About Crabel Capital Management
Who We Are
Crabel is a research and technology-driven investment firm specializing in systematic, automated trading of worldwide futures and currencies. For more than 25 years, we have delivered uncorrelated returns to our clients by developing trading strategies designed to systematically capture market anomalies and building the technology to test, refine, and implement those strategies.
Founder, Chairman, and Chief Investment Officer
Toby Crabel, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Investment Officer of Crabel Capital Management, LLC and a member of the Executive Committee, began his career with Chicago-based RB&H Financial Services in 1980 where he traded customer accounts using a discretionary approach. After RB&H, Mr. Crabel published a commodity advisory letter devoted to explaining observations of price behavior.
Toby Crabel is Founder, Chairman, and Chief Investment Officer of Crabel Capital Management and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. As Chairman and CIO, Toby spends his time leading the firm’s ongoing research efforts, guiding the management team, and mentoring talented researchers. The firm’s investment team continues to diversify a portfolio of strategies traded through a proprietary infrastructure specifically developed to implement Toby’s unique style of trading.
Toby began his career in 1980 with the Chicago-based brokerage firm RB&H Financial Services. At RB&H, he traded customer accounts using a discretionary approach. However, working near floor traders at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, he quickly became interested in applying a more quantitative methodology to profit from what he believed were explainable and predictable observations in price behavior. Toby’s research on the matter led him to publish a commodity advisory letter, The Active Trader, devoted to describing these predicted price observations. In 1989, he took his research even further and authored Day Trading with Short Term Price Patterns and Opening Range Breakouts, which was one of the earliest and most detailed descriptions of how to trade short-term price patterns across markets. In it, Toby detailed his core philosophy: that robust investment strategies should capture enduring and explainable market participant behavior that is often most prevalent in very short-term market patterns exhibited across futures and forex markets.
In 1991, Toby joined Niederhoffer Investments where he continued his research and traded for Victor Niederhoffer while also managing a small customer portfolio that he had brought with him. In 1993, he left Niederhoffer with that portfolio to establish his own investment management firm. It was this move and Toby’s early research on price patterns and market behavior that he used as the foundation to build Crabel Capital Management as it is known today.
Chief Executive Officer
Michael Pomada is President and Chief Executive Officer of Crabel Capital Management and a member of the firm’s Leadership and Executive Committees. In addition to his executive role, Michael is also the Portfolio Manager of Crabel Gemini and Crabel Contra and one of the chief architects behind the development of Crabel’s Advanced Trend strategy. He spends his time on research and product development, as well as overseeing the front office teams.
Michael joined Crabel in April 2008 as a portfolio manager focusing on Crabel’s Equity Main strategies. In late 2009, he spearheaded a firmwide initiative to revamp the organization’s trading infrastructure, execution process, and microstructure research. He went on to serve as Crabel’s Chief Operating Officer from June 2011 to July 2016 when he became President and CEO.
Prior to joining Crabel, Michael spent time at UBS and managed portfolios at Manchester Trading (Niederhoffer) and Coast Asset Management. He began his career in sales and business development in the interactive entertainment industry before transitioning into finance. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Michael also holds an MBA with a concentration in investments and statistics from the University of Southern California.
Over the years, we’ve been honored with some of the industry’s best-known awards presented by top organizations for our commitment to our clients and our achievement in the quantitative finance space. Check out our complete list of awards to get an idea of the programs that have helped us attain our greatest industry recognition.
Our History: A Vision to Redefine Quantitative Finance
1987–1999: Inception & Early History
While pursuing his own research interests and trading on behalf of other firms, Toby Crabel formed Toby Crabel & Co. as a sole proprietorship in 1987, which would eventually become Crabel Capital Management. Toby’s desire to redefine the potential in quantitative finance and create new ways of studying, predicting, and approaching the market shaped his early vision and remains the bedrock of the firm’s identity.
In 1992, Toby launched the Crabel Diversified Futures program as a stand-alone product. He spent the next few years systematizing core ideas to reduce risk introduced by discretion and developing critical research and trade generation software that’s still in use today. In 1998, Crabel Capital Management launched the Crabel Multi-Product program as a commingled fund comprised of Toby’s legacy Crabel Diversified Futures strategies.
2000–2009: Intense Focus on Research, Automation, & Execution
Throughout the 2000s, Crabel continued to diversify and improve the Crabel Multi-Product program with the addition of uncorrelated, robust trading strategies obtained via joint ventures with external portfolio teams and by leveraging internal talent. By 2008, Crabel had experienced its largest expansion period in terms of adding research talent, which broadened our horizons and laid the groundwork for the modern era, kicking off all future research improvements for the firm.
Also during this time, we intensely focused on fully automating the trade execution process to more effectively serve our clients. Between 2004 and 2005, Crabel implemented straight-through processing for stocks and futures that served as a catalyst for further automation. In early 2007, these efforts reached their height and after extensive research, development, and testing, Crabel implemented full execution automation in early 2009
2010–2015: Continuous Improvement, Organizational Changes, & Product Expansion
Following the automation efforts of the prior decade and fueled by our research expansion along with a growth in assets, Crabel launched a multi-year project beginning in 2010 that resulted in the creation of our proprietary Crabel Trading System (CTS) that integrates numerous functions like data management, internal risk controls, and trade execution. Between 2011 and 2013, we added co-locations in Chicago, New York, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong to enable more efficient trading in nearly 200 global markets.
In mid-2010, Crabel formed an Executive Committee to help navigate strategic decisions and overall firm management under Toby Crabel’s leadership. As part of this evolution, Michael Pomada assumed the role of COO a year later. During this time, we also moved our trading headquarters from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, leaving the Milwaukee office as the official home of our operations teams.
In April 2014, Crabel launched the Crabel Advanced Trend program as a stand-alone flat fee product. Originally designed as a sub-portfolio of the Crabel Multi-Product, Crabel Advanced Trend aims to be the world’s best trend follower, providing alpha at beta-plus fees.
2016–2020: Leadership Changes & Further Product Expansion
In 2016, Crabel made additional changes to the leadership team in response to changing market and company needs. Michael Pomada became President and CEO, and Rick Rusin took over as COO, under the guidance of Toby Crabel as Chairman and CIO.
In July 2016, Crabel launched the Crabel Gemini program as a stand-alone flat fee product. Originally designed as a sub-portfolio of the Crabel Multi-Product, Crabel Gemini is a pure alpha product with deliberately low correlation to all traditional and alternative asset classes. Crabel Gemini, along with Crabel Advanced Trend, launched as a European UCITS funds in October 2017.
In May 2019, Crabel launched the Crabel Contra program as another stand-alone flat fee product. Crabel Contra, also originally designed as a sub-portfolio of the Crabel Multi-Product, is a defensive program that is negatively correlated to global equity markets.
As the culmination of our product expansion efforts, Crabel soft-closed the Crabel Multi-Product in January 2020 and embraced the modern era of custom portfolio construction to best serve our client’s unique needs.
2021 & Beyond: Commitment to Our Values
Moving forward, Crabel will continue to zealously pursue innovative strategies and new technologies that we think will bring our clients the greatest return on their investments—both the investment they make in the markets and the one they make in our firm.
In addition to exceptional client service, we remain committed to proactively assessing and addressing the impacts our trading activities and day-to-day operations have on our employees, our environment, and our communities.
Responsibility & Sustainability
At both our Los Angeles and Milwaukee offices, we have taken strides to reduce our environmental impact and make our workspaces as green as possible, including implementing programs for recycling, composting, e-waste management, paper and water reduction, and qualified mass transit. Our Los Angeles headquarters is an LEED EB Silver certified workplace that has a solar panel system for the building and designated electric vehicle charging stations in the parking garage. We’ve also made various infrastructure improvements to our Milwaukee office, such as installing motion-detecting LED lights and an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Our aim has always been to provide our people—many of whom have been with us for years or even decades—with important and challenging work, fair compensation, educational opportunities, and a dynamic and inspiring workplace so they can thrive personally and professionally.
Crabel values diverse backgrounds and experiences and believes diversity strengthens our communities. Our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy demonstrates our commitment to diversity and inclusion and ensures our hiring practices and work environments remain respectful, professional, and discrimination-free
Internal & Regulatory Governance
We maintain rigorous standards to ensure our firm stays current on the latest industry and regulatory developments. We have many internal committees responsible for keeping Crabel apprised on matters related to operations, allocations, valuations, risk, algorithm oversight, and much more. We regularly monitor the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the U.S. National Futures Association websites as well as other publications for changes to rules and regulations. Other sources of information include external counsel, auditors, tax advisors, and other service providers.
Contact us for a more detailed explanation of our ESG efforts.