New York Magazine

Tomorrow: David Wallace-Wells

Who Needs Bankers? Robots have already invaded the market. Their total victory is where things get interesting.

ON SEPTEMBER 4, a new activist investor announced himself to the world of big-swinging-dick finance. In a short email sent to 200 industry heavyweights, he urged Och-Ziff, one of the world’s largest publicly owned hedge funds, to embrace robo-trading. The author of the note was Michael Young; he is 24, a Chipotle cook who has moonlighted as a self-taught investor since reading Ron Chernow’s The House of Morgan at 19. His stake in Och-Ziff, a $39.2 billion fund, is $1,018. He wrote his declaration from a personal Gmail account; he did not use bcc.

“Dear Partners,” Young began. “We have taken a position in Och-Ziff Capital Management.” Then he got to the point.

“OUR GOALS ARE TO:

I. Focus Och-Ziff’s attention on increasing tangible book value.

II. Help Och-Ziff develop an automated trading

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