Navigating the Future: Calculo’s Journey in Complex World of Commodity Trading

The challenges, requirements, and joys of the sector keep Calculo Capital’s CEO focused…

In the rapidly evolving landscape of commodity trading, Danish firm Calculo Capital, under the leadership of chief executive Philip Engel Carlsson, has charted its own course.

Its progress has been marked, and propelled, by innovation, resilience, and a commitment to excellence.

Charlottenlund Castle, Calculo Capital HQ

Charlottenlund Castle, Calculo Capital HQ. Photo:

Calculo Capital is a specialist asset manager, and — its own five-year track record notwithstanding — Engel Carlsson concedes that raising assets can be a challenge for newcomers to the sector.

“Most of the allocation of capital goes to the larger managers,” the CEO explains, “while the data show that emerging managers tend to deliver higher alpha. There should be more willingness to support the talent and innovation that lies within an often-overlooked part of the industry.”

To encourage these entrepreneurial sections of asset management, Engel Carlsson believes that more should be done to ease access to the market — and to open opportunities to smaller funds around the world.

He has some advice for newcomers to the industry: “Be careful with overhead costs. Professional investors allocating larger sums of capital often require target funds to have a five-year track record, and substantial AUM, before they are willing to take a serious look at the fund. It often takes longer than anticipated to gain traction.”

Philip Engel Carlsson, CEO, Calculo Capital

CEO: Philip Engel Carlsson

His time with Calculo Capital has been something of a whirlwind, with industry recognition starting early in his career. “In my first year, I was nominated as Newcomer of the Year by HedgeNordic (a media company focusing on alternative investments and hedge funds in the Nordic region).”

He didn’t bring home the award that time, but the accolades that followed showed him that he was “onto something” at Calculo Capital.

“AUM growth remains the single most important parameter, in terms of mid- to long-term challenges,” he says. “The commodity markets continue to produce opportunities. Investor understanding of the business model and the fluctuations of commodity markets is key.”

Calculo Evolution Fund is, at its heart, “a truly global product” rather than a regional Danish one, Engel Carlsson believes. “Danish investors don’t have a long history of trading commodities or a history of maintaining allocations towards this asset class. Combining this ‘exotic’ asset class with AI technology — and the ability to profit from both rising and falling prices — can be challenging in the Danish market.”

That requires something of a visionary approach to the entire field of portfolio management; that is something that Calculo Capital, as a corporation, and Engel Carlsson, as an executive, both possess.

He applies the wisdom he has learned over the years — and it could equally apply to any industry or sector. “Work hard, never give up, and follow your dreams,” he advises. “This might sound like a cliché, but there is constant pressure around profit loss, raising assets, the global economy, and investor relations.

“If you don’t love what you are doing, a life spent running a hedge fund would not be your thing.”

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