Team

Noel Smith Convex Asset Management
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Noel Smith - Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer

Noel Smith is a Managing Partner and the Chief Investment Officer of Convex Asset Management. As a member of the CME, CBOT and CBOE Noel has over 25 years of experience trading volatility, market making, and managing risk. Noel was previously the CIO and Portfolio Manager of two separate Chicago-based proprietary derivatives trading firms. Additionally, he was the seed investor who financed the launch of global high-frequency trading firm GETCO LLC (KCG/Virtu) which grew to account for 20%+ of trading volume in the U.S.   As a founding member of Third Millennium trading in 1996 his firm became one of the largest independent options market-making firms in US Equity Options Markets backing over 65 market makers and traders at the CBOE, CME and CBOT, netting over $100mm in trading profits. Noel's venture capital investments have resulted in successful exits in excess of $300mm net. Noel is an expert in options, stocks, bonds, ETPs, commodities, futures, and volatility. As a quantitative investor and risk manager, Noel is versed in high-frequency trading (HFT), relevant market structure, and the underlying technology.

 

​Noel attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving a degree in Biochemistry in addition to research at Beckman Institute in Neuroscience. As a student, Noel was a member of the University of Illinois men’s ice hockey team. Noel is a proud veteran of the U.S. Army where he was a specialist in microwave and satellite communication systems. 

 

Noel is also a member of the Board of Directors for Imerman Angels an international cancer charity that has helped over 35,000 people in over 135 countries. 

Brian Lang Convex Asset Management
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Brian Lang - Managing Partner 

Brian Lang is a Managing Partner of Convex Asset Management, wherein he oversees all non-portfolio aspects of the firm. Brian brings more than a decade of experience in the wealth and asset management spaces. Most recently, he was the managing partner of Highline Resources, an oil & gas exploration, mineral rights acquisition and divestment firm where he was responsible for deal origination and company operations. Prior to Highline Resources, Brian was the head of Investor Relations for RS Core Capital, a Denver based multi-manager investment fund. Originally Colorado based, Brian started his career in finance at Merrill Lynch.

 

Brian has a B.A. in Economics from Southern Methodist University

 

In addition to being a committed husband and father, Brian is on the Chicago Board of Directors for Project C.U.R.E., the largest provider of donated medical supplies and equipment to developing countries around the world. 

Leandro Leo Capalleja Convex Asset Management
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Leo Capalleja - Head of Quantitative Research

Leo Capalleja is Head of Quantitative Research at Convex Asset Management. Leo uses his years of experience in Python, R and MySQL to create or improve option pricing, term structure, volatility surface and predictive models. Previously as a quantitative trader at CenterStar Asset Management, Leo supported automated options strategies that relied on machine learning-based volatility forecasting models. Prior to CenterStar, Leo worked at Tenzan Capital implementing option pricing and term structure models into a custom-built tool to support a market making operation for Eurodollar futures options. During his time at CenterStar and Tenzan, Leo built a wide variety of software systems to automate processes and improve quality controls.

 

Leo holds a M.S. in Finance from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

 

When Leo is not coding, he enjoys rock climbing, cycling, and skiing. He lives in Park City, Utah with his wife, daughter and standard poodle.

Advisory Board

John Panek Convex Asset Management
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John Panek

John Panek is a Senior Mission Systems Engineer at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.  He has over 20 years’ experience in complex analysis and decision making for a range of efforts from science instrument technology development thru large mission concept architecture and design.  He contributed to the concept development of over 60 missions and instruments at the Integrated Design Center and helped win nearly $1B in recent proposals for small and medium-sized spacecraft (TESS and Lucy).  For two years he contributed to the design and development of Pods at Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.  He designed, qualified, and integrated new high temperature superconducting Magnesium Diboride power leads aboard the science instrument XRS on the Astro-E2 mission.  As a post-doctoral researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he developed a SQUID-based paramagnetic Gadolinium Gallium Garnet thermometer for nanoKelvin resolution enabling renormalization group theory research near the helium tricritical point at 0.7 K.  His doctoral dissertation is on heat and mass transfer in two-phase superfluid helium cooling systems for large superconducting magnets. He helped upgrade the (at the time) world's largest liquid helium refrigeration plant at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to run at lower temperatures, enabling higher magnetic fields in the Tevatron in time for the science campaign where physicists found the top quark.  John runs Ironman distance triathlons and restores old cars in his spare time.