005 - Marc Malek of Conquest Capital Partners

October 3, 2023
The Algo Advantage
Short Term Trend Following Strategies

A fascinating discussion with Marc Malek of Conquest Capital Partners that covers: short term trend following; diversified strategies; regime based dynamic strategy allocation; building behavioral & logic driven models; being an early adopter of new ideas; the mathematics of positioning tanks on a battlefield; breaking the HKD peg; replication & much, much more. "If you can't explain your models in plain English to a reasonably intelligent person in 5 minutes or less then we don't want it."

From Beirut to Wall Street: An Unforeseen Beginning

Marc’s journey into the world of trading was anything but ordinary. Growing up in war-torn Beirut, Lebanon, his life took a dramatic turn following a youthful accident involving a firearm. This incident led his family to send him to the United States, where he initially planned to study civil engineering. However, his fascination with artificial intelligence and neural networks at college steered him towards a path he had never imagined - finance and trading. This pivot marked the beginning of an illustrious career that would eventually see him making waves on Wall Street.

A Stint at Solomon Brothers: The First Major Breakthrough

Marc’s entry into Wall Street came through an unexpected opportunity with Solomon Brothers. His academic work caught the attention of the firm, leading to an offer he couldn’t refuse. Marc’s description of his early days in Solomon Brothers painted a picture of a young, ambitious trader captivated by the dynamism of Wall Street. This experience laid the groundwork for his future endeavours.

The UBS Chapter: Innovations in Exotic Derivatives

At UBS, Marc took on the challenge of managing the Global Group in exotic derivatives – a remarkable responsibility for someone in their mid-20s. His tenure here was marked by significant achievements, including an audacious and successful move to break the peg in the dollar-Hong Kong market during the Asian financial crisis. This bold strategy exemplified Marc’s innovative approach to trading and risk management.

The Birth of Conquest Capital Partners

Disenchanted with the banking system, Marc embarked on his entrepreneurial journey, establishing Conquest Capital Partners. Here, he implemented short-term trading strategies, emphasizing a systematic and quantitative approach. His frustration with traditional diversification strategies in risk-off environments led to the development of a unique approach that aimed to perform well during market downturns without sacrificing gains in risk-on scenarios.

The Conquest Risk Index: A Game-Changer

A significant innovation at Conquest was the development of the Conquest Risk Index, which played a pivotal role in dynamic risk allocation. This index assessed various market risks and informed their trading strategy, adapting to changing market environments. Marc’s detailed explanation of the index’s construction and application revealed a deep understanding of market dynamics and the importance of agility in trading.

Championing Simplicity and Transparency in Trading Models

Marc’s philosophy emphasized simplicity in model design. He believed that if a model couldn't be explained simply and clearly, it wasn't worth pursuing. This principle guided the development of models based on microeconomic, behavioural, and psychological theories, ensuring an underlying rationale behind each trading decision.

Looking Ahead: New Ventures and Continuous Innovation

The episode concluded with Marc discussing future prospects, including exploring Bitcoin integration into their models and considering individual equities. His story is a testament to the power of innovation, adaptability, and the continuous pursuit of knowledge in the ever-evolving world of finance.

Get in touch with Marc:

w: www.conquestcp.com.

The research papers mentioned on the show are all on the Conquest website.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We'd love to hear from you...
Contact Us
Copyright 2023 The Algorithmic Advantage


All the information contained on this website is general in nature and does not constitute personal or investment advice. The producers of the Algorithmic Advantage will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation, any loss which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on any of the content on this site, in the podcasts or information provided by its hosts, managers, partners or affiliates. You should seek independent financial advice and conduct your due diligence prior to investing in the stock market.
Before engaging in any trading activities, you should be aware of the risks involved. Don’t trade with money you can’t afford to lose. Your trading and investing decisions are entirely your own responsibility. All securities and financial product transactions involve risks. The past performance of any trading system or methodology is not necessarily indicative of future results.