Arne Staal obtained a Ph.D. degree in finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in the U.S in 2006. He also holds Ms.c. degrees in economics and operations research from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He started his career at Lehman Brothers in New York, where he focused on cross asset portfolio research. He continued to become the Head of Index Product and Systematic Strategies research at Barclays in London where he was responsible for developing and implementing smart beta and systematic strategies across asset classes. He joined SLI to become the Head of Multi-asset Quantitative Strategies from Blackrock, where he was Head of Research and Product Innovation for the EMEA iShares business. He currently focuses on product development and idea generation for absolute return funds. He has published and spoken on smart beta, systematic strategies and portfolio construction in a wide range of venues.