How did it all start?
I founded Quantifi back in 2002 after working at Citigroup and Salomon Brothers running their global credit derivative and emerging market research groups. I started Quantifi in my attic in New Jersey in the US with the vision of providing the same sophisticated risk management and analytics used by tier 1 banks to other market participants. I spent the first few months looking for a foundation client. I was very lucky to find CIBC, a Canadian bank, which then was one of the largest players in the global credit markets. They agreed to license a product that was yet to be built, and with their backing, I hired my first employee and haven’t looked back since then.
From that one employee in New Jersey, Quantifi is now a global business with four offices across three countries. Tell me about the journey to where you are now.
It’s been quite a journey. Growing Quantifi is very much like growing any small business. You’ve got to get the basics right, but as the company grows there are new challenges and you have to adapt. My role, for example, has constantly evolved along the way. I started out as the main developer. Over time, I had to learn everything from tax law, to human resources law, to IP law, to company leasing. These days I focus on the management of the company and the direction of the company, but I still try to program whenever I can.
So you do still program?
I do. It’s something that I enjoy, although, I don’t get to do it very often these days. Since technology and the markets change so rapidly, I think it’s crucial for me to stay in touch so I can make the right decisions about the direction the company’s going in.
Would you say your programming is the key to Quantifi’s success?
I would definitely not say that. I think if you asked my management team, they would say Quantifi is successful despite my programming at this point. I think the key to Quantifi’s success is really its employees. We have a great team of very hard-working, dedicated professionals. I think that’s really the key. A second piece that I think is very important is our view on corporate sustainability. I believe that the purpose of a company goes beyond financial results. Sustainability, for me, means not only financial sustainability but also being there for our clients, our staff, and for our broader community. Quantifi donating 3% of profits to charity is something that’s important to me and a good example of how the company uses sustainability.
I think the key to Quantifi’s success is really its employees. We have a great team of very hard-working, dedicated professionals.Rohan Douglas, CEO, Quantifi
What are some of the main highlights from across the last 20 years?
There have been a lot. There are milestones around opening new offices, corporate growth, winning key new big clients, releasing key products, awards, plus other things. One of the things I find most satisfying is receiving feedback from clients that they really love a particular feature of the product or what we do. That, to me, is really what I remember the most.
What do the next 20 years hold for Quantifi?
That’s a difficult prediction to make but there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on right now. There are tremendous changes going on in the markets in terms of structure, how things are valued, more sophisticated risk management and new regulations. In the technology space there’s even bigger changes going on relating to machine learning, to data science, to changes in CPU and memory architecture. All of these changes are a great opportunity for Quantifi. We’re big enough to be able to put in the needed resources and investment from an R&D perspective, but small enough to be able to adapt and be nimble. I think Quantifi’s in a position that we can lead our industry in taking advantages of all of these exciting changes.
Any final thoughts that you’d like to share?
I think we’re doing a lot of hard work at Quantifi at the moment. I’m really looking forward to seeing the results of that hard work benefitting our clients. So I’m very excited to see what the next 20 years brings.