Mar 10, 2023
Adam Parker, Founder and CEO, Trivariate Research
There are lies, damn lies and statistics as the saying goes, and about the latter, Adam Parker knows a thing or two. Armed with a Phd in stats, he began his Wall Street career as a semi’s analyst at Sanford Bernstein in 1999. Reflecting back on the deep dive research the firm was known for, he notes that today’s rapid fire information environment requires especially efficient communication to clients.
We look backward to gather some insights on how Adam’s framework and process came to be. Markets teach lessons and for Adam, it is the recovery periods – March 2009 and March 2020, for example – that illustrated the need to look past headline negativity and embrace risk when it was difficult to do so. He shares as well the challenges inherent in determining if change – in margins, in profits and stock price, for example – is structural versus cyclical.
We shift to Adam’s founding of Trivariate Research, a firm providing top down investment strategy to institutional clients. First, we review some of chaos that ensued 3 years back during the pandemic and learn of some of the factor work that isolated work from home versus re-opening, a theme further distilled by adding a high and low quality factor to each. Next we talk about crowding, an area of focus at Trivariate. Here the team collects data on ownership among a prominent group of stock pickers, aimed at identifying both conviction as well as bad crowding.
We round out the conversation by further exploring crowding, but in the context of hidden, overlapping factors. Here Adam talks about his work in the area of signal correlation and how factor sensitivities of sets of stocks can vary substantially over time. The result is a “handle with care” approach to interpreting model outputs. I hope you enjoy this episode of the Alpha Exchange, my conversation with Adam Parker.