A few private equity and venture capital investors are copying the hedge fund world, trying to automate and use quantitative analysis. Just as DE Shaw, Two Sigma, and Renaissance have become major hedge funds, the technically inclined private equity and venture capital investors aspire to build the equivalent in the private markets. However, most investors in private companies are using the same tools they have used for decades: Excel, Google, Salesforce.com, and some online databases. Our panel includes some of the few investors in private companies who are rethinking how to use technology to become more efficient and successful investors.
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CTO, Two Sigma Private Investments
Patrick Leung joined Two Sigma’s private investments group in 2019 and leads technology and data science initiatives for Sightway Capital and Two Sigma Ventures.
Prior to joining, Patrick was the operations engineering lead for Google Duplex, a state of the art conversational AI system. Previously at Google, he was the engineering lead for Internal Collaboration, working on a next generation videoconferencing system and creating Google’s first suite of corporate mobile apps. Prior to that, he was the engineering lead for Google’s Emerging Markets group, where he managed a teams located in Mountain View, CA, Paris, Zurich, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore. Before his time at Google, Patrick was Vice President of Engineering and Product at Playlist, Inc., an online music service. Earlier he co-founded Intellibank, Inc., an innovative online CRM and project management system, and served as CTO; he was also a founding employee at InterWorld, a pioneering e-commerce software solution. Patrick holds a B.Sc. with first class honors in Computer Science from the University of Auckland and a B.Com. in Finance and Information Systems.
Chief Investment Officer, CircleUp
Neil Constable, Ph.D. is the Chief Investment Officer at CircleUp, the investment platform providing capital to emerging consumer brands. In this role, Neil oversees CircleUp’s three investment strategies––private market systematic equity, discretionary equity, and credit––as the company accelerates a new era of data-driven investing in the private markets. Neil brings more than a decade of experience in equity portfolio management and quantitative research to CircleUp.
He was previously a Partner at Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. LLC. (GMO). From 2006-2019, he variously served as Head of Global Equity and Head of Quantitative Research. During his time at GMO, Neil was primarily responsible for the development of GMO’s quantitative security selection models and equity derivatives research––overseeing GMO’s Global Quantitative Equity group and the equity components of the firm’s multi-asset class portfolios.
Neil earned a B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Calgary, a Master’s in Mathematics from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. in Physics from McGill University. In addition, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Center for Theoretical Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
CEO and Co-Founder, SeedInvest
Ryan Feit is the CEO and Co-Founder of SeedInvest. Prior to founding SeedInvest, Ryan worked at Wellspring Capital Management and Lehman Brothers in New York City where he invested in, financed, and managed dozens of private and public businesses. Ryan was instrumental in the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act which changed 80-year-old U.S. securities laws to make it possible for entrepreneurs to raise capital over the Internet. Since 2012, he has worked closely with members of the SEC, FINRA, the White House, and the Treasury Department on the implementation of the JOBS Act. Ryan currently serves on FINRA’s Fintech Committee and serves as a board member of the Association of Online Investment Platforms. In addition, he frequently serves as a subject matter expert on startup investing and the JOBS Act for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, CNBC, FoxBusiness, the Economist, and the New York Times as well as a columnist for Fortune Magazine and Inc. Magazine.
Chief Data Officer/Managing Director, Moelis & Company
Lena Mass-Cresnik is the Chief Data Officer at Moelis & Company, where she oversees the Firm’s Data Analytics efforts. Dr. Mass-Cresnik has more than 16 years of experience creating innovative, cross-functional technology solutions — covering AI/ML, data science, investment products, cloud, and mobility, among others — across the finance sector. Previously, she was the Head of Technology Strategy and Technology Research & Development in the Office of the CTO at Charles Schwab. Prior to that, Dr. Mass-Cresnik was the Global Head of Innovation in Technology at BlackRock. There she established a new technology engagement strategy & model focused on emergent technologies & innovations, early stage start-up technologies, products and services, and evaluated their feasibility and commercial viability globally.
Dr. Mass-Cresnik holds a Ph.D. in Innovation & Technology Management from the University of Oxford, where she focused on complex systems and networks. She also holds a B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College and an M.S. in Policy & Management from Harvard University. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Artificial Intelligence & Automation in Financial Services Steering Committee and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Fintech Advisory Group. She also recently served on the board of non-profit ARCHIVE Global.
Founder and Managing Partner, Two Six Capital
Sajjad Jaffer is Founder, Managing Partner at Two Six Capital. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative. Two Six Capital is a technology-enabled private equity firm that has pioneered Data Science for Private Equity. The firm’s approach to due diligence transactions and value add post investment is backed by 25 years of IP and research in Data Science. The firm has analyzed over $130 billion in granular transaction level revenue data and has been involved in over $32 billion worth of private equity transactions that have closed. Sajjad most recently worked with a private equity firm in Dubai. Prior to that he worked at Infosys where the firm grew from $0.5B to $3B. Sajjad had leadership team responsibilities focusing on large scale corporate transformations. Sajjad started his career at M&T Bank. Sajjad holds a B.A. from Bowdoin where he double majored in Computer Science and Government and minored in Economics, and an M.B.A. from Wharton.
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