Firm Philosophy

The goal of Acadian’s research effort is to continually improve our forecasting frameworks and portfolio performance. Acadian believes that investment success depends on our ability to be adaptive over time. In keeping with this belief, our research team is focused on identifying new drivers of return and developing enhancements to the overall investment process. We believe in a diversified and scientific approach to innovation, and pursue a wide range of ideas in the effort to uncover, refine, and adopt, enhancements to our investment process.   

Acadian’s research team is led by our Chief Investment Officer, John Chisholm, as well as Research Consultant Malcolm Baker, and Director of Stock Selection Research Wes Chan. The research team consists of a diverse group of subject matter experts, analysts, portfolio managers, data specialists and systems programmers.

The team is organized into teams consisting of senior and junior researchers that pursue research projects over a period ranging from several weeks to several months. Our CIO, in conjunction with senior investment team members, regularly reviews project progress via updates, research presentations and Investment Policy Committee (IPC) discussions.


Acadian has a long history of research and innovation, testing over 700 unique indicators, 30 individual frameworks and numerous prospective enhancements to the firm's investment process over the past 30 years. Our unwavering commitment to a deliberate, grounded research approach has allowed us to remain committed to our philosophical underpinnings while continually enhancing our investment process.  Through various market cycles of the past two and a half decades, Acadian's rigorous research has been focused on improving long-term results, not chasing short-term fads, and has continually introduced enhancements we feel are most likely to add value to clients. We are proud of our track record - having been a first mover in quantitative investing in a number of areas including emerging markets, small cap stocks, and managed volatility strategies.

Historically, many of our research ideas have come as a result of ongoing communication with clients as we seek to provide custom and innovative solutions to their needs. We deeply value the collaborative nature of our client relationships and rely upon client input to help set the direction of our new strategy development.


Acadian has a single research team devoted to enhancing all aspects of the investment process. The objective of the research team is the same as the firm as a whole: to produce the best possible investment results for our clients. To that end, we seek to continually enhance the investment process in a structured and systematic way. We begin with a broad search for investment ideas; from industry, academia, internal sources, and other fields. This is a deliberate effort and we have a constant stream of analysts, new data sources, and outside speakers presenting to our team. The majority of our research efforts, however, are internally sourced. We assign team members to regularly review our investment frameworks, and maintain a working list of ideas from our portfolio managers, researchers and other investment staff on how to enhance our frameworks.


The goal of Acadian's research process is to improve the expected performance of client portfolios through return enhancement, risk control and cost effective implementation and overall process enhancement. We prefer research projects that will have the widest possible benefit across all strategies, and also prefer economy and simplicity wherever possible in the research process.

We aim for consistency in our approach to forecasting and portfolio construction to increase transparency, to reduce the danger of data mining and to apply enhancements throughout our process. Acadian also believes that the best research is achieved in an open, collaborative environment where all team members can provide feedback and comment on new research. We believe the result is the potential for better research, and reduced risks of errors and omissions.

While we believe that an awareness of past research, both internal and external, will improve the efficiency of our research effort, we prefer internal research that can be tailored to our process. We also acknowledge that financial data are very noisy and research practitioners need a way to help separate randomness from real effects. Changes must be consistent with our practical experience of markets and investor behavior, and must demonstrate positive performance in a diverse set of market environments.
Clients Team

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