Back to school: BlackRock uses quant quake lessons on Covid

Pandemic prompts a switch in approach from strategic to tactical


Lessons from history, ancient and modern, have informed strategic decision-making through the ages. But the decision is not usually to set strategy aside.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, BlackRock’s Jeff Shen and his systematic active equity team looked to the so-called quant quake of 2007.

Then – as quants were going through a liquidity crisis of their own making – Shen witnessed funds making a “mad rush” out of the positions they were holding. “The models [they] were all betting on

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