Ten to watch in 2023: Govinda Quish


Govinda Quish’s career path took an unusual turn, moving from religious studies to working for hedge funds and family offices around the world.

He is now back in the US where he started, in Boulder, Colorado, where he co-founded a risk modeling platform for financial advisors called Fabric, intended to help them better illustrate outcomes and probabilities. long-term portfolios for clients.

Quish, 49, started the company with Rick Bookstaber, a Wall Street veteran who has held risk management roles at Morgan Stanley and Solomon Brothers, as well as tenures at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Treasury. Quish considers Bookstaber a mentor.

“I have no academic background in finance and was planning on becoming an academic. I had almost completed my master’s degree and thought I was on my way to earning a doctorate in religious studies,” Quish said. attended Naropa University, a Colorado university founded by Tibetan Buddhists in 1974 and known for being home to beat-era writers like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

Then his mother fell ill with Lou Gehrig’s disease and came to live with Quish as he took on the role of caregiver.

He says the experience of watching his mother die of such a terrible disease did not lead him deeper into religious contemplation, but to see the value of money and its importance when it comes to protecting his family, especially in difficult times.

Although he never had a professional interest in finance, he had an affinity for mathematics and began researching the industry, just as quantitative financial models were gaining prominence in as tools for asset managers and investors.

“Around 1999 or 2000 I came across hedge funds and started learning about the careers of Stanley Druckenmiller, Louis Bacon, George Soros and others,” Quish said. “And I got myself a job at a New York-based family office.”

In 2007, he moved to Zurich, Switzerland to lead research for Aeris Capital, AG, the family office of one of SAP’s founders.

A position in Hong Kong followed before Quish returned to the United States and joined Bookstaber in the public sector as an investment researcher and senior risk manager at the University of California, overseeing the university system’s pension fund. during two years. After more than a decade helping to mitigate investment risks for some of the wealthiest families, he quickly realized how the same system could fail for the simple wealthy.

“When financial crises occur, those most affected are ordinary people, those who can least afford it,” Quish said.

While spending time with Bookstaber in California, he said they both realized the direction they wanted was not to go back to hedge funds but to work with asset owners, and that the best way to achieve this was to work within the wealth management community.

“And that’s when we decided to build Fabric,” he said.

Both had seen data and computing power grow exponentially and recognized the potential for applying machine learning to finance.

“So we asked ourselves if we could develop technology of the same institutional caliber that was created after the 2008 crisis for those who build quantitative models, but not for quants,” he said. “Could we bridge the gap and make it available to wealth advisors?

They spent two years interviewing hundreds of financial advisors, studying their processes, and building dozens of wireframes before arriving at the current iteration of Fabric, which launched late last year.

It is based on data from MSCI’s factor model to uncover market returns of qualities such as size, value, growth and volatility.

Unlike many other risk analytics platforms that rely on historical returns, Fabric uses the data to create forward-looking models, Quish said. An intuitive, modern interface allows advisors to work with clients to demonstrate how factors will influence their investment returns over time.

Fabric already has integrations with Black Diamond, Orion, and Addepar, and more are in the works, Quish says.

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