In the fall of 2006, Varun Dube began talking to several people regarding a mutual vested interest in Quantitative Finance. The original idea was to apply mathematics and finance computationally, and the idea struck him while taking a Statistics course, feeling that modeling many of the techniques that are taught would be a wholesome learning experience. He found support from his classmates Jawad Ahmed and Haseeb Chowdhry and decided to consult with club leaders and members. The reception was mixed, with some young Stern students such as Alexandru Savoiu, Arvindh Rao and Eric Ho showing immediate appreciation of the idea while more senior students were more wary.
Almost providentially a senior student, Igor Schmertzler, burst onto the scene and provided guidance over a Skype VoIP session. The founders decided that talk would never convince the Stern community to support an avant-garde club, but rather concrete actions would be the new voice. A board meeting was quickly organized, and over the next few weeks a concrete vision slowly formed. The founders had different preferences in the industry-some very adept at computer science, some very enthusiastic about mathematics and others formidable at financial theory. This ensured that no one vision would dominate and doom the nascent club, but the combination of visions would provide members with a diverse experience.
The first historic meeting of The Quantitative Finance Society was launched on the 6th of February. Attendance was 52 students for this pioneering club with little influential power. The presentation "Math Probably Sucks," about the lack of enough reliable data and falling back on mathematical approximations to make up for this, was well received by the audience. Following this meeting, Igor once again stepped up to present a discussion on Decision Trees. Once again, the audience was very receptive and an engaging conversation followed the meeting, and weekly meetings of QFS gradually grew to become a prominent organization within the Stern community.
Shift to Current Focus
During the transition from Spring 2011 to Fall 2011, our board members decided to shift the focus of the club away from pure quant finance, instead focusing on general trading and markets-related knowledge. This shift was made due to the lack of a pure trading community at Stern. We began running a smaller portfolio team group in Fall 2011, where our teams began experimenting with running different strategies, both technical and fundamental, in an effort to gain the technical skills associated with knowing asset classes and how to trade them.
Our mission is to provide a platform for education about markets and trading, whereby members can learn about all different types of investing strategies and the various qualities / attributes of different asset classes. Our current teams focus on fundamental, bottoms-up equity strategies, systematic and fundamental global macro strategies, and, of course, quantitative strategies, within which we trade a variety of asset classes, including but not limited to equities, credit, rate products, Fx, commodities, options, and futures.