According to the BoA-Merrill Lynch Global Hedge Fund Industry Overview, Istar Capital is the only CTA seeded by an institutional investor (IMQubator) in the world in 2011. No wonder, as the two co-founders come with an impeccable CV and impressive track record.
The strategy behind IStar Capital is a combination of a long term market trend following strategy and an interest rate carry trade strategy for a basket of emerging market currency forwards. The system is a combination of enhanced versions of two strategies the managers developed, traded and have known for many years at AIG Financial Products and other previous employments. The corresponding two strategies are robust and relatively uncorrelated; the managers have been familiar with the strategies over 20 year period.
In this Opalesque BACKSTAGE video, hear the two founders Thomas Artarit and Rudolph Shally talk about:
From CERN to financial futures
“Surprise” that trend following worked
Creator of the AIG Futures Trend Index, Istar’s predecessor
Seeded by IMQubator
Why you have to know “the limits of your systems”
Why setting up a CTA in the Netherlands?
Extra layer of safety through monitoring of IMQubator
Thomas Artarit spent 6 years at AIG Financial Products where he was in charge of managing a multi-billion dollar FX/fixed income/commodity hybrid business based in Tokyo. This was the largest risk for the firm (ex credit). He resigned from the firm when the US Fed bailed-out the insurer end of 2008. At that time he was also responsible for the commodity business in Asia. His quantitative background gained through his double masters: one in Algebraic Geometry (in Pure Mathematics Faculte d’Orsay — Ecole Normale Superieure) — and a second one in Stochastic calculus (La Sorbonne Paris).
Thomas started his career in 1994 at Indosuez Paris as an exotic currency options trader. In 1997 he became head of FX options at CIBC Financial Products in Asia, based in Singapore and Tokyo. In 1999, CIBC FP closed and Thomas moved to Genre FP, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, in Tokyo to run and set up the FX/Fixed Income hybrid business
Rudolph Shally worked for 10 years at AIG Financial Products in London where he was responsible for the management of multi-billion dollar commodity index options portfolio and other commodity and equity derivatives and is the author of the AIG Futures Trend Index — the predecessor of the systematic strategy of Istar. He was the last commodity and equity derivatives trader to finish closing and/or de-risking the commodity and equity books in Europe and Asia for AIG FP.
Previously he was the head of risk management at the world largest oil refinery – Reliance Industries in Bombay. From 1996 to 1999 he was also registered with the CFTC as a sole proprietor CTA. Prior to that from 1989 to 1996 he was a derivatives trader at Citibank in New York and Toronto, where he started Citibank’s commodity derivatives business from scratch. At Citibank, as part of the proprietary trading group in 1995, he also started to trade systematic strategies in interest rates and currencies.
Rudolph has a doctorate in theoretical particle physics from Charles University in Prague and did a postdoctoral fellowship in high energy physics at Carleton University in Ottawa and participated in experiments and computer science at CERN in Geneva.
IStar is not authorised or exempt from undertaking regulated activity in the United Kingdom, and all regulated activity is undertaken by Privium Fund Management (UK) Limited (FSA FRN:471186) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.