John Michael Emms is a chess player who has earned the rank of International Grandmaster. This English player was the 2002 captain of the English Olympiad team. He tied for first in the 1997 British Championship. In October 2004, he also coached a woman’s team in the 36th Chess Olympiad in Calvià, Majorca. He is also a prolific chess author.
It’s earlyish on a Tuesday morning in a room off the ‘buttery’ (read dining hall) at Oxford’s illustrious Christ Church College. Paul Bilokon, a former quant at Citi, Nomura and Deutsche Bank – turned data science and machine learning lecturer at London’s Imperial College, is bustling around in full academic regalia. Matthew Dixon, a former academic in the computer science department at Standford University and quant at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, is about to deliver a class. The room is packed.
The 30 or so attendees are drawn from a sturdy cross-section of finance society. Sitting elbow to elbow are media-shy bank staff, hedge fund business development professionals, consultants, senior ETF traders, portfolio managers and heads of fixed income technology.