A day with … Dr Theofanis Archontakis, Portfolio Management

Dr Theofanis Archontakis provides insights into his work as a multi-asset portfolio manager and talks about the exciting topic of alternative data sources, which particularly engages him at the moment.

What do you like about working at Quoniam?

The dynamic environment. It is exciting every day to see what is happening on the capital markets, what influence certain events have on investment strategies and how we systematically evaluate the whole thing afterwards. I like the fact that I work with very smart people here, that we learn a lot from each other and that the exchange within the company works great.

What does a typical day look like for you?

As I just mentioned, there is no typical daily routine that is always the same. As a portfolio manager, my daily work is a combination of day-to-day business and the strategic development of our quantitative models and strategies.

My day usually starts with a check to see if the data and signals have been automated correctly overnight and loaded cleanly. Then it continues with a short market update meeting with the entire investment department, which takes place daily. Here, the exchange with other portfolio managers and the trading desk is particularly important, in which we coordinate whether individual events need to be taken into account or whether we can implement our quantitative strategies “as planned”. Then there is a team meeting in which we discuss daily tasks. In addition, we regularly exchange information with Research and Sales.

A large part of my day is spent on the further development of our strategies and models, which I have already mentioned. And with the implementation of these strategies in the client portfolios – for example, by approving trades for various asset classes after successful portfolio construction/optimisation and checking in the post-trade analysis whether the trades were implemented as intended. I also prepare presentations for client meetings, create reports and answer ad hoc questions.

Which project is keeping you most busy at the moment?

A project on alternative data sources. The background is that we can combine so-called unstructured data with traditional data and signals (e.g. price or economic data) to further improve our quantitative models and forecasts. The main source for this is text-based data from newspaper articles, business reports, etc. Our focus here is not on individual companies, but on macroeconomic data such as market sentiment or interest rate and inflation trends. Thanks to unstructured data, one can foresee these macro developments even before official figures are published.

In the project, we question how we can draw the information that is relevant for our strategies from these alternative data. We also compare and select suitable providers who collect and semi-structure this data. We aim for a good mix of established providers and specialised niche providers.

We already use alternative data for our models but are always on the lookout for new sources. The fast pace and abundance of data are breathtaking – and continue to grow. It definitely remains exciting.

Thank you for this interesting insight into your work!