Our Story

Applied Academics, founded in 2009, develops transformative intellectual property in finance through R&D fusing the rigor of academia and the grit of industry. The firm is 100% owned by its staff and advisors, which affords us the freedom to engage in highly experimental research to tackle any problem that piques our intellectual curiosity and stirs our passion.

Research & Engineering

Yoshiki Obayashi

Head of Research

Yoshiki is responsible for setting the firm’s research agenda and managing its execution. Prior to founding Applied Academics, he managed investment grade and high yield credit portfolios for a proprietary fixed-income trading group of an investment bank. He holds a PhD in Financial Economics from Columbia Business School.

Jacob Amos


Jacob works on the firm’s performance prediction technology with a focus on building our analytics infrastructure. Prior to joining, Jacob traded commodities with CHS. He holds an MS in Computational Finance and Risk Management from the University of Washington, and a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Concordia-Moorhead.

Cong Chen


Cong works on the firm's index research and performance prediction technology with a focus on building our analytics infrastructure. Prior to joining, Cong conducted fixed income research at Factset. He holds a PhD in Physics from Stony Brook University and a BA Physics from Tsinghua University.

Shihao Yang


Shihao has collaborated closely with Applied Academics over the years, with a focus on the methodological aspects of the firm's research. He holds a PhD in statistics from Harvard University, and graduated first in his class from the University of Hong Kong with a BS in actuarial science.

Nan Zhou


Nan works on the firm’s strategy index research and performance prediction research and technology with a focus on testing and advancing new methodologies. He holds an MS in Mathematical Finance from Columbia University and a BS in Physics from Peking University.

Business Development

Mark Thompson

Business Development - Europe

Mark is based in London managing the firm's activities in the UK and Europe. Before joining Applied Academics, Mark spent 27 years trading credit, equities, and rates, on both the buy and sell sides at major European and Asian investment banks and most recently ran the credit trading desk of a major German Landesbank.

John White

Business Development - Asia

John is based in Tokyo managing the firm’s activities in Asia. Before joining Applied Academics, John spent 12 years on the macro rates and FX sales and trading desks at Goldman Sachs and Citi covering global institutional investors. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute.

Legal & Operations

Michael Kim

Chief Operating Officer

Michael advises the management team on all legal matters and oversees the firm's operations. Prior to this role, he was the General Counsel at UBS Hedge Fund Solutions. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Johns Hopkins University and a JD from the George Washington Law School and he is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.

Strategic Advisory

Matthew Granade


Matthew Granade is an experienced business builder at the intersection of finance, advanced analytics, and technology. He is currently Chief Market Intelligence Officer and a Managing Director at Point72 Asset Management. In that role, he directs the firm’s central portfolio, which collects stock ideas from a broad array of sources and systematically monetizes them. He also oversees the firm’s efforts to develop unique information assets for its investors. Before Point72, Matthew worked as Co-Head of Research for Bridgewater Associates, where he built and led teams that developed insights on the global economy, created new algorithmic systems for capturing alpha, and published Bridgewater’s market commentary, Daily Observations. Matthew earned his A.B. from Harvard College, where he was President of The Harvard Crimson, and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a George F. Baker Scholar.

Jean-Denis Greze


Jean-Denis Greze is an experienced technology leader with a significant record of growing teams and defining technical strategy to build industry defining products. He is currently Head of Engineering at Plaid, a technology company giving developers access to the financial system and the tools to build many of the most influential applications and services of the modern financial era. Companies such as Venmo + Paypal, Coinbase, Robinhood, Acorns, Clarity Money and hundreds more are built on Plaid. Prior to joining Plaid, Jean-Denis was Director of Engineering at Dropbox, where he led the growth, identity, notifications, Paper, and payments teams. Before that, Jean-Denis worked in fintech in New York. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Columbia University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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