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Who's the mystery Chinese quant making $23m?

If you’re making a lot of money, you’re probably going to shout about it. When you’re making over $23m, those shouts are going to come with a lot of doubts.

One anonymous hedge fund quant, rumoured to have made over $2B for their firm, has released a chart that they claim shows their yearly earnings for the past five years, visible below. The alleged numbers (shown below in US$) beggar belief:

The post has gone viral across Xiaohongshu, a Chines messaging site, and has now made it to 1point3acres, a forum popular with Chinese quants in Chicago and the Bay Area. In the Mandarin text accompanying the chart, the quant says he's made "a figure that I never could have imagined" and that the figures in the chart are taken from the company's own website but he doesn't care if he's found out.

It all sounds pretty good, right? Maybe too good to be true. Responding to the post, industry insiders say they're not convinced that the numbers could be that high given the widely known shrinking of trading volumes in the last year. Another said that if they were as proficient as the numbers suggest, they should be running their own firm rather than being a mere mid-level quant.

Where can you earn that kind of money? An anonymous tells us the consensus is that the quant is from either Jump Trading or Two Sigma, with majority opinion leaning towards the latter. We asked Two Sigma; they declined to comment.

Needless to say, at both firms, salary alone won't earn you $23.5m. At Two Sigma, the highest paid individual on a H1B visa joined on a salary of $2m last year, but that was an outlier - most H1B visa hires were hired on salaries of $250k or less. At Jump, typical salaries for quant developers or quant researchers on H1Bs were $170k. 

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Photo by Heather Wilde on Unsplash

AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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