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From managing a single fund, Winton has progressed to offering a focused product range, centred on the same rigorous, empirical approach.

By 1997, David had already been at the forefront of systematic investing for a decade. Following a first-class degree in theoretical physics from Cambridge University, he soon saw that statistical inference and modern computing techniques might potentially be utilised for trading in financial markets.

David put these ideas into practice in 1987, as one of the three eponymous co-founders of pioneering systematic manager Adam, Harding and Lueck (AHL), which grew to be a leading adviser of managed futures funds. ED&F Man (now Man Group) subsequently acquired a majority stake in AHL before fully acquiring it in 1994.

David’s philosophy was captured in a speech to the Royal Society in 1993 and a subsequent paper titled Making Money from Mathematical Models. This document has served as a manifesto, defining Winton’s guiding principles ever since.

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David founded Winton on the belief that research into financial time series could give rise to investment strategies with better than even statistical chances of success. This belief was directly contrary to the prevailing wisdom of the time, which held that securities markets already took account of all the information relevant to their prices, and that statistical research into the history of those prices could not provide a meaningful investment advantage.

The quantitative trading strategies employed by Winton were initially based on exploiting the weak tendency of futures markets to exhibit trends. The success of these strategies enabled the firm to expand its research and technology teams and embark on a wide variety of further research projects. This resulted in new models based on a broader range of data and their application to a broader range of markets and instruments.

This focus on research and technology has been reflected in the development of Winton’s business. At inception, Winton had two researchers and traded momentum-based strategies in 38 futures and LME forwards markets. Today, the firm employs a substantial Research and Investment Management group and implements many strategies across thousands of securities, spanning major-market futures, equities, OTC instruments and esoteric futures.