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17 Start Your Own Firm at 21 Years of Age? Russian CEO Tells All. with Peter Kambolin of Systematic Alpha Management – 1of2

“Sometimes it makes sense to have a ‘common sense’ guy next to a ‘PHD’ guy.” – Peter Kambolin (Tweet)

Peter Kambolin is the common sense CEO behind Systematic Alpha Management, an Award Winning CTA Firm which has come through the tremendous market forces of the past 10 years. Their staying power is a testament to their success as conscious, ruled based traders.

This episode is about his hero’s journey from immigrant origins in Moscow to founding a lasting, top financial service company headquartered in New York City.

Thank you so much for joining us today, we really do hope you enjoy this episode.

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In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • About the effect of the 2004 internet bubble and how Systematic Alpha created a “market neutral” CTA strategy in response
  • What it’s like to win global CTA awards yet still have to hunt new business due to capital flows towards large investment firms
  • Peter’s story of moving from Moscow to New York and how he entered the finance industry

“What we’re doing is very different from 99.9% of CTAs.” – Peter Kambolin (Tweet)

  • The surprising story of how Peter was inspired to start his own firm at 21 years of age
  • How Peter and Alexi work together to maximize each others strengths, and control for each-other’s weaknesses
  • About the transition from long term to short term CTA strategies

“Being a minority helps. If you’re doing a good job, you could stand out. This is our goal, to stand out.” – Peter Kambolin (Tweet)

  • Why living in New York yet playing in Miami helps stoke Peter’s creativity
  • A brief overview of the programs Systematic Alpha Management runs today: when they started and levels of Assets Under Management (AUM):

2 Programs:

1. Original Systematic Alpha Futures Goal – Started trading in 2001. By 2004 AuM was 5-10 million. In 2005 the fund held 20 million, 2006 80 million & 2011 700 million in the program.
2. Systematic Alpha Multi Strategy Fund – A program with more diversification with 50% allocation to original program and 50% to a momentum model. 30-35 million in AUM is allocated to this fund.

“One or two months would produce your total P/L for the year.” (Tweet)

  • The story of the dramatic period of March-August 2011 in which they experienced a drawdown that let to a drop in AuM from 721 million to 50 million due to investor redemptions.
  • The effects of the coordination of global economic decisions by government on volatility and it’s effect on the overall environment for Systematic Alpha Management’s CTA programs.
  • Five main functions of a fully in-house business operation:

Research – Fully Automated Trading – Back Office Functions – Marketing – Compliance

  • Why Peter considers Systematic Alpha to be a stronger firm after the steep drop in AUM they experienced in 2011.

“I would say that our returns in 2012, which were very strong, primarily were due to the adjustments that were implemented [from 2011.]”  (Tweet)

  • Where Systematic Alpha’s value proposition is and the importance of a CTA position in diversification
  • How to get out of losing trades when liquidity is a problem
  • Plus, much much more…

Resources & Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Trend Logic Associates – The Initial Long Term CTA Firm Alexi Worked with to learn the CTA strategies

See Systematic Alpha Management awards on CTA Intelligence US performance award 2014

See Systematic Alpha Management listed as a Pinnacle award recipient for Best Diversified CTA for 2013.

See Systematic Alpha Management list as award recipients for 2009 & 2012 with HFM Week.

Sponsored by Swiss Financial Services and Saxo Bank:

Saxo Bank Sponsor of Top Traders Unplugged

Connect with Systematic Alpha Management:

Visit the Website:

Call Systematic Alpha Management: +1 646 825 8075

E-Mail Systematic Alpha:

Follow Peter Kambolin and Alexei Chekholov on LinkedIn

“We’ll trade two equity markets, one against another and a commodity market on top. That commodity hedge is used only for those indices that are highly correlated to commodities. For example: Australian and Canadian stock markets.” (Tweet)