How codebreaker James Simons cracked the mystery of creating alpha

James Simons hired only mathematicians and scientists

James Simons is an inquisitive man. He is “eager to explore what he calls the mysteries of the universe”, says William Broad in The New York Times. This drive to investigate the world helped him become a highly successful hedge-fund manager and before that, a prize-winning mathematician.

At the age of 26, he was conducting advanced code-breaking for the US government. By the time he turned 30 he was running a university maths department; at 37 he won geometry’s top prize, and then aged 44 [...]

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