David E. Shaw

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David Shaw
BornDavid Elliot Shaw
(1951-03-29) March 29, 1951 (age 67)
Alma materUniversity of California, San Diego
Stanford University
OccupationInvestor, computer scientist, and hedge fund manager
Known forFounding and managing D. E. Shaw & Co.
Net worthUS$6.2 billion (June 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Beth Kobliner

David Elliot Shaw (born March 29, 1951) is an American investor, computer scientist, and hedge fund manager. He founded D. E. Shaw & Co., a hedge fund company which was once described by Fortune magazine as "the most intriguing and mysterious force on Wall Street".[2][3] A former faculty member in the computer science department at Columbia University, Shaw made his fortune exploiting inefficiencies in financial markets with the help of state-of-the-art high speed computer networks. In 1996, Fortune magazine referred to him as "King Quant" because of his firm's pioneering role in high-speed quantitative trading.[2] In 2001, Shaw turned to full-time scientific research in computational biochemistry, more specifically molecular dynamics simulations of proteins.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Shaw received a bachelor's degree summa cum laude from the University of California, San Diego and obtained his PhD from Stanford University in 1980, then became a faculty member of the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University.[5] While at Columbia, Shaw conducted research in massively parallel computing with the NON-VON supercomputer. This supercomputer was composed of processing elements in a tree structure meant to be used for fast relational database searches. Earlier in his career, he founded Stanford Systems Corporation.

Investment career[edit]

In 1986, he joined Morgan Stanley, as vice president for technology in Nunzio Tartaglia's automated proprietary trading group. In 1994, Shaw was appointed by President Clinton to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, where he was chairman of the Panel on Educational Technology. In 2000, he was elected to the board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science served as its treasurer 2000-2010. In 2007, Shaw was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama again to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.[6] In 2012, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and in 2014 was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

D. E. Shaw[edit]

In 1988 he started his own hedge fund, "D. E. Shaw & Co.", which employed proprietary algorithms for securities trading. In 2018, Forbes estimated his wealth at $6.2 billion. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at Columbia University and an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia's medical school. Shaw is Chief Scientist of D. E. Shaw Research, which conducts interdisciplinary research in the field of computational biochemistry.

According to the Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine's annual ranking for 2014,[7] D. E. Shaw, who made $530 million in 2014, and James H. Simons of Renaissance Technologies[8] who made $1.2 billion were among the top 25 earners in the hedge fund industry. They are both "quantitative strategists who founded firms that build algorithms for trading."[9]

Political and philanthropic donations[edit]

Shaw has donated US$2.25 million to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.[10]

Through the Shaw Family Endowment Fund, by 2014 he and his wife have donated $1 million to Organizing for Action, $400,000 to the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, $400,000 to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, $1 million to Yale University, $800,000 to the Horace Mann School, $1 million to Stanford University, and $1 million to Harvard University.[11] Shaw is also on the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Shaw is married to personal finance commentator and journalist Beth Kobliner.[12][11] They are members of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Forbes: "The World's Billionaires - David Shaw" June 2018
  2. ^ a b Aley, James (5 Feb 1996). "Wall Street's King Quant David Shaw's Secret Formulas Pile Up Money. Now He Wants a Piece of the Net". Fortune. Retrieved 21 Aug 2009.
  3. ^ "EXECUTIVE PROFILE: David Elliot Shaw Ph.D." BusinessWeek.
  4. ^ Borrell, Brendan (16 January 2008). "Chemistry: Power play". Nature. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  5. ^ "David E. Shaw". Forbes. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  6. ^ "PCAST Home Page".
  7. ^ Taub, Stephen (5 May 2015), "The 2015 Rich List: The Highest Earning Hedge Fund Managers of the Past Year", Alpha, retrieved 23 June 2015
  8. ^ Zuckerman, Gregory (2005-07-01). "Renaissance's Man: James Simons Does The Math on Fund". The Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ "Morning Agenda: Big Paychecks Despite Tough Year", New York Times blog, 5 May 2015, retrieved 23 June 2015
  10. ^ "The Top Donors Backing Hillary Clinton's Super PAC". Forbes. May 27, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c Cohen, Rick (June 20, 2014). "Philanthropically Speaking, Who are the Donors to Organizing for Action?". Nonprofit Quarterly.
  12. ^ The Real Deal: "Hedge funder spends $75M on Westchester manse" August 01, 2012
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2013-04-29.

External links[edit]