Hedge Funds

Ascend ramps up quant strategies

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Ascend Capital, which manages $1.2 billion, is building its market-neutral quantitative strategies.

The San Francisco firm, traditionally a fundamental long/short equity shop, will begin trading a mid- to large-cap market-neutral quant fund in November and will launch a quantitative long/short equity strategy in early 2007. Ascend introduced its first market-neutral quantitative fund in June 2003, but that fund, which focuses on small-cap stocks and runs about $300 million, will soon close to new investors.

As part of this effort, Ascend has been quietly ramping up its quant team. Last year, the firm hired David Saraniti, a principal in