The Automated Trader Interview
"There was no budget constraint, just a goal," says Richard Franklin, CEO of Boronia Capital, summarising his brief to start with a 'clean slate' and deliver a fully automated and co-located trading operation. How often do you get to say that, and how often do you achieve such a goal - as Richard Franklin did without significant disruption, while maintaining a significant alpha generating outcome, and within a few years? Andy Webb went to meet Richard Franklin and Boronia Capital's head of research, Chris Mellen.
Richard Franklin Chris Mellen Andy Webb: Let's start with the background. Tell me about Boronia, and also about your own background, Richard. Richard Franklin: Boronia Capital is a CTA - managed futures - that started in 1991 developing a trading model based on the thesis work of our co-founder, Richard Grinham. What's interesting is that this model, a long volatility strategy, was developed in Australia with no influence or direction from what was happening in the northern hemisphere. At that time it was unique. The company was previously called Grinham Managed Funds, before the Directors - Angus & Richard Grinham made the decision to change the name to Boronia Capital in 2008 to reflect the growth of the company, removing the family name to acknowledge the fact that there were now many other talented employees contributing to the ongoing success of the company. From its early beginnings this insight has been diversified into multiple timeframes and multiple markets covering all four asset classes - Equity Index futures, Interest Rate futures, Commodity futures and FX Spot - originally, FX futures. The fact that this one model has traded these asset classes across timeframes ranging from intraday to long term - three to four weeks - for the last 20 years is, I think, a testament to its robustness. Most of the work done over the last 10 years has only been incremental and primarily for diversification. The market insights targeted by the model are as relevant today as they have been over the 20 years and the model is still the core insight traded today.