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Nelson Saiers is an American artist and math Ph.D.[1][2][3] He earned his doctorate in 1 year at age 23. Before becoming an artist, he was previously Chief Investment Officer of Saiers Capital, LLC (formerly Alphabet Management, LLC). Earlier in his career he was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank AG.



In 1998, Nelson Saiers earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Virginia at the age of 23,[4] only one year after completing his undergraduate studies.[5] He studied algebraic topology and cobordism theory.[6]

At Deutsche Bank Saiers was known for his mental math abilities, in particular, squaring large numbers. On one such occasion in 2008, he squared a 20-digit number in his head on a flight back to New York from a business meeting in London. In 2009 after spending several days squaring a 43 digit number Saiers suffered from severe headaches and a reduced capacity to form sentences. While these symptoms dissipated within a couple of days, this episode led him to give up on his ultimate goal squaring of a 50 digit number.

Financial careerEdit

Nelson began his trading career at Susquehanna Investment Group. He also later worked at UBS and Deutsche Bank.[7] At Deutsche Bank, Nelson was a Managing Director and ran a proprietary trading business focused on derivatives.[7]

In July 2010, Nelson left Deustche Bank to join Alphabet Management, a New York hedge fund specializing in options.[7] He was promoted to Chief Investment Officer in March 2011, just eight months after joining the firm.[8][9] Saiers' younger brother Scott also joined Alphabet in February 2012 as Head Trader.[10] In 2011, Alphabet Management won the HFMWeek award for the top Relative Value Hedge Fund. [11]

In December 2012 Alphabet announced that the firm would be changing its name to Saiers Capital, LLC.[12] Barron's described Saiers as a star quantitative investor.[13]

Art careerEdit

Nelson is currently a professional artist based in New York City.[14][15] Mathematics, finance, physics, and braille play a significant role in his art.[16] His art has been featured in solo shows at Harvard University, Alcatraz, HG Contemporary Gallery, and Studio Vendome.[17][18][19][20][21][22] The New York Observer referred to Saiers as "The Warhol of Wall Street" [23] and Artnet asked if he is a modern-day Kandinsky.[24]

Life and personalityEdit

Saiers was born in Denver, Colorado but raised in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Swaziland, and Ghana while his father worked for the USAID. As a child he lived through several wars including tanks firing outside his house in Afghanistan and being held up at machine gun point as a one year old.[25] Saiers is a practicing Christian.

Press quotesEdit

Nelson has been quoted in Bloomberg,[26] The Wall Street Journal,[27] Barron's,[28] and The Financial Post on topics such as China,[29] India, European Sovereign Debt,[30] Facebook,[31] Dell,[32] and the price of gold as well as overall market trends.


Nelson has an affiliation with charity: water, which attempts to provide clean water to those in developing countries. Nelson is a Founding Member of The Well, a core group of donors who support charity: water.[33]

In October 2013, during the graffiti artist Banksy's month-long New York project "Better Out Than In," Nelson made a public offer to donate $100,000 to the Hurricane Sandy rebuilding effort if Banksy created a legal mural in New York to raise awareness for people still affected by the storm.[34] An anonymous donor "RD" has also joined this effort, and has pledged an additional $100,000. Nelson has created a website for the effort: Whether the piece was created or not is unknown, but on October 28, Nelson decided to go forward with the $100,000 donation regardless.[35]


  1. ^ Daniel, Daria. "artnet Asks: Nelson Saiers, Artist-Mathematician". Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  2. ^ O'Shaughnessy, Tracey. "Connecting the Dots". UVA Magazine. Retrieved March 2015. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ "085. Nelson Saiers". Traction Magazine.
  4. ^ Creswell, Julie (March 17, 2011). "Funds Find Opportunities in Volatility". New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  5. ^ "UVA News". Retrieved January 31, 2013.[full citation needed]
  6. ^ Saiers, Nelson (19 May 2000). "The cobordism classification of projective space bundles". Topology and its Applications. 103 (2): 179–186. doi:10.1016/S0166-8641(99)00002-4. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Kearns, Jeff (15 July 2010). "Deutsche Bank Loses Option Trader Saiers to Hedge Fund Alphabet Management". Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  8. ^ Kearns, Jeff (March 15, 2011). "Alphabet Promotes Saiers to Investment Chief of Volatility Fund". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  9. ^ "Saiers Rising, Becomes CIO of Hedge Fund Alphabet". FINAlternatives. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  10. ^ Hiralal, Baz (23 February 2012). "Movers and Shakers". The Deal Pipeline. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  11. ^ "HFM Awards 2011".
  12. ^ Gammeltoft, Nikolaj (December 7, 2012). "Saiers Made Partner at Alphabet Management After 27% Gain". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  13. ^ dietrich, chris. "A Hedge Funder's Merger of Aesthetics and Math". dow jones.
  14. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Palermo, Elizabeth. "Math Meets Art in NYC Exhibition". livescience.
  17. ^ Vioien, Guelda. "The Warhol of Wall Street". New York Observer.
  18. ^ Dietrich, Chris. "A Hedge Funders Merger of Aesthetics and Math". Barrons.
  19. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ Voien, Guelda. "The Warhol of Wall Street". Observer.
  21. ^ "New art installation on Alcatraz challenges prison sentencing". Time Out San Francisco.
  22. ^ Shea, Nicole. "Managed Futures". Europenow.
  23. ^ Voien, Guelda (2016-04-21). "The Warhol of Wall Street". Observer.
  24. ^ Daniel, Daria. "artnet Asks: Nelson Saiers, Artist-Mathematician". Artnet.
  25. ^ O'Shaughnessy, Tracey. "Connecting the Dots". UVA Magazine.
  26. ^ Gammeltoft, Nikolaj, Liz Capo McCormick & Cecile Vannucci (2 April 2012). "Volatility Lowest Since '07 in Stocks, Bonds, Currencies". Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  27. ^ Nayak, Debiprasad and Tatyana Shumsky (24 December 2011). "India Slows Rush for Gold: Rupee's Fall Hits World's Biggest Consumer of Gold, and Possibly Global Prices". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  28. ^ Conway, Brendan (30 June 2012). "How to Profit from High Correlation". Barrons. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  29. ^ Cao, Belinda and Leon Lazaroff (2 July 2012). "Internet Stocks Lead Retreat on Manufacturing: China Overnight". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  30. ^ Newcomb, Peter (27 July 2012). "World's Richest Gain $15.2 Billion as Global Markets Rise". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  31. ^ Vannucci, Cecile and Nikolaj Gammeltoft (30 May 2012). "Facebook Contracts Top 365,000 in Fastest Start for IPO". Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  32. ^ Gammeltoft, Nikolaj and Cecile Vannucci (18 January 2013). "Dell Options Show Traders Betting on Buyout About $14". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  33. ^ "2010 Financial Report".
  34. ^ Gammeltoft, Nikolaj (7 October 2013). "Hedge-Fund Manager Saiers Offers Banksy $100,000 for Sandy Help". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  35. ^ STONE, MADELINE. "Hedge Fund Manager Donates $100,000 To Hurricane Sandy Relief Without Banksy's Help". Business Insider.

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