John Overdeck: How Successful Is He? We’ll Let You Do the Math
Browsing through whale bios will teach you, among other things, that a penchant for mathematics can turn out to be exceedingly profitable. In the case of Mr. John Overdeck, the study of stats has, indeed, added more than a few zeros to his account.
After earning a master’s degree in statistics from Stanford University, John Overdeck began his career at D.E. Shaw & Co., where he rose to the position of managing director. While at D. E. Shaw, John directed the firm’s Japanese equity and equity-linked investments and supervised their London investment management affiliate.
Following D.E. Shaw, John Overdeck spent two years at Amazon, first serving as vice president and technical assistant to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. John went on to lead customer relationship management at Amazon, directing Amazon’s personalization, community, and targeted marketing features and technology; during this time, Mr. Overdeck led critical efforts to make Amazon’s customer technology more scalable.
After gaining valuable experience at Amazon, John Overdeck founded New York-based hedge fund Two Sigma Investments in 2001 with David Siegel and Mark Pickard. With branch offices in Houston, London, and Hong Kong, Two Sigma has consistently generated strong returns for clients through principles of technology and innovation as much as traditional principles of investment management.
Informed by math and the scientific method, Mr. Overdeck’s firm has a look and a feel like none other in the business. Guided by fields like machine learning and distributed computing, John Overdeck and Two Sigma keep technology front and center while most financial firms relegate it to the back office. In fact, 60% of Two Sigma’s employees come from non-financial backgrounds; 13% of them are gold and silver medalists at the International Math Olympiad.
Two Sigma Investments currently has $54 billion under management and is widely regarded as a quantitative trading powerhouse. It’s also a pretty good place to work, it seems, as Two Sigma boasts a 95% voluntary employee retention rate since inception. As for Mr. Overdeck himself, his personal net worth is currently estimated to be around $5.5 billion.
Along with math and finance, John Overdeck has demonstrated a passion and commitment to the future of American education. To this end, John and Laura Overdeck established the Overdeck Family Foundation in 2011; this foundation seeks to fuflill children’s untapped potential by funding compelling, innovative programs and projects that have proven, quantifiable results.
Turning numbers into dollars and changed lives, John Overdeck has made the full transition from math geek to financial chic. No two ways about it: however we may parse his performance, it all adds up to victory.