Sentiment Analysis Applied to Finance Conference

Last week UNICOM, in association with OptiRisk Systems organised a conference “Behavioural Models and Sentiment Analysis Applied to Finance” (2 – 3 July). Over 85 professionals from the finance industry attended the event which was hosted by FitchLearning one of the sponsors of the event. In addition 20 other professionals from all over the world attended the conference virtually, that is online. Altogether the participants included, CEOs, Senior Quants, Senior Portfolio Managers, Global Heads of Quantitative and Derivatives, Traders and many more from Asset Management, Investment Management firms, trading, banking and insurance sector. The conference was sponsored by RavenPack, the leading provider of real-time news analytics services.  At the conference itself, the blend of the industry & academic sector explained how to create a clear strategy for sentiment analysis applied to finance; the theory and case studies provided exemplars for the finance sector to this new approach and extend its reach.  

The first day of the conference was opened by Prof. Gautam Mitra and chaired by Dan diBartolomeo. The day began with a presentation “Text Mining for Sentiment Analysis” by Sanjiv Das, Professor of Finance, Santa Clara University, followed by Peter Hafez, Director of Quantitative Research, RavenPack, who highlighted “Market – Level Sentiment for Trading Forex and Equity Indexes” in detail.  The contents of the conference were striking and appealed to the audience. The fascinating and inspiring panel sessions engaged people actively in the discussion. The first panel was chaired by Armando Gonzalez, CEO, RavenPack; other panellists include Greg B Davies, Sanjiv Das, Gautam Mitra and Gurvinder Brar. The panel discussed “Adoption of Sentiment Analysis in Fund Management and Trading Strategies”. Armando highlighted that over the last decade, financial firms have begun embracing alternative sources of information to make investment and trading decisions. In particular, machine-readable news and analytics have made their way into quantitative and algorithmic trading programs.


Greg B Davies, Managing Director / Head of Behavioural Investment Philosophy, Barclays Wealth gave a presentation on “Maximising Anxiety Adjusted Returns” and Sanjiv Das in his second talk presented “Network Finance Models”. Gurvinder Brar, Head of Quantitative Research Group, Macquarie explained “Text Mining for Longer – Horizon Investors” and Gautam Mitra, CEO  & Founder, OptiRisk Systems highlighted “Impact of News Events and its Application in Trading Strategies”. The second panel of the conference “Use of Sentiement Data for Risk Control and Compliance” was chaired by Peter van Kleef, CEO, Lakeview and other panelists include Dan diBartolomeo, Mats Wilhelmsson, Chrisol Correia. Panel 2 was followed by drinks and networking. The event delivered a unique networking opportunity for leveraging finance and structured finance professionals to meet in one location and explore opportunities in interconnected finance markets.

The second day of the conference, 3 July, was chaired by Gautam Mitra and Richard Peterson, CEO, MarketPsych fascinated the delegates with his talk “Inside the Global Brain: How sentiment trends in news and social media influence global equity and currency values”. The second talk “How to use Language Recognition and Quantifiable news flow in creating trading strategies” was delivered by Marco Dion, Managing Director, Global Head of Equity Quant Strategy, J P Morgan. Then Dan diBartolomeo , President & Founder, Northfield Information Services Inc, gave a presentation on “Credit Risk Assessment of Corporate and Bank Debt using Sentiment and News”. In the conference two academic researchers, Xiang Yu from Brunel University and Giles-Arnaud Nzouankeu Nana from Fraunhofer ITWM presented their research work. Xiang presented “Introducing Sentiment in the Predicitive Analysis of Asset Behaviour: Return, Volatility and Liquidity in an Intraday Setting” and Giles presented   “Improvement of the Volatility Measurement through inclusion of Market Behviour”.

One of the interesting parts of the conference was the presentation of Rochester Cahan, CFA, Director / Head of US Quantitative Strategy, Deustche Bank Securities Inc, who explained “Quant 3.0: Harnessing the mood of the web in alpha strategies”. Rochester presented to the conference live from New York.  The last panel of the conference was chaired by Richard Peterson and other panelists include Rochester Cahan (online), Peter Hafez, James Cantarella and Bram Stalknecht. This panel gave very interactive discussion on “Social Media, Metadata, Trust, Information Leakage”. Both days of the conference ended with a very good panel question and answer sessions. The panellists and presenters made some significant commitments for sentiment analysis strategies and these could have a very positive impact in the long run.

The feedback from the participants was extremely positive and participants remarked that the event was creative and resourceful. Some commented that it was one of the best conferences on Sentiment Analysis Applied to Finance to be held in the UK. All doors of discussion in the conference were opened and every idea presented in the conference was welcomed and appreciated. The event provided a platform to the sell side companies of providing news and sentiment analysis data and also to the buy side companies to discuss with data providers directly. The conference had a fantastic buzz throughout the two days. The speakers and panellsits throughout were of high calibre, as many delegates commenting that the day was inspiring and motivating for them.


Thank you to everyone who attended the conference and also a big thank to our sponsors RavenPack and CQF. I would welcome your feedback of this blog. The conference material and the full recording of the conference are available online. Please contact



Aqeela has completed her MSc. in Risk Management and Modelling from Brunel University.  She has previously worked as a lecturer in Physics, as a credit Officer at MCB Bank and as an administrator for FIFA. She has broad experience in quantitative modeling, market and credit risk management and analysis. She is actively involved in lead generation, identification of business growth areas, brainstorming on new business opportunities and following up with customers on various business engagements with OptiRisk.



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