I have worked in quantitative trading for a couple of years so I know what that space is about. I am curious to know what quantitative investing is all about. Based on what I have read and talked to people about, it seems like quant investors tend to build factor portfolios (based on either fundamental or pricing data) and there is a lot of emphasis on portfolio construction and a decent risk model. People who typically work at quant asset managers are econometricians or statisticians as opposed to electrical engineers or physicists in the quant trading world.
Based on my naive interpretation as an outsider, it seems like quant asset managers build long-short portfolios on fundamental factors. Since there is a finite amount of information that a financial statement can provide, how does a quant manager generate alpha uniquely as a lot of these fundamental factors can be easily data mined (to see which ones work )? Not looking for any secret sauce here, I am just trying to understanding how the guys on the quant investment side justify the fee they charge their clients.