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CTA Challenge Participants in Final Stretch of 2015 Competition

The CTA Challenge is a year-long real time trading contest that tests the grit of commodity trading advisors against their peers. This year's CTA Challenge, hosted by Coquest Inc., is in its final stretch but is too close to call with a strong competitive slate of traders taking part.

Dallas, TX, August 22, 2015 --( The CTA Challenge, a year-long competition for commodity trading advisors (CTA) organized by Dallas-based Coquest Inc., is hitting the home stretch of 2015, and at this point the winner is too close to call. Several different trading programs, judged by a combination of risk adjusted return and volatility, have held the pole position, jumping as much as five levels in a month.

“Everything is up in the air at this point,” said Steve Petillo, Coquest Vice President, who manages the competition.

Three years ago the CTA Challenge was launched by Altegris Clearing Solutions, but as of 2015 it is organized and hosted by Coquest Inc., one of the largest independent brokers in the U.S. derivatives markets. This year there are 27 participants, including last year’s winner Auspice Capital Advisors and the 2013 winner Mehnert Capital Management.

“Historically, the CTA Challenge has always been a way for us to market CTA talent that we work with and a way for us to track emerging managers against their peers,” Mr. Petillo said. “It’s also a way for us to help the CTA community, but at the same time because we’re asset allocators, it’s an easy way for us to track the talent as well as introduce CTA participants to other investors.”

Maxwell Eagye, Coquest Managing Director, noted, “With the addition of Coquest Advisors this year to the Coquest group of companies, the CTA Challenge and its participants will get extra scrutiny as we look to evolve the way we evaluate managers for the Challenge as well as for the industry as a whole. The main purpose is to seek out the best talent we can find for our client base.”

This year’s winner will be announced in mid-January 2016 after the Challenge ends on Dec. 31, 2015. Until then, updates on the Challenge are posted on, which provides year-to-date rankings, program descriptions and biographies of each CTA participating.

The CTA Challenge has several advantages in surveying trader talent verses traditional CTA databases available to the investing public. Not only is it a dynamic, real world view of a trader’s aptitude, but also provides in depth comparisons of participants as well as a more intricate measurement of performance, according to Mr. Petillo.

“We don’t just look at absolute return,” Mr. Petillo explained. “We use a recalculated daily risk adjusted return algorithm that takes into account volatility and drawdown levels, so the top performing CTA programs aren’t always those with the greatest end of year rate of return.”

The CTA Challenge typically has between 20-40 programs competing, and though many are emerging, several established managers have entered, including Abraham Trading, Dreiss Research and Clark Capital Management.

Tim Pickering, president of 2014 winner Auspice Capital Advisors, said that “We entered (our Diversified Program) in the challenge because it is an opportunity to showcase and highlight our abilities versus a diverse and global elite manager pool. Smaller managers, emerging managers, don’t have good representation in most publications and index groups, so it is an opportunity to build awareness that is welcomed.”

The CTA Challenge, which will be adding a three-year track record component, will begin taking applications in October for the 2016 competition. Traders can fill out applications at Once entered, and plugged in, Coquest will perform some standard due diligence and evaluations on their programs and infrastructure. To find current updates on this year’s CTA Challenge, go to:

About Coquest Inc.: Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Coquest Inc. was founded by John Vassallo and Dennis T. Weinmann in 1990 to leverage their energy trading and brokering expertise from working on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Today the company is a full service brokerage and consulting firm based in Dallas, with offices in Chicago. It provides multi-national corporations, institutional banks, individual traders, oil companies, utilities and energy marketers with a single comprehensive source for market liquidity, price discovery, and intelligence. Coquest Inc. and Mega Capital are registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and are members of the National Futures Association (NFA). Mr. Vassallo served on the NFA board from 2002-2012. Coquest also is a member of the National Introducing Brokers Association. (

About CTA Challenge: The CTA Challenge was launched in 2013 as a way for CTAs to get noticed and get help in raising assets. As a forum to recognize and showcase top performing managed futures programs, the CTA Challenge evaluates performance by more than just finding a positive rate of return, but in addition, utilizing both daily total risk adjusted returns and position-based analysis over the course of the year-long CTA Challenge. The competition is open to all qualified CTAs and is seeking entries from both undiscovered talent and established managers. Registration for the CTA Challenge 2016 will be open October 2015 at

For more information on the CTA Challenge, contact:
Steve Petillo, Vice President: 312.893.5095,
G. Maxwell Eagye, Managing Director: 214.580.4210,
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Coquest Inc.
Max Eagye

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