Denise Shull

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Denise Shull at Credit Suisse 2020
Denise K. Shull
Born (1959-09-17) September 17, 1959 (age 61)
EducationUniversity of Chicago, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government
OccupationPrincipal at The ReThink Group
OrganizationThe ReThink Group
Known forPsychology of decision making in risk and human performance

Denise Kay Shull (born September 17, 1959 in Akron, Ohio) is a performance coach who uses neuroeconomics and modern psychoanalysis in her work with hedge funds and professional athletes. She is also the founder of The ReThink Group.[1] Shull focuses on the positive contribution of feelings and emotion in high-pressure decisions. She is the author of Market Mind Games[2] which explains how Wall Street traders act out Freudian transferences in reaction to market moves. Shull postulates that human perception contains fractal elements in the same manner as the fractal geometry of nature.


Shull graduated from Kennedy's executive program in "Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance" in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts from The University of Chicago. Her thesis research, "The Neurobiology of Freud's Theory of the Repetition Compulsion" was published in 2003 in the Annals of Modern Psychoanalysis and was cited in 2013 as one of the first papers ever written in the emerging field of neuro-psychoanalysis.


  • 1983-1988 Marketing Representative at IBM
  • 1994-2009 short term technical trading, Member CME Group
  • 2003–present Founder, CEO and Lead Performance Coach at The ReThink Group

Shull began working as a short-term trader and trading desk manager in 1994 at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and later began trading futures as a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. During this period Shull began to formulate her application of neuropsychology to investment and trading at banks, hedge funds, and proprietary funds, working in the budding interdisciplinary field of neuroeconomics.

In 2003, Shull created The ReThink Group to address the challenges of slumps, repetitive mistakes and confidence crises in portfolio managers and traders. In 2016, ReThink added Olympians, pro poker players and professional athletes to their roster.

Shull and The ReThink Group have developed new technologies and techniques for understanding and evaluating decision-making. In 2016, for Bloomberg, The ReThink Group developed the "Trader Brain Exercise", or what they now call the "Intuition Brain Game".[3] Additionally, Shull and The ReThink Group have created a tool called "HEADSx", a talent assessment metric to evaluate potential hires.[4]


Shull filed a copyright claim against Showtime Networks in 2018, claiming their show Billions plagiarized her 2012 book Market Mind Games.[5] Her claim was updated in October 2019 to include a claim of false endorsement.[6] It was dismissed. Now, she is appealing the case, claiming that it was wrongly dismissed. She cites evidence that she met and consulted with the show's creators and that the two works (Billions and Market Mind Games) have caused consumer confusion between her and character "Wendy Rhoades",[7] as illustrated in a recently published video.


Shull's book Market Mind Games: a Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk (2012)[8] was translated into Chinese in 2013. She served as the lead author of the chapter on trading psychology in Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing (Wiley, 2014). Shull's first article "Freud's Path to Profits" was published in SFO magazine in 2004, and she has since written articles for Psychology Today, Hedge-Fund Intelligence, Thomson Reuters, CME Group, All About Alpha, and many hedge fund sites as well as her own blog.

Media appearances[edit]

Shull's work has been profiled by The New York Times,[9] Forbes Magazine,[10] The Guardian,[11] The Wall Street Journal,[12] University of Chicago Magazine,[13] Business Insider,[14] Financial Times,[15] Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Observer,[16] The Globe and Mail, The New York Times' Dealbook,[17] New York Post[18] and The Huffington Post[19] amongst others. With the popularity of Billions, Shull has also been covered by Fortune,[20] and has appeared on Fox Business News with Liz Claman. CNBC's Squawk Box has featured Shull in both the United States and Asia. She has also appeared on Bloomberg TV, Cavuto, PBS, CNBC, Discovery Channel and CNBC's Halftime Report[21] where she analyzed the trading team's implicit motivations.


  1. ^ "Our Story – The ReThink Group". 28 January 2020. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  2. ^ Shull, Denise (2011-12-15). Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk. ISBN 978-0-07-175622-8.
  3. ^ "Bloomberg - WHY Play the Bloomberg Tradebook Trader Brain Exercise?". Retrieved 2021-05-31.
  4. ^ "Talent Assessment". The ReThink Group. 2020-01-31. Retrieved 2021-05-31.
  5. ^ "Showtime's 'Billions' ripped off hedge fund performance coach: Suit". 2 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Denise Shull Isn't Done Seeking Damages From the Creators of 'Billions'". Institutional Investor. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  7. ^ "Shull v Sorin Appeal Reply Brief" (PDF).
  8. ^ Shull, Denise (2011-12-15). Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk. ISBN 978-0-07-175622-8.
  9. ^ Branch, John (February 14, 2018). "The Haunting of Lindsey Jacobellis". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Cohn, Alisa. "Meet Denise Shull, The Real Life Performance Coach From 'Billions'". Forbes.
  11. ^ Kasperkevic, Jana (January 24, 2016). "Mojo mentors: how Wall Street coaches help traders stay calm and make money" – via
  12. ^ Yesalavich, Donna Kardos (2011-05-06). "Flashbacks Afflict Some Traders". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  13. ^ "Emotional dividends". The University of Chicago Magazine.
  14. ^ Lopez, Linette. "This is what it's like to watch a 'Master of the Universe' lose money". Business Insider.
  15. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Cite uses generic title (help)
  16. ^ "Wall Street Shrink Puts Wendy Rhoades From 'Billions' on the Couch". February 5, 2016.
  17. ^ Stevenson, Alexandra (November 11, 2013). "For Better Performance, Hedge Funds Seek the Inner Trader". DealBook.
  18. ^ Kaplan, Michael (February 25, 2016). "Wall Street shrinks reveal their get-rich-quick secrets".
  19. ^ "Why Stock Market Highs Beget More New Highs". HuffPost. March 28, 2013.
  20. ^ Fortune
  21. ^ "Halftime traders' methods analyzed". 27 June 2014.