Berkeley MFE faculty members are renowned groundbreakers and thought leaders in the field of quantitative finance. In addition to undertaking preeminent research that feeds directly into the curriculum, many of these scholars also have practical experience in the creation of financial instruments and software, as well as the implementation of innovative financial strategies.
Pioneers of Financial Engineering
Many Haas School faculty members have long stood at the forefront of the quantitative finance industry. For example:
- Professor Mark Rubinstein is renowned for his work on the binomial options pricing model (also known as the Cox-Ross-Rubinstein model), as well as his early work on asset pricing in the 1970s. He is currently an associate editor of eight journals in these areas. In 1993, he served as President of the American Finance Association. Many of Rubinstein's papers are frequently reprinted in survey publications, and he has won numerous prizes and awards for his research and writing on derivatives including International Financial Engineer of the Year for 1995.
- Faculty John O'Brien was an early innovator in the investment consulting space. Before joining Haas, O'Brien served as Chairman of the Capital Market Fund, and the S&P 500 SuperTrust, the first exchange-traded fund. He later co-developed the O'Brien 5000 common stock index, later renamed the Wilshire 5000 index, currently the nation's broadest-based index, considered by many to be the most accurate reflection of the overall market. In 1987, O'Brien was named one of Fortune Magazine's Men of the Year.
Professional Faculty Drawn From Business
In addition to having early innovators and scholars, the Berkeley MFE faculty also draws from some of the most successful minds in today's business community. For example, the faculty includes:
- Lecturer Eric Reiner, managing director of firm-wide risk control at UBS AG
- BlackRock executives Ronald Kahn, managing director and global head of equity research; Michael Melvin, managing director and head of currency research; and Jeff Shen, managing director and head of Asia/EM equity
- Moody's Analytics executives Jing Zhang, divisional managing director and global head of MKMV research, and Amnon Levy, managing director and head of portfolio research
- Lecturer Julia Belford, head of electronic market making at Infinium Securities
Berkeley MFE faculty have also played important roles in the national and international business communities, serving as consultants, board members, and speakers at major business conferences and seminars. Professor Dwight M. Jaffee
has been an advisor to the World Bank, the Federal Reserve System, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
MFE Steering Committee
In addition to its renowned faculty, the MFE Program consults regularly with an outside committee of industry professionals to assure that the program’s curriculum remains cutting-edge and relevant to the constantly evolving finance industry. Specifically, the Steering Committee acts in a similar capacity as a Board of Trustees, focusing on the broad policy and strategic aspects of the MFE program to help define the overall goals of the program and the means by which we attempt to measure its success. The active participation of members from industry is essential to ensuring that the graduates of the MFE program have the requisite skills and knowledge to be productive and successful in their future careers in the field of financial engineering.
The Steering Committee members meet at least once a year in New York; they include the following:
- Armen Avanessians, Goldman Sachs
- Terry Benzschawel, Citi
- Janet Campagna, QS Investors Holdings
- Maurizio Ferconi, BlackRock
- Giffard Fong, Gifford Fong Associates
- Jim Gilliard, Leith Wheeler
- Erol Hakanoglu, Barclays Capital
- Margaret Holen, Formerly at Goldman Sachs
- Dwight Jaffee, Haas School of Business
- Linda Kreitzman, Haas School of Business
- Joseph Langsman, Morgan Stanley
- Charles Lucas, Formerly at AIG
- Victor Masch, AIG
- David Modest, Blue Mesa Capital
- Arnold Miyamoto, Citi
- John O'Brien, Haas School of Business
- Scott Pinkus, Retired Partner, Goldman Sachs
- Krishan Rattan, Voltaire Capital
- Mike Rierson, BlackRock
- Aamir Sheikh, Echelon Corp.
- Michael Sternberg, Morgan Stanley
- Lavanya Viswanathan, Goldman Sachs
Haas Professor Emeritus Oliver E. Williamson was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in the area of economic governance. The Edgar F. Kaiser Professor Emeritus of Business, Economics, and Law at UC Berkeley is a pioneer in the multi-disciplinary field of transaction cost economics, and one of the world's most cited economists.
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