We sat down with the remarkable Roberto Talamas, partner at Syncracy Capital, a leading hedge fund in the cryptocurrency industry, to hear about his career and experience using OpenBB.
In this conversation, he talked about the crucial role Python plays in the world of finance, discussed the immense potential of tools like the OpenBB Terminal, and emphasized the transformative power of community-driven platforms.
Roberto's insights provide a valuable perspective on the evolving needs of analysts in the crypto space and explain why OpenBB’s commitment to user-centric features, from Excel integration to intuitive interfaces, aligns with the needs of a modern analyst.
The Journey Begins
Roberto started his career in 2017 at BlackRock, spending over four years mastering risk management and systematic fixed-income trading. During this time, he developed a profound understanding of factor-based models and risk management frameworks, shaping his portfolio management expertise.
Entering the world of Crypto
Around 2019, Roberto caught the “crypto bug” because of a friend, entering into the world of Ethereum and starting to learn about the intricacies of blockchain technology.
As he delved deeper, he understood more about mining and rewards, setting the stage for his full-time jump into the crypto industry in 2021.
Data Analytics at Messari
So, in 2021, the time finally came and Roberto joined Messari as a crypto-asset Research Analyst.
In this role, Roberto found himself in the realm of data analytics, primarly focusing on aggregating diverse crypto data sets. Drawing on his background in portfolio management, he adeptly applied similar principles to navigate these intricate financial structures.
Building Teams: Roberto's Leap into Leadership
After only 8 months, Ryan Selkis, CEO of Messari, recognized Roberto's unique skill set, as the sole Python-proficient individual in the team, and trusted him with leading the data science team.
This marked a new frontier for Roberto, as he transitioned from a researcher to a team builder and manager. Under his leadership, the data science team got from 2 people to 12, ultimately becoming an independent force within the firm.
Syncracy Capital: Python and Data Analytics
However, earlier this year, it was time for a new professional challenge.
In March 2023, Roberto joined Syncracy Capital as Partner, spearheading the data analytics efforts for the fund. His role spans from ensuring precise portfolio analytics to comprehensive coverage of assets, besides enjoying the opportunity to code extensively.
His proficiency in Python and dedication to data-driven decision-making position him at the forefront of Syncracy Capital's data endeavors.
Python's Ascendancy in Finance
While telling us his story, Roberto showed a profound enthusiasm for Python's ascendancy in the financial world.
During this interview, he reflected on how academia is increasingly incorporating this topic into curriculums, signaling a shift towards a Python-centric future in finance. He also recognized this language versatility as a tool that transcends conventional Excel-based analyses, empowering professionals to unlock new levels of insight.
And where does OpenBB come in?
Empowering Analysts with OpenBB
Amidst his journey, Roberto stumbled upon OpenBB, a project he found immensely intriguing. He recalled:
I remember seeing it and thinking: “Wow, this is a really cool product”. Because it was all in the Terminal at the beginning. And I was thinking: “How can I enable my partners to be able to do data analysis relatively quickly without having to learn Python and also leaving Excel to a degree?”
That's when I bumped into OpenBB. As soon as I saw it, I downloaded it and I started messing around with the Terminal, and I was like “This is incredible”.
Roberto highlighted the crucial role of OpenBB in providing a seamless data exploration experience. Starting with the OpenBB Terminal, he found OpenBB data sets, especially those related to economic events and equity data, invaluable for monitoring and analysis.
As someone deeply invested in data analytics, Roberto was drawn to its potential.
I started creeping around your GitHub and quickly realized that it was just like the Terminal was basically calling this Python library in the background that was giving me all the data that I needed.
And… you might kill me for this, but before you had an SDK, I basically just forked your GitHub. I put in a local copy in my computer and then added a setup that pie so I could pip install it. And then I started using it in like a Jupyter notebook.
So I'll take all the credit for creating it before you, guys… I'm joking, but that's the power of OpenBB.
A Gateway for Non-Programmers
While Roberto began with the OpenBB Terminal, he emphasized the need for a user-friendly interface for non-programmers.
The forthcoming Terminal Pro aims to bridge this gap, enabling analysts to leverage the power of OpenBB without extensive coding knowledge.
This democratization of data access aligns with Roberto's vision of making analysis more efficient and collaborative.
Join the waitlist for Terminal Pro here.
The Excel Add-In Advantage
Roberto also emphasized the importance of an Excel add-in, recognizing its widespread use in the financial industry. This forthcoming feature will enable analysts to seamlessly integrate OpenBB data into their Excel workflows, providing a familiar environment for data exploration.
Deepening Crypto Capabilities
As a crypto-focused hedge fund, Roberto expressed a keen interest in further developments in OpenBB's crypto capabilities. For example, enhancing support for on-chain data is a priority, as it will significantly streamline data ingestion for crypto analysts.
From Roberto’s perspective, what truly sets projects like OpenBB apart is our community-driven nature. Drawing parallels with successful platforms in the crypto sphere like Dune Analytics, he highlighted how a thriving community can enhance and maintain a tool.
Now his commitment to giving back to the platform that has enriched his data analytics capabilities underscores the collaborative spirit and shared enthusiasm within the OpenBB community.
Roberto's journey serves as a testament to the rising significance of Python and community-driven platforms in the ever-evolving world of finance.
Curious to know more? Don't miss the chance to watch the full interview:
In the meantime, stay tuned for more engaging conversations with industry experts and innovators as part of our series of OpenBB Champions.