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AlphaWeek's Greg Winterton spoke to Nikita Fadeev, Founder of the Quant Conference, about his plans for the 2018 edition of the event.

GW: Nikita, you launched The Quant Conference in 2017 – an event designed by students for students - because you couldn’t find many events specific to quantitative finance for students to attend. Now you’re doing it again in 2018. Tell us a little about this year’s event.

NF: Indeed, last year the idea of organising a conference came to me when I struggled to find a good quality event on quantitative finance available to students. The first event was held at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s office in London and we had over 200 attendees and 25 speakers; it was a big success. We wanted to organise the event again in 2018 in order to continue to bridge the gap between the industry and academia. We invite world recognised academics and some of the most high-profile names in quantitative finance to discuss trends and hot topics affecting the quantitative finance industry. During the event we will showcase some of the latest innovations in the space and connect buy and sell side firms to bright young talent.

Nikita Fadeev
The Quant Conferences' Nikita Fadeev

GW: You’re opening up the event to industry professionals as well this year. What’s behind that decision?

NF: Last year we had over 30 companies and universities represented and the conference helped to connect students to companies and enabled many of them to take part in research projects and secure job offers. In order to enable the networking opportunities even more we are looking to reserve a percentage of tickets for professionals.

GW: What kind of topics is The Quant Conference 2018 going to be covering?

NF: There is going to be a wealth of topics ranging from alternative data in traditional markets to challenges of developing systematic strategies for cryptocurrencies. Professor Steven Roberts (Director of Oxford Man Institute) will deliver a keynote on the topic “Artificial Intelligence: the good, the bad and the ugly.” where he will expand on challenges of using AI. Furthermore, we will have a panel led by Andrew McCaffery (Global Head of Strategic Client Investments at Aberdeen Standard Investments) on Hedge Funds of the future and a panel on differences in research and implementation of quantitative models in academia and industry led by Martin Lueck of Aspect Capital.

GW: You have some high-profile industry players signed up to speak. What’s your message to the industry – either students or industry professionals – about the event?

NF: Now is a very exciting time to be learning about artificial intelligence and applying these techniques to develop models for markets and we aim to promote recent developments. We want to demonstrate the wealth of exciting research opportunities available in finance and academia. Furthermore, we want to inspire students to pursue careers in quantitative finance and continue to challenge themselves and learn new techniques.

AlphaWeek is a media partner of The Quant Conference. Industry professionals may purchase tickets here for just £295 before October 15th. Don’t forget to use a promo code alphatqc to receive a £50 discount. There are also discounts available to young professionals who have 2 years of work experience or less, and academics. Students can apply to attend here. Further information is available at https://www.thequantconference.com/.