By Irwin Speizer
Photographs by David Deal
Jaffray Woodriff dislikes interruption. He spends most of his time cloistered in a windowless, soundproof office, surrounded by more than 500 books on various business and technology topics, hunched over a computer terminal that has no e-mail access. If he takes two outside phone calls, it's an unusually hectic day.
As chairman and chief executive of Quantitative Investment Management, Woodriff runs what has become one of the largest commodity trading advisers in the world, with investors scattered across the country and around the globe. Yet he almost never travels to meet his clients or prospective investors, sending out his managers instead or having clients and others make the trek to his headquarters in Charlottesville, Va.
Woodriff prefers monastic devotion to the computer models that are at the heart of his investment strategy—models that he created and that he continues to develop and tweak...