Azeem Lakdawalla

Mobile: (647) 281-4785   

Email :


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Education & Publications




F.R.M., Global Association of Risk Professionals

2010 - 2011

M.Sc. Computer Science, University of Toronto (CGPA: 4.0). Research Area: Computer Vision

2003 - 2005

B.Eng. Computer Engineering, McGill University

1993 - 1998

International Baccalaureate, The Toronto French School (Ontario Scholar)

1991 - 1993



Effective Communications Diploma - Trinity College, London


Secondary IV Diploma in Music Theory - McGill Conservatory of Music




Financial courses and certifications


FIX Training Course – NYFIX


Options Strategy Course, Derivatives Fundamentals Course, Trader Training Course,  Conduct and Practices Handbook, Canadian Securities Course (Honours) – CSI

2004 - 2010

Licensed trader on TSX, Venture and Montreal exchanges




International Conference Publication


A. Lakdawalla and A. Hertzmann. Shape from Video: Dense Shape, Texture, Motion and Lighting from Monocular Image Streams, IEEE Workshop on Photometric Analysis for Computer Vision, in conjunction with ICCV ’07, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



Languages: Bilingual (English and French), and fundamentals of Spanish and German


Relevant Skills


·  Buy and sell-side experience

·  6+ years front-office experience

·  10+ years industry experience in software development; strong quantitative skills

·  Highly motivated and independent; solid team leader and member

·  Responsible for design, development and delivery of several projects

·  Excellent bilingual oral and written communication; strong social skills



Portfolio Construction:

Mean-variance analysis and optimization, Correlated-basket mining via discrete optimization, Sector/Dollar neutral weight optimization; Backtesting


Equity/derivatives (high and low frequency), proprietary and agency; strategy building; Transaction cost analysis; Algorithmic trading

Machine learning and pattern recognition:

Regression, Maximum likelihood, Principal Component Analysis, Neural networks, Clustering, Mixture Models, Classification and Regression Trees, Boosting, Hidden Markov Models, Radial Basis Functions, ANOVA

Numerical optimization:

(Un)constrained gradient and evolutionary based methods, Expectation-Maximization, Monte-Carlo, Pre-conditioning using wavelets

Development languages:

C++, Java, SQL, Scala, Python, VBA, MATLAB

Frameworks, APIs and Protocols:




Work Experience

Associate Director
Portfolio Trading Desk, Scotiabank, Toronto (May ’10 – now)


Development (Portware, Bloomberg, C++, Java, SQL, VBA, Python, MATLAB, Vhayu, GWT, Reuters)

·         Senior development role where I manage a small team of junior engineers

·         Built a portfolio analytics server, for real-time computation of portfolio metrics (risk, beta, P&L).

·         Built an internal visualization system to help traders manage large baskets

·         Built a dynamic Portfolio-level strategy that minimizes risk and manages impact, resulting more predictable costs ($660M notional traded since inception)

·         Built a Market-on-Close strategy that trades large baskets into the close, intelligently managing MOCs and LOCs ($350M notional traded since inception)

·         Anti-gaming and liquidity seeking strategies

·         Responsible for all aspects of the Portfolio desk’s technologies


Research (Vhayu, Java, SQL, Python)

·         Intra-day basket correlation analysis for portfolio execution

·         Quantitative analysis and research on Canadian market microstructure


Trader & Quantitative Strategist – Equities & Options, Hillsdale Inv Mgmt, Toronto (Nov. ’08 – Apr. ‘10)


Trading (Triton, Belzberg, TradeSmart, Thinkpipes, ThomsonOne, eSignal)

·         North American Equities: Algos, Blocks - $2.5B value traded per year

·         Built and traded a US options & equity high-frequency volatility strategy (IR ~ 2.0)

·         International Equity trading (UK and Eurozone)


Development (Python, VBA, SQL)

·         Ground up development and design of simulator for backtesting multiple and single stock strategies

·         Options and equity slippage analysis system

·         Integration of various EMS into firm’s proprietary OMS

·         Automation of end-of-day processes and reporting


Modeling/Research (Python, MATLAB)

·         Portfolio optimization for basket statistical-arbitrage and trend following

·         Conditional engine for detection of higher probability trades


Quantitative Developer & Trader – Equity Derivatives, Desjardins Securities, Toronto (Jan. ’06 – Nov. ’08)


Trading (Flextrade, Etrade)

·         Proprietary: Interlisted arbitrage, Stat-arb, Basket-arb

·         Agency: VWAP, TWAP, POV


Development (C++, STL, GSL, Java, PHP, SQL, Flextrade, Reuters BridgeFeed, Bloomberg, VBA, Python)

·         Extensive experience with Flextrade plugins, analytics and bbox development

·         Design and development of a statistical analysis platform to find correlations among pairs and baskets

·         Design and development of the firm’s proprietary smart router and DMA gateway


Modeling (MATLAB, C++, STL, GSL, Python)

·         Regression, correlation, co-integration (ARMA) analysis

·         Portfolio optimization for Sharpe-ratio targeting


Research Assistant - Dynamic Graphics Project, University of Toronto (Sept. ‘05 – Dec. ‘05)

Shape from video (MATLAB, C++, STL, OpenCV, FLTK, OpenGL)

·         Extension of my Master's research to support dense, deformable geometry recovery from video


Research Engineer - MASA Group, Paris, France (July ‘01 – Aug. ‘03)

Machine Learning Toolkit (UML, C++, STL, Qt)

Multi-Agent Electricity-Market Simulation (UML, C++, STL, Qt, VBA)

Alife Management Training Simulation (UML, C++, STL, Qt, MS Access)