Ewan Kirk

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Ewan Kirk
Kirk in 2015
Ewan Mckinnon Kirk

February 1961 (age 62)
Swindon, Wiltshire, England
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
University of Cambridge
University of Southampton
Occupation(s)Investor and businessman
Organization(s)Chair of the Isaac Newton Institute
Founder of the Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust
Known forFounder of Cantab Capital Partners

Ewan Mckinnon Kirk (born February 1961) is a British technology entrepreneur, founder of Cantab Capital Partners, chair of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences and Non-Executive Director of BAE Systems.[1][2][3] He is also Co-Chair of the Turner Kirk Trust which supports STEM, education and conservation causes in the UK and the developing world.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Kirk was born in February 1961 in Swindon, Wiltshire.[5][6] He was raised in Scotland where he was brought up in Glasgow and attended Greenfaulds High School in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.[6] He studied for a BSc in Natural philosophy and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow before studying Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge.[7] He was promoted to a PhD in General relativity at the University of Southampton.[7]


Whilst at university, Kirk founded DaLEK Software, which developed the Computer-aided design (CAD) package MicroDraft for Amstrad CPC and PCW computers.[8] After graduation from Southampton, he returned to Cambridge, as Director at Innovation for the science and technology consultancy Scientific Generics.[8]

Goldman Sachs[edit]

In 1992, Kirk joined Goldman Sachs, initially working in commodities before moving to currencies.[9] He was appointed a managing director in 1998, and became a Partner in 2000.[9] As a partner, Kirk was responsible for heading up the bank's European quantitative technologies group, which tested systematic investment strategies.[9] He oversaw a team of 120 mathematicians, scientists and statisticians.[10]

Cantab Capital Partners[edit]

In 2006, he founded Cantab Capital Partners, a science-driven quantitative investment management firm in Cambridge.[11][8][12][13][14] The firm says its work resembles a "scientific research organisation" more than a financial firm.[13] Most of the members of the team hold advanced degrees in mathematics, physics, statistics or computer science.[15] The company has links with the University of Cambridge.[15]

In 2016, Cantab Capital Partners was acquired by GAM Investments, becoming part of GAM Systematic.[15][16] At the time of acquisition, Cantab Capital Partners had 56 employees and £4.5bn under management.[15] In February 2020, GAM Systematic won Eurohedge's 'Managed Futures – Under $500m' award for 2019.[17]

In 2020, Kirk was awarded HFM's Lifetime Achievement Award for his founding role in Cantab, contributions to quantitative investment and developing science-led approaches to finance.[18]

He exited as President of GAM Systematic Cantab in March 2021.[19]

Other activity[edit]

Kirk is chair of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences.[20]

In June 2021, Kirk joined the Board of BAE Systems.[21][22]

Kirk is the Chair of and Founding Investor in Deeptech Labs, a start-up accelerator and Venture Capital fund based in Cambridge focused on building deep tech companies.[23][24]


In 2007, Ewan Kirk and his wife Dr Patricia Turner founded the Turner Kirk Trust,[25][26][4] which provides funds to STEM, education and conservation causes in the UK and developing world.[27]

Since founding, Kirk's charitable trust has disbursed more than £7 million in funding.[28] It is one of the largest private funders of fundamental mathematics research in the UK. In 2015, through Cantab Capital Partners, he donated £5 million to the University of Cambridge to establish the Cantab Capital Institute for the Mathematics of Information.[27][29][30][31]

Political activity[edit]

In 2016, Kirk was part of the official campaign making the pro-science case for remaining in the European Union during the UK’s referendum on EU membership and donated £10,000 to Scientists for EU.[32]

Kirk is a member of the Liberal Democrats Business and Entrepreneurs Network, which is ‘a network of senior business people’ that ‘provides the party with expert advice on business and economic policy’.[33] During the 2019 general election, Kirk was one of 60 business leaders to sign an open letter endorsing the Liberal Democrats[34] and donated £300,000 to the party.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Kirk is married and lives in Cambridge.[36][37]


  1. ^ gam.com. "Biography - Ewan Kirk". www.gam.com. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Management Committee | Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences". www.newton.ac.uk. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Dr. Ewan Kirk". BAE Systems | International. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  4. ^ a b Trust, Turner Kirk Charitable. "Dr. Ewan Kirk | Official Biography". turner-kirk.org. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Ewan Mckinnon KIRK – Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Companies House, Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  6. ^ a b Alden, William (13 May 2013). "Forging Its Own Path, British Hedge Fund Finds Success". DealBook. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Meet the Team". Share title EN. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "Ewan Kirk". THE MARQUE. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  9. ^ a b c "Silicon Fen's Hedge Fund". thehedgefundjournal.com. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  10. ^ "I interviewed with 22 people to get a job at Goldman Sachs. But a computer could have done a better job". eFinancialCareers. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Oxford business school to teach algorithmic trading". Financial Times. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Hedge fund Cantab Capital snapped up by Swiss wealth firm GAM". London Evening Standard. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Company Overview Cantab Capital". Cantab Capital Partners.
  14. ^ "Cantab Quant Fund 'Right' to Trust Computers: Ewan Kirk". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d gam.com. "GAM announces acquisition of Cantab Capital Partners". gam.com. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  16. ^ gam.com. "Biography - Ewan Kirk". www.gam.com. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  17. ^ "AwardStage". eurohedgeawards.awardstage.com. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  18. ^ "2020 Winners". Hedge Funds Review European Performance Awards. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  19. ^ Booth, David Ricketts and James. "Ewan Kirk to exit GAM Systematic as assets slump". www.fnlondon.com. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  20. ^ "Interview: Dr Ewan Kirk on research, philanthropy and the Kirk Distinguished Visiting Fellowships scheme | Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences". www.newton.ac.uk. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Directorate Change". otp.tools.investis.com. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  22. ^ Robinson, Jon (11 February 2021). "Former CBI director to take BAE Systems role". Business Live. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  23. ^ "Deeptech Labs, Cambridge's new accelerator, set up 'to bridge seed to Series A'". Cambridge Independent. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  24. ^ "About". Deeptech Labs. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  25. ^ "The Kirk Global Challenge to fund undergraduate teams to develop inventive technology | Department of Engineering". www.eng.cam.ac.uk. 13 February 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  26. ^ "Patricia Turner". THE MARQUE. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  27. ^ a b "Ewan Kirk". THE MARQUE. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  28. ^ "New competition for engineering students: the Kirk Global Challenge". The campaign for the University and Colleges of Cambridge. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  29. ^ Fletcher, Laurence (3 November 2015). "Hedge Fund Cantab Backs Big Data Institute at Cambridge University". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  30. ^ "New institute is set to push the boundaries of information science". University of Cambridge. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  31. ^ "Science and Politics: The Perfect Misunderstanding?". Radix Think Tank. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  32. ^ "Search - The Electoral Commission". search.electoralcommission.org.uk. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  33. ^ "About LDBEN". Liberal Democrat Business & Entrepreneurs Network. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Dozens of business leaders back Lib Dems as party tries to outflank Tories". inews.co.uk. 29 November 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  35. ^ "View donation - The Electoral Commission". search.electoralcommission.org.uk. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  36. ^ Gray, Brad (20 May 2020). "The top 25 richest men and women in and around Essex". essexlive. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  37. ^ "Dr Ewan Kirk | Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences". www.newton.ac.uk. Retrieved 27 June 2020.