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FAQs

If CQA is an international group, why is Chicago in the name?

When the group was formed back in 1993, Chicago had the critical mass of interested parties and hosted a wide variety of institutions interested in quantitative research. The intention from the beginning was to bring together top quantitative professionals from around the country and the world. The organization quickly outgrew its Chicago roots and is now international in scope. The majority of the current membership is from the East coast of the U.S., mostly Boston and New York. Currently less than 10% of the membership is from the Chicago area.

What is the structure of the organization?

The CQA is a non-profit organization formed as a 501(c)(6) under the U.S. tax code. The organization is guided by a Board of Directors who are all volunteers. CQA has no paid employees and exists solely for the benefit of its members and to promote the interests of the quantitative investment community.

What are the goals of the conferences?

The CQA conferences are not intended to make money, sell anything, or debate meaningless theories. The goal is to promote a focused, active discussion of topics of interest to practitioners. The emphasis is on good speakers who have the ability to convey their message in an interesting and insightful way. 

What is the format of the conferences?

The Fall Conference is a two day event held in downtown Chicago in September of each year.  A central part of the conference involves an academic competition at which cash prizes are awarded based upon a vote by the members. A call for papers is made early in the year and in July three papers are selected for presentation at the conference. The competition is limited to non-tenured professors and doctoral students. 

The September meeting is strictly a MEMBERS ONLY event.

The Spring Conference is a two day event held in April of each year in Las Vegas. A small number of guests are invited to attend this meeting. The guests are invited from the waiting list of potential members. There is a guest fee of $500 to attend.

We hold several other meetings and seminars each year.  Please see our calendar of events for a complete list of events.

Is there a newsletter, Journal, or some other type of official written material?

We have established an e-mail list and this web site to enable everyone to communicate and share information on a regular basis. This ability to communicate with other members has become a valued feature of membership to the group.  We do not publish a Journal, but papers and presentations are available on this website.

Why is membership restricted?

Our goal is to maintain the integrity of the group by selecting people that will add value to the proceedings. We seek members who are interested in contributing to the discussions and whose jobs are directly related to quantitative investing. We also focus on ensuring a varied mix of money managers, plan sponsors, academics, and others that will maintain the diversity of the group.

How does the membership work?

Membership is by individual, not firm. This membership approach promotes discussion and participation by having the same people at each meeting. A member MAY NOT send a replacement to the meetings. This is a very strict rule. The CQA business model works because every member does not attend every event. This allows us to offer first-class conferences at a very reasonable price.

How much does membership cost?

The annual dues is $1,000. This one fee covers all of the CQA events each year. Given the consistent high quality of our programs, this represents one of the great values in the investment community. Payments can be made online by credit card using Stripe, Paypal or by check.

How do I join?

Please fill out the online application and submit it before November 30th.

In order to maintain the integrity of the group we have established certain membership criteria. We currently have a waiting list for membership. We accept applications throughout the year and in early December we review the applicants and admit new members. Once you fill out the application your name will be placed on our wait list, there is no need to apply each year. Please make sure to include a current CQA member as a Sponsor. Two things that will help speed your application along are to get a Board Member as a Sponsor and to attend the Las Vegas meeting as a guest.