QWAFAFEW (http://qwafafew.org) is an informal non-profit social organization of quantitatively interested investment professionals, students and friends. The name QWAFAFEW (pronounce “quaff-a-few”) is a double entendre. The acronym is derived from Quantitative Work Alliance for Applied Finance Education and Wisdom.
The group was formed in Boston in 1990 to provide a venue for quantitative researchers to discuss their evolving work with peers. Since then, 11 other global chapters have launched. The organization is meant to provide a collegial forum to promote the sharing of analytical research pertinent to the investment industry. The forum is also serves as a conduit for networking. Meetings are held after-work in casual environments such as bars, clubs, and restaurants.
QWAFAFEW has held chapter meetings in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Edinburgh UK, London UK, Hartford, Jersey City, Los Angeles Metro, Milan Italy, New York, Philadelphia Metro, Pittsburgh, Princeton, San Francisco, Sao Paolo Brazil, Sydney Australia, Tokyo Japan, Toronto ON, Vancouver, BC, and Washington DC. The most active chapters today are Boston, New York, Italy (Milan), Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia Metro and Edinburgh UK. Since chapters are all locally initiated and run, we (Boston and New York especially) will make every effort from a media/website/advisory perspective to support meetings and efforts everywhere.
BOSTON QWAFAFEW (Original Chapter) Charter Language
QWAFAFEW is an informal organization of quantitatively oriented professionals in various aspects of financial services (primarily investment management). The group was formed a number of years ago to provide a venue for quantitative researchers to discuss their evolving work with peers. As the field has become more “main stream” our membership has also broadened. Our membership includes a wide variety of interests and levels of responsibility. The members span the gamut from owners and senior executives of investment related organizations to recent entrants to the industry. Most attendees have some technical training beyond the M.B.A. level, and many have Ph.D.s All share a common interest in quantitative solutions to understanding investment markets.
The QWAFAFEW NY Chapter now hosts monthly forums on a wide range of investment topics from fundamental and quantitative strategies to technology to regulation – but we have maintained the informal atmosphere and the opportunity to discuss issues and relax over drinks with your peers. The forum also serves as a conduit for networking.
Atmosphere: Casual and informal
Officers: Officers are elected by the general membership. The Steering Committee guides this process.
Financial Issues: QWAFAFEW is a not-for-profit club. Annual Dues are collected from members in addition to admission fees in order to cover meeting costs. Membership is on an individual, not a corporate basis. Presenters, members, and nonmember attendees are presumed to represent themselves, not their organization. Receipts are provided once per month. Members of other chapters pay membership rates to attend New york meetings.
Meeting Frequency: Generally, 12 times per year, and at least once per month. Venues rotate with time of year, target audience, and sponsorship opportunities.
OFFICIAL CHARTER FOR NYC CHAPTER
Organizational Purpose: For quantitatively oriented investment professionals to gather together informally, discuss quantitative issues, and relax over drinks with their colleagues. The name QWAFAFEW (pronounce “quaff-a-few”) is intended as a double entendre. The acronym is derived from Quantitative Work Alliance for Applied Finance Economics and Wisdom. The organization is meant to provide a collegial forum to promote the sharing of analytical research pertinent to the investment industry. The forum is also serves as a conduit for networking, enjoying refreshments, and light repartee.
Atmosphere: Casual and informal. Attendees are asked to refrain from wearing neckties and suits unless needed for work. Beer and wine must be available for purchase and consumption. In NYC, soft drinks and “bar food” are generally complementary. Presentations and panels are interactive. Attendees are generally asked to refrain from questions (other than points of information/clarification) for the first 10 minutes, and then are encouraged to shout out their questions.
Structure: QWAFAFEW is a not-for-profit club. Annual Dues are collected from members in addition to admission fees in order to cover meeting costs. Membership is on an individual, not a corporate basis. Presenters, members, and nonmember attendees are presumed to represent themselves, not their organization. Receipts are provided once per month. Members of other chapters are accorded NYC membership rates to our meetings.
Membership: The only requirement is to pay the annual membership dues. However, a membership application is available from the website, or upon request, for those who want one. In NYC, membership is on a calendar year basis. The benefits of membership are lower per-meeting fees, the ability to vote for Chapter President, and preferential seating for sold-out meetings. When the budget permits, we also try to have one members-free meeting per year.
Administration: There are two officers: President and Treasurer. It requested the volunteers for these offices agree to serve at least one two-year term. These terms may proceed indefinitely if there are no other volunteers and the officer agrees to continue until replaced. When and if a volunteer informs the Steering Committee that he or she wishes to run for President and/or Treasurer, an election for members only will be scheduled as soon as practicable. At that time, other members may also declare candidacy. A plurality among the votes cast will determine the winner with any needed tie-breaking vote to be cast by the President.
Steering Committee: Meets as needed and makes best effort to meet at least once per year. Consists of members who volunteer to help organize and govern the chapter. The Steering Committee oversees the nominating process for President to present for chapter membership vote every two years, and also approves hiring of Chapter Administrator. The Steering Committee has a volunteer Chairperson who may be replaced by the Steering Committee upon resignation or an approved, seconded and voted-upon motion by its members.
On Tuesday July 9 2019, President/Treasurer C. Michael Carty sent out the following notice that he had dissolved the Steering Committee in favor of a handpicked Executive Advisory Board. He also unilaterally altered the Charter adding more restrictive rules. Click here to read his Executive Orders.
On Thursday July 11 2019, Chapter Founder and Steering Committee (now dissolved by Executive Fiat) Chairman Herbert Blank claimed that this unilateral extension of Executive authority violated the democratic process and spirit of the Charter (now unilaterally replaced). His reasons are explained here: Your Chapter
As of today. July 12 2019, this dispute had not been resolved. Mr. Blank requests that you read the to links provided above.
If you agree that the Independent Steering Committee should be restored, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com with the headline: “The Independent Steering Committee Should be Restored.”
If things the Executive Putsch is allowed to stand, QWAFAFEW-NYC is guilty of the worst example of governance and anti-democratic process for a volunteer Work Alliance or Society of any group, non-profit or otherwise,, in recent memory. Is that the example New York quantitatively oriented investment professionals who have participated in our meetings in the past wish to set for the world?
Meetings: Meetings are open to anybody who wishes to pay for admittance, space permitting. In the event of a sell-out, members are given preference over non-members. Members generally pay a lower meeting admission fee than non-members
Meeting Frequency: 12 times per year, and generally at least once per month except for December. Venues rotate with time of year, target audience, and sponsorship opportunities..
PRESS CLIPPINGS for QWAFAFEW