many inquiries. To make this easier on both of us, please be clear with your intentions, whether it's a job, entrepreneurship advice, career advice, or information about our firm.
Below is literally what happens when a conference organizer calls:
*Conference organizer calls and asks if I can speak at an HFT conference.*
Me: “I’m not qualified.”
Me: *Looks at list of other speakers* *Notices that some of them are way less qualified* *With even less experience than me… doing like 3 different talks… yup* -__-
Me: “Nevermind, I’ll do it.”
Sometimes, if you don’t let your voice be heard, if you don’t set the record straight, then no one will.
Unfortunately there's not a lot of similar folks with my experience, so people tend to resort to me. If I could answer this question within the span of a semester, I’d be teaching an MBA class. 😉 But in all seriousness, here are some resources to help you begin. Also, my list of candid startup advice is pretty relevant, I think.
Disclaimer - I don't meet people 1-on-1 about this topic anymore. One of my inherent weaknesses is that I have a hard time saying "no", and I give and give without expecting anything in return. The result is exactly as expected. Men in my industry change $1000 per hour to consult about this topic. I'm happy to engage in a formal consulting position, but that's about it for now. I need to, you know, have the time to do my actual work.
Outside of work, I enjoy skiing, running, hiking, and camping with my family. I don't know where I'd be without my family and friends.
I also love board games and video games. My crowning nerd achievement was winning 1st place in the MIT mahjong tournament (and then getting destroyed in Round 1 every year after that).
My friends call me a "weeaboo" or "otaku", although I prefer "weeb" which basically means a foreigner who enjoys anime. I am grateful for my parents, who supported my crazy interests and drove me to the local anime convention when I was 12, in a Naruto cosplay (of course!). I spent my childhood watching anime, and today I keep up with the current season when time permits.