a. Purpose and Performance
PDT was a pioneer in the field of algorithmic trading in the 1990s and has today risen to become one of the most renowned quant investment companies in the world. What do we do? Our work consists of developing quantitative models to identify market inefficiencies and predict market movements. Once a model has been rigorously researched and tested, we deploy it to run live on our automated trading systems. These systems can trade on electronic markets all over the world, day and night, without much human intervention. Doing this correctly is as complicated as it sounds, and to get it right requires close coordination between PDTers from across the company. Although we are very proud of our success in the markets, PDT is at its heart driven by scientific principles and a compassionate culture. We are not a typical finance trading company.
Mathematics, innovation, and a culture of intellectual curiosity.
b. Origin Story
Our history is all about the energetic pursuit of the seemingly impossible. Process Driven Trading began in 1993 when Pete Muller, a young mathematician, pitched Morgan Stanley with the then-crazy idea of using quantitative models rather than human traders to manage an investment portfolio. They agreed. With some capital and a limited amount of time to do something with it, Pete set about building the team and trying to make the models work. In the ‘90s, PDT was known for its laid-back culture, smart people, and shroud of secrecy. In 2013, when we spun out of Morgan Stanley to become PDT Partners, we already had a successful 20-year track record and an amazing team.
The benefit of historical experience. The passion and drive of a start-up.
c. Intellectual Freedom
Because our success depends on scientific research and technical innovation, it’s no surprise that curiosity is one of our defining characteristics. PDTers are encouraged to ask questions, set their own goals, and hold themselves to high standards. We avoid micromanagement and top-down command and control. Instead, we believe the best ideas emerge from within, driven by interest, curiosity, and persistence.
“A big aspect of working at PDT is that we're given a lot of freedom to explore the problem space however we want to.”
— PDTer in Technology
Although we’re easygoing and casual with each other, we’re serious about our work. For an idea to rise from an inkling into production, it must be thoughtfully explored, peer reviewed, and empirically validated. The more audacious the idea, the more attention to detail required. We explore deeply and thoroughly, experiment and observe, and sharpen through continuous iteration, together.
We’re a tightly knit group with a bit of an academic feel. PDT is small by choice – fewer than 250 employees between our offices in NYC and London. Our organization is comprised of three different teams: Research, Tech, and Business Operations. Research constructs complex mathematical models that seek to predict market movements before they occur. Tech brings those models to life on our automated trading systems and provides the physical and virtual platforms on which the company depends. Business Operations ensures PDT runs on a resilient, efficient, and ethical foundation, and that PDT’s workplace is second to none. While each team has its own structure and work style, together we are one PDT.