Artemis Capital Management L.P. is an investment, research, and technology firm that seeks to transform stock market volatility into opportunity for our clients. The firm employs quantitative, systematic, and behavioral based trading models to fulfill this mission. Artemis strategies provide non-linear exposure to the left and right sides of the return distribution, and when combined with traditional investments, are expected to improve the risk adjusted performance of the institutional portfolio.
Artemis focuses on volatility trading through two private investment vehicles: The flagship Artemis Vega Fund and the Artemis Hedgehog strategy. Artemis Vega and Artemis Hedgehog seek to generate crisis-alpha and profit from periods of volatility dislocation and systemic crisis without the negative losses experienced by more traditional hedging products.
The firm was founded in 2009 by Christopher Cole, CFA following verified and substantial proprietary account gains realized during the 2008 financial crisis.
Artemis Capital Management is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as an Investment Advisor, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) as a commodity pool operator (“CPO”), and is a member of the National Futures Association (“NFA”).
Latest research papers published by Artemis Capital Management.
Latest research papers published by Artemis Capital Management.
The Ouroboros, a Greek word meaning ‘tail devourer’, is the ancient symbol of a snake consuming its own body in perfect symmetry. In extreme heat, a snake is unable to differentiate its own tail from its prey, and will attack itself, self-cannibalizing until it perishes.
The Ouroboros is a metaphor for the financial alchemy driving the modern Bear Market in Fear. Volatility across asset classes is at multi-generational lows. A dangerous feedback loop now exists between ultra-low interest rates, debt expansion, asset volatility, and financial engineering that allocates risk based on that volatility. Alchemy is the only way to feed our global hunger for yield, until it kills the very system it is nourishing.
The Global Short Volatility trade now represents an estimated $2+ trillion in financial engineering strategies and share buybacks that simultaneously exert influence over, and are influenced by, stock market volatility. Volatility is now an input for risk taking and the source of excess returns in the absence of value. Like a snake blind to the fact it is devouring its own body, the same factors that appear stabilizing can reverse into chaos. The danger is that the multi-trillion-dollar short volatility trade, in all its forms, will contribute to a violent feedback loop of higher volatility resulting in a hyper-crash.
Thirty-years ago to the day we experienced that moment. On October 19th, 1987 markets around the world crashed at record speed, including a -20% loss in the S&P 500 Index, and a spike to over 150% in volatility. In this paper we will argue that rising inflation was the spark that ignited 1987 fire, while computer trading served as explosive nitroglycerin that amplified a normal fire into a cataclysmic conflagration. The multi-trillion-dollar short volatility trade, broadly defined in all its forms, can play a similar role today if inflation forces central banks to raise rates into any financial stress.
There is no such thing as control… there are only probabilities.
To download the full article published in October 2017, click here. Opens in a new window.
Dorothy Thompson once said “peace is not the absence of conflict”. Never forget there is a form of peace and stability reinforced by a foundation of underlying volatility. Game theorists call this the paradox of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and it describes a dangerously fragile equilibrium achieved only through brutal competition. The Prisoner’s Dilemma is the most important paradigm for understanding shadow risk in modern financial markets at the pinnacle of a multi-generational debt cycle unparalleled in the history of finance. Global Capitalism is trapped in its own Prisoner’s Dilemma; forty four years after the end of the Bretton Woods System global central banks have manipulated the cost of risk in a competition of devaluation leading to a dangerous build up in debt and leverage, lower risk premiums, income disparity, and greater probability of tail events on both sides of the return distribution. Truth is being suppressed by the tools of money. Market behavior has now fully adapted to the expectation of pre-emptive central bank action to crisis creating a dangerous self-reflexivity and moral hazard. We are nearing the end of a thirty year “monetary super-cycle” that created a “debt super-cycle”, a giant tower of babel in the capitalist system. As markets now fully price the expectation of central bank control we are now only one voltage switch away from the razors edge of risk. Do not fool yourself - peace is not the absence of conflict – peace can exist on the very edge of volatility.
The next great crash will occur when we collectively realize that the institutions that we trusted to remove risk are actually the source of it. The truth is that global central banks cannot remove extraordinary monetary accommodation without risking a complete collapse of the system, but the longer they wait the more they risk their own credibility, and the worse that inevitable collapse will be. In the Prisoner’s Dilemma, global central banks have set up the greatest volatility trade in history.
To download the full article published in October 2015, click here. Opens in a new window.
CFA Institute Conference Proceedings Quarterly
January 2014 | Vol. 31 | No. 1
The following is the abstract from the article "Volatility: The Market Price of Uncertainty" by Christopher Cole from Artemis Capital Management LLC.
To download the full article published in January 2014, click here. Opens in a new window.
The following is an excerpt from the research article "Volatility of an Impossible Object: Risk, Fear, and Safety in Games of Perception" from Artemis Capital Management LLC.
The global financial markets walk on the razors edge of empiricism and what you see is not what you think, and what you think may very well be impossible anyway. The impossible object in art is an illustration that highlights the limitations of human perception and is an appropriate construct for our modern capitalist dystopia. Modern financial markets are a game of impossible objects. In a world where global central banks manipulate the cost of risk the mechanics of price discovery have disengaged from reality resulting in paradoxical expressions of value that should not exist according to efficient market theory. Fear and safety are now interchangeable in a speculative and high stakes game of perception. The efficient frontier is now contorted to such a degree that traditional empirical views are no longer relevant. The volatility of an impossible object is your own changing perception of risk.
To download the full article published on October 4, 2012 click here. Opens in a new window
The following is an excerpt from the research article "Volatility at World’s End: Deflation, Hyperinflation and the Alchemy of Risk" from Artemis Capital Management LLC. Click for PDF Download Opens in a new window
Imagine the world economy as an armada of ships passing through a narrow and dangerous strait leading to the sea of prosperity. Navigating the channel is treacherous for to err too far to one side and your ship plunges off the waterfall of deflation but too close to the other and it burns in the hellfire of inflation. It is said that de-leveraging is a perilous journey and beneath these dark waters are many a sunken economy of lore. Print too little money and we cascade off the waterfall like the Great Depression of the 1930s... print too much and we burn like the Weimar Republic Germany in the 1920s... fail to harness the trade winds and we sink like Japan in the 1990s. On cold nights when the moon is full you can watch these ghost ships making their journey back to hell... they appear to warn us that our resolution to avoid one fate may damn us to the other. Volatility at World's End symbolizes a new paradigm for pricing risk that emerged after the 2008 financial crash and is related to our collective fear of deflation.
To download the full article published on March 30, 2012 click here. Opens in a new window.
Christopher R. Cole, CFA is the founder of Artemis Capital Management LP and the CIO of the Artemis Vega Fund LP. Mr. Cole’s core focus is systematic, quantitative, and behavioral based trading of volatility and derivatives. His decision to form a fund came after achieving significant proprietary returns during the 2008 financial crash trading volatility futures and options (verified by independent auditor). Cole’s volatility research is highly influential in derivative and macro trading circles and widely quoted by the financial press. His 2012 research paper entitled, “Volatility at World’s End” argued the equity options market was mis-pricing and hedging the wrong tail (left as opposed to right). The paper was credited with re-pricing long-dated volatility, and named one of the best macro-economic thought pieces of the last decade. Mr. Cole is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and in the media. He previously worked in capital markets at Merrill Lynch and structured over $10 billion in derivatives and debt transactions.
A native of Chicago, John Parkhill completed degrees at the University of Chicago in mathematics and chemistry, before earning a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry, with a focus on strongly correlated quantum many-body problems. Following a Postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University with Alan Asurpu-Guzik, John was an assistant professor at The University of Notre Dame where he obtained the NSF CAREER award, applying deep learning techniques to atomic dynamics.
Jason joined Artemis Capital Management after working as a Quantitative Software Engineer for Quansight. Prior to this, he completed a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. During this time, Jason worked to develop new generation hydraulic fracturing simulations, utilizing HPC and efficient coupling of numeric methods. Jason also holds a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio and B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Shaun Jordan joined Artemis Capital Management with 15 years of capital raising experience in the global macro hedge fund space. Before joining Artemis, Shaun directed the capital raising efforts at Abraham Trading Company for thirteen years and at e360 Power LLC for one year. Shaun attended The University of Texas at Austin. While at Texas, he was a captain of the Swimming & Diving team which won 4 consecutive NCAA National Championships. He graduated with a degree in Economics in 1991 and returned to The University of Texas at Austin for an MBA, which he received in 1997. Shaun was a member of the 1988 and 1992 USA Olympic Swim Teams, where he won two Olympic Gold Medals as a member of the 4X100 freestyle relay. Shaun is a member of The Harry Ransom Center Advisory Council, The Austin Bat Cave Board of Advisors and is a University of Texas Athletic Department Ambassador.
Lauren joined Artemis Capital Management after working as a Project Manager for SALI Fund Services, an Insurance-Dedicated Fund creation and administration services company where she managed the creation and onboarding of IDFs for some of the largest asset managers in the industry. Lauren managed a wide variety of operational, legal, administrative, and compliance aspects of these funds and covered a wide array of investment strategies, including multi-strategy, long/short equity, long-only equity, private equity, fund of funds, MLPs, etc. Lauren graduated Cum Laude from Texas A&M University with a degree in International Studies with a Minor in Communication.
Nick joined Artemis Capital Management after working in various roles at Charles Schwab for a number of years. He started as a broker, working with Schwab’s retail client base before moving into a specialized role assisting Schwab’s self-directed high net worth clients. Nick was then asked to help build out a trading operations team for Schwab’s new Dallas-Fort Worth campus, which became the model for other Schwab centers thereafter. Nick graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southwestern University with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Economics.
Bailey Korell is an international lawyer and business builder based in Austin, TX. He is currently a business advisor and consultant, including as a Council Member at GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group), and a private investor. Previously Bailey was Managing Director and General Counsel at RGM Advisors, LLC, where he ran the legal and business affairs team for over a decade and oversaw the acquisition of the firm by DRW. RGM is an automated proprietary trading firm using machine learning and big data analysis techniques to trade thousands of financial instruments (listed and OTC) in U.S./Americas, EMEA and APAC. Bailey has previously worked as a corporate, securities and technology lawyer at leading international law firms (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Minter Ellison and Coudert Brothers) in New York, Hong Kong and San Francisco. He also served as Associate General Counsel and Director of Business Affairs at Deja.com, Inc., and was involved in the sale of its business units to eBay and Google. Bailey has a JD from Harvard Law School (admitted in NY and CA) and a BA, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California, Berkeley.
Travis Oliphant, Ph.D. is a renowned businessman, data scientist and coder with strong expertise in machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics, primarily using the coding language, Python. He is founder of the technology startup Anaconda (previously Continuum Analytics) and, more recently, Quansight. In addition, he is the primary creator of NumPy and founding contributor to the SciPy packages in the Python programming languages. NumPy and SciPy are foundational open source ware packages that enable high-level machine learning in the entire Python coding ecosystem. Travis was an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Brigham Young University from 2001 to 2007. In addition, he directed the BYU Biomedical Imaging Lab, and performed research on scanning impedance imaging. Travis served as President of Enthought from 2007 until 2011. He founded Continuum Analytics in January 2012 and Quansight in January 2018. Artemis has engaged Travis as an outside consultant through Continuum and more recently through Quansight for assistance in building out our machine learning and predictive analytics database platforms that are used on a daily basis in our trading models.
Recent press for Artemis Capital Management
Recent press for Artemis Capital Management
This video was first shown in conjunction with Christopher Cole's speech at the 2012 Global Derivatives and Risk Management Conference in Barcelona, Spain.
"Nobody will deny there is roughness everywhere..." Benoit Mandelbrot
The movement of stock prices has been an obsession for generations of speculators and traders. On a higher level, mathematicians believe that modern markets are an extension of the same fractal beauty found in nature. Visualized, these stock markets may take the shape of a turbulent ocean with waves made of human hopes, dreams, greed and fear.
Merging the world of high-finance and high-art, Artemis Capital Management is proud to present a creative visualization of stock market volatility over the last two decades. "Volatility at World's End: Two Decades of Movement in Markets" is a depiction of real stock market volatility using trading data from 1990 to 2011. The visual are designed from S&P 500 index option data replicating the implied volatility wave (or variance swap curve) extending to an expiration of one year. The front of the volatility wave contains the same data used to calculate the CBOE VIX index. The movement of this wave demonstrates changing trader expectations of the futures stock market volatility. As the wave moves through time, the expected (or implied) volatility surface transforms into a realized volatility surface derived from historical S&P 500 index movement. The transition represents what professional traders call "volatility arbitrage." The color variation in the volatility waves show the volatility-of-volatility or internal movement of the wave. The track underneath the volatility wave represents underlying S&P 500 index prices.
To download the corresponding article, please click here.
Artemis is currently hiring for an experienced Executive Assistant to join our team. The Executive Assistant will report directly to top executives at the firm and be responsible for a wide range of professional and personal responsibilities, problem-solving, and administrative support.
If you are interested in this position, and have demonstrated experience supporting C-level executives, please send your resume to email@example.com.
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