Man GLG appoints head of ‘machine learning’

Man GLG has appointed a head of machine learning, becoming one of the first discretionary fund managers to do so.

William Ferreira will work with Man Group’s discretionary arm to mine news and social media, market events and announcements.

Ferreira has returned to Man Group following a short stint at quant fund Florin Court Capital having previously worked in Man AHL, its systematic trading arm, as a technology manager.

He holds a PhD in theoretical computer science and an MSc in computational statistics and machine learning from University College London, where he focused on natural language processing of news article headlines.

Man GLG chief executive Teun Johnston says: “We believe that machine learning techniques present an opportunity for discretionary investment managers, providing them with analytical tools to complement, and further enhance, their decision making processes.

“We are continually seeking to develop our offering for our clients and, as the amount of data available continues to expand, these techniques can supplement existing rigorous quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Man Group announced last year that it was partnering with Oxford University to further its research into machine learning, which is a branch of artificial intelligence focussed on mining the increasing amount of data available to traders and fund managers.

BlackRock and State Street, along with several large hedge funds, are among the asset managers that are already investing in machine learning.