Brandon Koepke: From Disney to Amazon to Wes’ Garage. Ouch.

///Brandon Koepke: From Disney to Amazon to Wes’ Garage. Ouch.

Brandon Koepke: From Disney to Amazon to Wes’ Garage. Ouch.

By |2017-11-30T12:49:05+00:00December 1st, 2017|Business Updates|

We wanted to formally welcome the newest addition to the Alpha Architect team, Brandon Koepke (“kep-key”), who joins us as our Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Note: not his actual picture. Author took liberties to enhance the image.

Don’t worry, Brandon isn’t merely a software developer, he is also a certified finance geek, who regularly reads financial journals, has read all our books, and likes to read our blog posts for fun. Born and raised in Kelowna, British Columbia, also known as Canuckistan’s Florida. It is one of the very few Canadian cities where one can go snow skiing, golfing, and waterskiing on the same day (three-sport day!). As a big outdoor adventure fan, Brandon spent his childhood skiing and snowboarding. He would routinely drive 7 hours each way (on the road from the TV Show “Highway Thru Hell” on a weekend just for the snow.

Figure 1: Brandon in his natural habitat

Brandon is also part of a big boating family (dad owned/operated a high-end boat distributor). He’s at ease when it comes to wakeboarding, wakesurfing, and waterskiing.

Aside from his passion for the outdoors, Brandon took to computer programming at an early age. He started programming when he was 12 and managed his Dad’s information technology infrastructure at their family business. He would often get phone calls from work in the middle of class and he would have to excuse himself to help customers — the teachers weren’t happy…at all!

Eventually, Brandon would head off to college where he double majored in Finance and Computer Science at the University of Calgary (the land of flat and cold). After college, Brandon worked at Disney, maintaining and building new computer systems. While working at Disney he was poached by Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) where he helped built rack retirement systems. He saved Amazon millions of dollars and received an award for his efforts (aside from his stock options, which panned out pretty well!).

But a finance geek at heart, Brandon wanted to be a finance person, who happens to be a software developer, as opposed to a software developer who happens to like finance. Brandon’s passion led him to Alpha Architect.

Brandon’s passion and skill-set were a great fit for Alpha Architect, but I needed to test his mental toughness. So, of course, this past Fall I invited Brandon to the March for the Fallen, a 28-mile ruck march in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania.

Brandon, questioning his life choices.

He passed the test with flying colors and we offered him a job. Brandon then drove over 3,000 miles via a U-Haul to the Philadelphia burbs. He ran into some terrible weather and blew a tire along the way, but he finally made it to AA HQ. He’s settled in now and improving our research and operational capabilities via the newest technologies.

Help us in welcoming Brandon Koepke to the Alpha Architect team!

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About the Author:

Wesley Gray, PhD
Wes Gray has published multiple academic papers and four books, including Quantitative Value (Wiley, 2012), DIY Financial Advisor (Wiley, 2015), and Quantitative Momentum (Wiley, 2016).After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago where he studied under Nobel Prize Winner Eugene Fama. Next, Wes took an academic job in his wife’s hometown of Philadelphia and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management firm that delivers affordable active exposures for tax-sensitive investors. He is a contributor to multiple industry publications and regularly speaks to professional investor groups across the country. Wes currently resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his wife and three children.
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