AQR (Applied Quantitative Research) was founded in 1998 by Clifford S. Asness, Ph.D.; David G. Kabiller, CFA; Robert J. Krail; and John M. Liew, Ph.D.
AQR’s story begins at the University of Chicago’s Ph.D. program where Asness, Liew and Krail met, and the foundation of AQR’s investment philosophy was established.
While working on his dissertation, Asness joined Goldman Sachs, where, a year later, he was tapped to lead a new quantitative research team for Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Liew and Krail joined him, and the new team applied what they learned in academia, using value and momentum strategies to help portfolio managers make investment decisions. Eventually, the team was also managing both hedge-fund and long-only assets, utilizing their new investment process.
In 1997, after several successful years, Asness, Kabiller — who had worked closely with the team in his role overseeing relationships with some of the largest pension and investment funds — Krail and Liew chose to leave Goldman Sachs to focus solely on research and investment product development. Together they established AQR in 1998.
AQR was among the first hedge-fund managers to voluntarily register at its inception with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While the first AQR product was a hedge fund, the goal was always to expand into traditional portfolio management, which was accomplished in 2000. In 2009, AQR became one of the first investment managers to offer alternative strategies in a mutual fund format.
Today, AQR is a global investment management firm that has held to its original focus of rigorous research and the development of innovative, practical investment strategies.