If this is a international group, why use Chicago in the name?
When we started the group in 1993, Chicago had the critical mass of interested parties and a wide variety of institutions interested in quantitative research. Our intention from the beginning was to bring together top quantitative people 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 are the goals of the conferences?
At the CQA conferences we are not trying to make money, sell anything, or debate meaningless theories. Our goal is to promote a focused, active discussion of topics that are of interest to our members. The emphasis is on good speakers who have the ability to convey their message in an interesting, insightful, and possibly controversial 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 conference also includes a Keynote speaker and typically has a Practitioner's Panel Discussion. The September meeting is strictly a MEMBERS ONLY event.
The Spring Conference is a two day event held in April of each year, usually in Las Vegas. We often allow guests to attend the meeting. The guests are invited from the waiting list of potential members. There is a guest fee of $500 to attend.
We hold an Academic Review Session in Boston each July. The goal of the meeting is to select the finalists for the academic competition at the September meeting. The meeting involves reading and evaluating the paper submissions in the afternoon and then attending a networking dinner in the evening.
The Quantitative Trading Seminar in New York City is a half-day event held in Manhattan and is open to traders from CQA member firms and non-CQA members. The event is co-sponsored by the SQA.
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.
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. Another goal is to maintain 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. If the members are individuals there is no confusion over who should attend from a certain firm. Also, it 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 business model works because everyone doesn't show up for every event. It allows us to offer first-class conferences at a very reasonable price.
How much does membership cost?
The conference fee is $1,000. This fee covers all of the CQA events each year. Given the consistent high quality of our programs, we think this represents one of the great values in the investment community. Payments can be made through a soft-dollar broker.
How do I join?
Fill out the online application and submit it by 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 December we review the applicants and admit new members. We encourage you to fill out the application as soon as possible to get your name on the list. Please make sure to include a current 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 if invited.