David G. Kabiller
31 years of experience
years at AQR
M.B.A., B.A., Northwestern University
David Kabiller is Co-Founder and the Head of Business Development at AQR, overseeing client relationships, business development and strategic initiatives. In this role, he has helped foster AQR’s tradition of innovation by initiating AQR’s international expansion into Europe and Asia and spearheading its introduction of mutual funds. In addition to these corporate milestones, David is dedicated to investor education and fostering young research talent. To that end, he was instrumental in creating the “AQR University” symposia series for financial advisors and the Master Class program for institutional investors. For the academic community, David helped create the AQR Insight Award for outstanding innovation in applied academic research and was a founding member of the LBS AQR Asset Management Institute.
David has co-authored papers on topics including derivatives, enhanced indexation, securities lending, insurance-linked securities, hedge funds and the secret of Warren Buffett’s investing acumen. He is a member of Northwestern University’s Board of Trustees and chairman of the Executive Council of the university’s International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN). He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the AQR Asset Management Institute at London Business School and has served on the Board of Trustees for the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Prior to AQR, David was a vice president at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he established and maintained relationships with the chief investment officers of many of the largest pension and endowment funds in North America. He earned a BA in economics and an MBA from Northwestern, where he received an athletic scholarship to play tennis and was named to the Big Ten’s Academic All-Conference team. At Northwestern, David founded the Kabiller Prize and the Kabiller Young Investigator Award for researchers in nanoscience and nanomedicine, and established NU for Life, a program dedicated to the professional development of Northwestern student-athletes. He is a CFA charterholder.
Member of the Advisory Council of the AQR Asset Management Institute at London Business School.
Member of Northwestern University’s Board of Trustees.
Founder of the Kabiller Prize and the Kabiller Young Investigator Award at Northwestern University.
Established NU for Life, a program dedicated to the professional development of Northwestern student-athletes.
Questions with David
Twenty years ago, what did you hope to accomplish when you founded AQR?
Our number-one goal was to make a difference, have impact and do something differentiated. When you start with partners like mine—with their values and DNA—we realized that our mission was really possible. We could add real value to clients. At our core, AQR is all about searching for the truth, speaking the truth, and not compromising on that. Have we achieved it? There is no end point. It’s who we are, so in that sense, we’ve arrived. But it’s a constant work in progress. Markets can be humbling and we need to take a long-term perspective. We have a constant, relentless focus on doing well for our clients.
What’s the last great question a client asked you, and how did you answer it?
A client once asked me, “If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?” My answer was that I would build learning and development programs for others. I truly find it joyous—helping people discover their comparative advantage and find the best version of themselves. Excavating the innovator or the entrepreneur. The ability to cultivate personal enrichment is very rewarding and I feel gratitude for being able to find that. I was the son of an orphan and my parents had no financial background. Everything in life takes luck and preparation, and I’m blessed to have had that. That’s why we try to help people increase the probability of success for themselves.