The quant investor harnessing the power of ants

Swarm Technology has designed a network of trading algorithms that mimics the hive mind of insects.

Engineers have long looked to the natural world for inspiration. Japanese high-speed trains were modelled on kingfisher beaks. Architects have studied the structure of termite mounds to improve ventilation in buildings.

Financial engineers, too, are using designs and practices from nature. UK hedge fund Swarm Technology runs a $95 million systematic trading strategy based on the way ants interact.

The trading programme, known as Swarm XVI, consists of individual algorithms that share

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