October 12, 2011

Math Finance 10 Year Celebration!

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MSMF Candidate 2013

The leaves are beginning to change color - a subtle reminder that the semester is flying by. Not only has this semester gone by in a blink of an eye, but the MSMF program is quietly aging as well. This weekend the MSMF program celebrated its tenth anniversary in grand fashion. The celebration included three keynote speakers, Harry Markopolos of “Chasing Bernie Madoff,” David Ye, Chief Risk Officer for State Street Global Markets, and Mark Kritzman, President and Chief Investment Officer of Windham Capital Management. The celebration also included an alumni career panel featuring graduates from the program. The celebration was open to all current students in the School of Management as well as all BU alumni. The day was a great opportunity for me and my classmates to speak with previous graduates of the program; learn from their varied experiences; and hear inspiring advice regarding the program and their career paths.

The first speaker was Harry Markopolos, an Independent Financial Fraud Investigator and Bernie Madoff whistleblower. Harry worked in industry for some time before being victimized by financial fraud. After witnessing many instances of financial fraud, he decided to take action and put a stop to as much fraud as he could. Harry is now a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and handles many large scale fraud cases. The biggest case, the Bernie Madoff case, took 8 ½ years. The details of the case can be read in No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller by Harry Markopolos.

The second speaker was David Ye, the Chief Risk Officer for State Street Global Markets. He started his career in mathematics. He received his PhD from Duke University in 1991 and he began teaching. One day he received a call from a local bank requesting his assistance. After they described the problem, he realized the intricacy of finance and that he was very interested in applying his knowledge in mathematics to finance. David has worked primarily as a Risk Officer throughout his career and lectured about the importance of risk management and the utility of understanding the market.

The final speaker was Mark Kritzman, President and Chief Investment Officer of Windham Capital Management. Mark’s lecture was on measuring systemic risk, a topic which has grown more and more important since the financial crisis of 2008. In short, Mark would use the results of his analysis to determine an optimized ratio of stocks to bonds in a portfolio.

The 10 year anniversary celebration was an important milestone for the MSMF program and we had a great time celebrating with alumni and our wonderful presenters! Here’s to the next ten years.

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