Forward by Ted Aronson

Nerds on Wall Street Forward by Ted Aronson

Quantitative finance is not a topic usually associated with laughter. That is about to change with the publication of Nerds on Wall Street.

I was first exposed to Dave Leinweber’s wit when he delivered a speech entitled “Nerds on Wall Street.” I believe the event happened 20 or 25 years ago at a CFA Institute conclave. He was a dude obviously knowledgeable about the investment business, with impressive credentials (MIT, Harvard, RAND), alluding to technical aspects of numerical finance and getting into the minutiae of electronic trading. Certainly on Wall Street such qualifications aren’t unique. But, oh, how he delivered his message! His rapid-fire sense of humor was worthy of Henny Youngman or Shecky Greene.

Dave’s speech was augmented by equally hilarious visuals. (Unfortunately, some of Dave’s props are so rare they are no longer available. Rats!) On a particularly memorable occasion (one of ITG’s famous conferences), Dave did his shtick with a drummer punctuating his one-liners with rimshots. I kid you not! The crowd, loosened up by cocktails, was reduced to tears from laughter.

Now, decades later, I’ve heard Dave deliver numerous speeches and presentations with various titles. But they are always roughly the same subject — yup, you guessed it — “Nerds on Wall Street.” So sit back and be prepared to be educated by a master. The education will come with images, illustrations, and humor you will not soon forget. It will be love . . . at first sound bite!

Theodore R. Aronson
Managing Partner, Aronson_Johnson_Ortiz
Past Chairman, CFA Institute

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