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Managed futures continued to see strong inflows in 2015 due to its low correlation to other hedge fund strategies. Access to liquid alternative investments is improving as investor demand grows for the diversification, non-correlated returns, and risk-reducing potential these strategies offer. Our goal is to highlight these benefits, honor the top managers, and increase visibility into the managed futures space.
A single winner will be determined from the following list of nominees, determined based on quantitative data from BarclayHedge. Learn more about the nomination process here.
William Eckhardt is the Chairman and CEO of Eckhardt Trading Company, a systematic futures trading firm he founded in 1991. He directs the firm’s system development and ongoing research.
Mr. Eckhardt has traded futures professionally for over 40 years. Following 4 years of doctoral research in Mathematical Logic at the University of Chicago, he began trading for his own account on the floor of the Mid America Commodity Exchange in 1974. Since that beginning, Mr. Eckhardt has conducted extensive research into the nature of futures price action, risk management, and the evolutionary optimization of futures trading systems. He has developed numerous technical trading systems and in the mid-1980s, along with Richard Dennis, he developed trading systems which they taught to a group of individuals that have become known as the “Turtles”.
Mr. Eckhardt has held various exchange memberships since the early 1980s. He was formerly a full member of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and currently holds a seat at the CME Index and Option Market. Mr. Eckhardt and Mr. Dennis were partners of C&D Commodities, which was a futures commission merchant chiefly involved with clearing and executing partner capital, futures research, and trading administration.
Mr. Eckhardt has also been engaged in research in a variety of other subjects including the illusory nature of time’s passage, the nature and status of physical properties, causality, the mind-body problem, decision theory, and paradoxes in probability theory. He is a member of the University of Chicago Visiting Committee to the Division of Physical Sciences and serves on the International Advisory Board of the Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics. Following Mr. Eckhardt’s contributions to the Physical Sciences Department at the University of Chicago, the University opened the William Eckhardt Research Center in 2015 to support distinctive programs in molecular engineering and astrophysics.
Richard Dennis is an independent trader with an accomplished background in the futures industry whose methodology helped make commodity futures better known. Born and raised in Chicago, Mr. Dennis worked as a runner at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at the age of seventeen while attending DePaul University. Upon graduation, Mr. Dennis bought a seat on the MidAmerica Commodity Exchange where he had quick success and gained visibility as the youngest trader in the pit. Looking to expand into additional markets, Mr. Dennis purchased a full membership at the Chicago Board of Trade and in 1974 he formed C&D Commodities, one of the largest independent trading firms in the world at that time.
Mr. Dennis is well known for his trading experiment with William Eckhardt in the early 1980's, which consisted of training novice traders ("Turtles") a straight-forward trend-following system and then providing each turtle with their own trading account. The two classes personally trained by Dennis and Eckhardt earned more than $175 million in just five years and many traders continued their careers as successful commodity trading managers using similar techniques.
Mr. Dennis has detailed his views in both business and general interest publications. He recently visited Cuba as a board member of the libertarian Reason Foundation. He is also a director of the Cato Institute.
Qualified investors* receive complimentary registration.
* Qualified allocators include sovereign wealth funds, private & public pensions, foundations, endowments, family offices, fund of funds, and consultants.
All nominated managers are entitled to two complimentary passes. Managers not nominated, but still interested in attending, need to be invited by a sponsor or table purchaser.
A single sponsorship level includes two tables, recognition in the Wall Street Journal, and more.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more
Tables for 10 without sponsorship benefits are available. Individual seats are not available for purchase.
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The 2015 Managed Futures Pinnacle Awards honored top managers with a total of 14 awards, including the Pinnacle Achievement Award presented to Clifford Asness, Founder, Managing Principal, and Chief Investment Officer at AQR Capital Management. The night's host and comedian, Jay Mohr, provided entertainment throughout the program and standup comedy to end the night.
Cliff is a Founder, Managing Principal and Chief Investment Officer at AQR Capital Management. He is an active researcher and has authored articles on a variety of financial topics for many publications, including The Journal of Portfolio Management, Financial Analysts Journal and The Journal of Finance. He has received three Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Awards for best paper in The Journal of Portfolio Management, in 2004, 2005 and 2014. Financial Analysts Journal has twice awarded him the Graham and Dodd Award for the year's best paper, as well as a Graham and Dodd Excellence Award, the award for the best perspectives piece, and the Graham and Dodd Readers' Choice Award. In 2006, CFA Institute presented Cliff with the James R. Vertin Award, which is periodically given to individuals who have produced a body of research notable for its relevance and enduring value to investment professionals.
Prior to cofounding AQR Capital Management, he was a managing director and director of quantitative research for the Asset Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He is on the editorial board of The Journal of Portfolio Management, the governing board of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Finance at NYU, the board of directors of the Q-Group and the board of the International Rescue Committee. Cliff received a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School and a B.S. in engineering from the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude in both. He received an M.B.A. with high honors and a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Chicago, where he was Eugene Fama's student and teaching assistant for two years (so he still feels guilty when trying to beat the market).