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Updated: June 15, 2022 / 2022 Wealthiest people in CT

Wealthiest People in CT: 15. Clifford Asness

Co-Founder AQR Capital Management, Greenwich 2022 Net Worth: $1.6 billion
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Greenwich resident Cliff Asness, founder, managing principal and chief investment officer at AQR (Applied Quantitative Research) Capital Management, is something of a renaissance individual.

In addition to heading a successful global investment management firm with assets under management that reportedly exceed $180 billion — and an estimated personal net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes — Asness, 55, is a scholar.

He’s an active researcher who’s authored award-winning and other articles on a variety of financial topics for publications like The Journal of Portfolio Management, Financial Analysts Journal, The Journal of Finance and The Journal of Financial Economics; and more than 40% of AQR’s employees hold advanced degrees, including about 50 with Ph.Ds.

AQR is noted for its sometimes-controversial “factor investing” approach, which involves targeting specific drivers of return across asset classes.

“Factor investing has long faced criticisms…” Asness noted recently. But, adds Asness, he and his colleagues have “long addressed these concerns through robust out-of-sample evidence and a compelling theory for why a factor should work. My colleagues’ new paper tests brilliantly, what we have argued, largely anecdotally, for years.”

Value investing — a strategy that involves picking stocks that appear to be trading for less than their intrinsic or book value — is one of AQR’s core approaches. That may be why he’s not so hot on Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that’s exploded in value recently.

“Trend following alone is not a super high sharp strategy, particularly for one asset,” he asserted in a January Bloomberg interview. “A [quantitative analyst] who focuses on trend following and says ‘I’m adding Bitcoin,’ if that is what you’re doing you’re never trying to figure out truth — you’re just following trends. I’m somewhat cynical that someone’s gonna come up with a really good valuation model for what the right price of Bitcoin is.”

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