About us

FORT is an investment management firm founded by Dr. Yves Balcer and Dr. Sanjiv Kumar in 1993. Based in Washington D.C. and New York, FORT has provided alternative investment advisory services to many of the world’s leading institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals for over 23 years.

FORT is an acronym for Financial Opportunities in Research and Trading. Our name reflects the company’s core expertise: we offer our clients access to proprietary and innovative strategies that are supported by rigorous market research, statistical analysis, and a highly disciplined and systematic approach to investing.

Leadership

Yves Balcer

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Dr. Yves Balcer co-founded FORT in 1993. Before founding FORT, Yves was a Senior Manager of Investment at the World Bank. During his final two years at the World Bank, he directed the research and implementation of system-based trading strategies in the global bond markets. During his tenure at the World Bank Yves served, at various times, as Senior Manager for the North American, European and Asian portfolios, where he managed teams of professional traders overseeing over $25 billion in fixed-income assets.

Yves holds a PhD in Economics and Finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a PhD in Operations Research, a MS in Statistics from Stanford University, and a MS in Mathematics from the Université de Montréal in Canada.

Yves was a Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin and has authored more than twenty-five articles on finance and economics published in professional journals.

Sanjiv Kumar

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Dr. Sanjiv Kumar co-founded FORT in 1993. Before founding FORT, Sanjiv served as a Senior Manager of Investment at the World Bank. During his tenure at the World Bank, Sanjiv managed large fixed-income portfolios in all the major currencies. At the time of his departure, he was responsible for investing $10 billion in US and Canadian dollar securities.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Sanjiv was Vice President of Free Market Inc., a Chicago-based economic and financial advisory firm for institutional money managers.

Sanjiv holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Delhi in India.

Our History

Exploration

Yves Balcer and Sanjiv Kumar, FORT’s co-founders, have extensive academic training with 3 PhDs and 4 Masters degrees between them, spanning disciplines from economics and mathematics to statistics and operations research. Yves, followed by Sanjiv, led the Investment Division of the World Bank as Senior Managers, overseeing the investment team tasked with managing the bank’s largest portfolio.

FORT was founded upon a simple premise: statistical approaches improve human decision-making.

While the experience of managing a $20 billion portfolio was invaluable, we felt that practical experience alone was not enough. Human intuition should be combined with statistical expertise in order to produce systematic strategies. We founded FORT with this mission.

Yves

We wanted to test our theories in the real world. No matter how confident we might be in our research, there is no substitute for actual implementation. Founding FORT was that step.

Sanjiv

Development

In 1993, with the support of their families, Yves and Sanjiv launched FORT. They immediately faced the challenge of building a hedge fund from the ground up. Operational infrastructure is as important to clients as investment performance. Without the benefit of the World Bank’s infrastructure to support them, Yves and Sanjiv did what had always come naturally to them and what has become a hallmark of FORT’s ethos – they built what they needed. While large firms had the resources to hire personnel to assist with trade reconciliation, allocation, accounting, and other middle- and back-office functions, Yves and Sanjiv built automated solutions to ensure they could compete. As the firm’s reputation and resources grew, Yves and Sanjiv invested in human capital: employees with skills and experience essential to help them further their vision.

Managing institutional assets requires a strong, cutting edge infrastructure. We have invested consistently in FORT’s human capital, systems, and processes to maintain the highest standards. We have steadily developed differentiated strategies that are designed to generate attractive returns over a wide range of market conditions.

Sanjiv

Growth

Today FORT’s team has grown to over 40 professionals located in Washington, D.C., and New York. The investment team led by Yves and Sanjiv has developed numerous systematic investment strategies in both futures and equity markets, using fundamental and technical analysis. These investment strategies are accessed by institutional investors of all types across the globe. Although the team is larger now, the core values of the firm still remain: an entrepreneurial spirit, a dedication to clients, and an innovative approach to investment management.

It is our desire to build for the next generation. Sanjiv and I are excited about the future of FORT and we look forward to the continued development of innovative investment solutions.

Yves