Robert Merton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Robert C. Merton is the School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the John and Natty McArthur University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. He was the George Fisher Baker Professor of Business Administration (1988–98) and the John and Natty McArthur University Professor (1998–2010) at Harvard Business School. After receiving a PhD in Economics from MIT in 1970, Merton served on the finance faculty of MIT’s Sloan School of Management until 1988, at which time he was the J.C. Penney Professor of Management. He is currently resident scientist at Dimensional Holdings, Inc., where he is the creator of Target Retirement Solution, a global integrated retirement-funding solution system.
Merton received the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1997 for a new method to determine the value of derivatives. He is past president of the American Finance Association, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Merton is the author of Continuous-Time Finance and a coauthor of Cases in Financial Engineering: Applied Studies of Financial Innovation; The Global Financial System: A Functional Perspective; Finance; and Financial Economics. He has also been recognized for translating finance science into practice.
Merton received the inaugural Financial Engineer of the Year Award from the International Association for Quantitative Finance (formerly International Association of Financial Engineers), which also elected him a Senior Fellow. He received the 2011 CME Group Melamed-Arditti Innovation Award and the 2013 WFE Award for Excellence from World Federation of Exchanges. A Distinguished Fellow of the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance (‘Q Group’) and a Fellow of the Financial Management Association, Merton received the Nicholas Molodovsky Award from the CFA Institute. He is a member of the Halls of Fame of the Fixed Income Analyst Society, Risk magazine, and Derivatives Strategy magazine. Merton received Risk’s Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the field of risk management and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Financial Intermediation Research Society.
His research focuses on finance theory, including lifecycle and retirement finance, optimal portfolio selection, capital asset pricing, pricing of derivative securities, credit risk, loan guarantees, financial innovation, the dynamics of institutional change, and improving the methods of measuring and managing macro-financial systemic risk.
Merton received a BS in engineering mathematics from Columbia University, a MSin applied mathematics from California Institute of Technology, a PhD in economics from MIT, and honorary degrees from eighteen universities.
Zvi Bodie, Bodie Associates
Zvi Bodie is an independent financial consultant and educator. His main professional interest is to firmly establish finance as an applied science built on the principles explained in his books and websites. He is Professor Emeritus at Boston University, where he taught from 1973 to 2016. He holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has served on the finance faculty at the Harvard Business School and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. His textbook, Investments, coauthored by Alex Kane and Alan Marcus, now in its eleventh edition, is the market leader. His other textbook Financial Economics coauthored by Nobel-Prize winning economist Robert C. Merton has been translated into 9 languages. In addition to his textbooks, Bodie has coauthored two books for the mass market: Risk Less and Prosper: Your Guide to Safer Investing and Worry-Free Investing A Safe Approach to Achieving Your Lifetime Financial Goals. In 2007 the Retirement Income Industry Association gave him their Lifetime Achievement Award for applied research. He has authored and edited many books and articles on pensions and investing for retirement. With the support of the Research Foundation of the CFA Institute, he organized a series of 3 conferences on the theory and practice of life-cycle finance.
Currently he serves as senior advisor to the Investments and Wealth Institute and consults for a number of financial firms including Dimensional Fund Advisors. In 2019 the Plan Sponsors Council of America awarded him their Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sanjiv Das, Santa Clara University
Sanjiv Das is the William and Janice Terry Professor of Finance at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. He previously held faculty appointments as Associate Professor at Harvard Business School and UC Berkeley. He holds post-graduate degrees in Finance (M.Phil and Ph.D. from New York University), Computer Science (M.S. from UC Berkeley), an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, B.Com in Accounting and Economics (University of Bombay, Sydenham College), and is also a qualified Cost and Works Accountant. He is a senior editor ofThe Journal of Investment Management, co-editor of The Journal of Derivatives, and Associate Editor of other academic journals.
Prior to being an academic, he worked in the derivatives business in the Asia-Pacific region as a Vice-President at Citibank. His current research interests include: the modeling of default risk, machine learning, social networks, derivatives pricing models, portfolio theory, and venture capital. He has published over eighty articles in academic journals, and has won numerous awards for research and teaching. His recent book “Derivatives: Principles and Practice” was published in May 2010. He currently also serves as a Senior Fellow at the FDIC Center for Financial Research.
Hayne Leland, A&P Capital
Hayne E. Leland is Professor Emeritus at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, and is a former President of the American Finance Association. A graduate of Harvard (A.B. and Ph.D.) and the London School of Economics (M.Sc.Econ), he is the author of more than 50 articles in finance and economics. His research focuses on asset management, corporate financial structure, financial intermediation, and option valuation. His research has received numerous awards. In 2016, he was honored as the Financial Engineer of the Year by the International Association of Quantitative Finance. In 2012 he served as the inaugural Pembroke Visiting Professor in International Finance at the University of Cambridge (UK), and in 2008 was the first recipient of the $100,000 Stephen A. Ross Award for Research in Financial Engineering. He received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Paris (Dauphine) in 2007.
Professor Leland has been keynote speaker at many academic and professional conferences, and has lectured at the Federal Reserve, the Bank of International Settlements, the European Central Bank, and the Deutsche Bundesbank. He has served on numerous scientific advisory boards, including those of Wells Asset Management, Goldman Sachs, and Swiss National Science Foundation. Prior the takeover by BlackRock, he was an independent Trustee of Barclays Global Investors Funds, a large mutual fund complex.
His models have helped to shape both corporate financing and asset management practices, including portfolio insurance and cost-minimizing trading strategies. As a founding principal of Leland O’Brien Rubinstein (LOR), he was named one of Fortune Magazine’s “Businessmen of the Year” in 1987. LOR subsequently pioneered the legal structure and development of the nation’s first exchange-traded fund (ETF), the SuperTrust. The foundations LOR developed were later borrowed by the American Stock Exchange’s SPDR and other ETFs.
Besides continuing his research in corporate finance and capital markets, Professor Leland is currently developing innovative financial structures that allow energy market participants to hedge future resource production, and investment funds that assure minimum levels of income during retirement years. He is also involved with colleagues in developing home equity-sharing contracts as an alternative/supplement to debt-only home finance.
Deborah Lucas, MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy
Deborah Lucas is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy.
Her recent research has focused on measuring and accounting for the costs and risks of government financial obligations. Her academic publications cover a wide range of topics including the effect of idiosyncratic risk on asset prices and portfolio choice, dynamic models of corporate finance, financial institutions, monetary economics, and valuation of government guarantees. An expert on federal credit programs, Lucas has testified before Congress on budgeting for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, student loans, and on strategically important financial institutions.
Previous appointments include assistant and associate director at the Congressional Budget Office; Donald C. Clark Professor of Finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; chief economist at the Congressional Budget Office; senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers; and member of two Social Security Technical Advisory Panels. Lucas also has served as a director on several corporate and non-profit boards.
She is on the editorial board of the Annual Review of Financial Economics, a coeditor of AEA-Policy, and a co-organizer of the group Capital Markets and the Economy at the NBER. Lucas is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a research associate of the NBER, a member of the Advisory Roundtable of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a member of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee, a member of the Shadow Open Market Committee, and a member of the Academic Research Council for the Urban Institute Housing Finance Policy Center.
Lucas received her BA, MA, and a PhD in economics, all from the University of Chicago.
Current Research Focus: Lucas’s current research lies at the intersection of finance and policy, with a focus on economically meaningful cost measurement of government financial activities. Some current projects include creating a world atlas of government financial institutions, measuring the subsidies and risks associated with development banks, and analyzing reverse mortgages.
Arun Muralidhar, Mcube Investment Technologies
Arun is Founder of Mcube Investment Technologies LLC and Founder and Client CIO of AlphaEngine Global Investment Solutions. His primary focus is on dynamic (intelligent) beta and currency management and how clients can get paid to manage risk. Arun has written extensively on pension reform, asset allocation and currency management. His books include A SMART Approach to Portfolio Management (2011), Innovations in Pension Fund Management (2001), and Rethinking Pension Reform (2004), co-authored with Franco Modigliani (Nobel Prize winner). He has written many award-winning articles for trade journals, and has written a series of Op-Eds with Prof. Robert C. Merton (Nobel Prize winner) on innovations to improve retirement security. His latest book, offering a new approach to retirement reform for uncovered workers and titled, “Fifty States of Grey: An Innovative Approach to the DC Retirement Crisis,” was published in 2018. Previously, Arun served as Managing Director at FX Concepts Inc, Managing Director/Head of Currency Research at J.P. Morgan Fleming Asset Management and Head of Research and a member of the Investment Management Committee at The World Bank. He is serving as an Expert Advisor to the World Economic Forum’s Retirement Investment Systems Improvement Project. He has been selected to serve on the Strategic Retirement Advisory Council for the Investments & Wealth Institute (formerly IMCA) for the Retirement Management Advisor (RMA) designation. He is also adjunct professor of Finance at George Washington University and was Academic Scholar at Georgetown University’s Center for Retirement Initiatives. His work on retirement innovations and saving Social Security have been featured on Marketplace. He holds a PhD in Managerial Economics from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a B.S. from Wabash College.
John O’Brien, A&P Capital
John retired from U.C. Berkeley in 2011, although he continued teaching at Berkeley on a re-call basis through 2016. He was recruited to the Haas School of Business in 2000 to co-found and become the first Executive Director of the Berkeley Haas Masters in Financial Engineering program. Within the MFE program, John created and taught the course in Financial Innovation. Since separating from Berkeley in 2016, John has taught his Financial Innovation course at the Rady School, UCSD; the Merage School, UCI; and the Anderson School, UCLA.
John is also the Managing Principal of Home Equity Securities LLC (created the home-equity stock certificate to expand the options for residential home financing), and A&P Capital LLC (created the non-insurance company contract annuity for supplementing retirement income).
John received his S.B. in Economics and Engineering from MIT in 1958, followed by three years in the USAF. While in the Air Force, John attended UCLA and in 1964 received a Master’s degree in Operations Research.
After leaving the Air Force in 1962, John worked for and provided various analytical financial services to Planning Research Corporation, Synergetic Sciences Corporation, and Oliphant & Co. In 1972, John founded his first company, unimaginatively called O’Brien Associates. The company focused on bringing modern portfolio theory to the pension management market. In 1974 John created the O’Brien 5000 Total Stock Market Index. John sold O’Brien Associates in 1975, and its name and the Index name was changed to Wilshire Associates. John then joined A. G. Becker’s Pension Fund Evaluation Division. Following this, in 1981, John joined with Berkeley professors Hayne Leland and Mark Rubinstein to form Leland O’Brien Rubinstein (LOR) Associates. LOR introduced options-replicating dynamic strategies, principally Portfolio Insurance, to the mix of institutional asset management strategies.
LOR subsequently pioneered the legal structure and development of the nation’s first exchange-traded fund (ETF), the SuperTrust. The foundations LOR developed were later borrowed by the American Stock Exchange’s SPDR and other ETFs.
Honors: Graham & Dodd Scroll Award, FAJ, 1970; Businessman of the Year, Fortune Magazine, 1987; and Mathew R. McArthur Award, Lifetime Contribution to Investment Consulting, IMCA, 2004.
Matthew O’Hara, BlackRock
Matthew O’Hara, PhD, CFA, Managing Director, is the Co-Head of LifePath and is Chair of the U.S. and Canada LifePath Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the UK LifePath Investment Committee. Dr. O’Hara’s service with the firm dates back to 2003, including his years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. As part of the Multi Asset Strategies (MAS) group Dr. O’Hara is responsible for all investing aspects of lifetime asset allocation globally including the LifePath complex globally and the 529 complex in the U.S. as well as new product development in those areas.
At BGI, he was Director of Research for the U.S. & Canada Defined Contribution Group. He was responsible for research on defined contribution and pension outsourcing issues. Prior to joining the DC group, he was responsible for all research and model creation for asset-backed and commercial mortgage-backed securities. He also worked on corporate long/short strategies including the launch of the Fixed Income Global Alpha (FIGA) fund. Previous to working in finance, he worked as a research and design engineer.
Dr. O’Hara has been a lecturer in the MFE program at UC Berkeley. He has also served as president of the board of the CFA Society of San Francisco and has served as a trustee of the Bay Area Discovery Museum.
Dr. O’Hara earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1992. He earned an MS degree and a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995 and 1997, respectively. He also graduated as valedictorian and was awarded the Pyle Prize for best student paper from the Master’s in Financial Engineering program at UC Berkeley in 2003.
Daniel Ostrov, Santa Clara University
Daniel Ostrov is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Santa Clara University. He holds post-graduate degrees in Applied Mathematics (M.S. and Ph.D.) and Engineering (M.S.) from Brown University. He has published in a variety of academic journals within engineering, mathematics, and economics, as well as his current focus, finance. Within the area of finance, he has published papers on topics that include optimal investing in the presence of taxes and transaction costs, goals-based wealth management, valuing derivatives near expiration, and optimally removing money from 401(k), Roth, and taxable accounts during retirement. He has received a number of best paper awards for his financial work and also served as a consultant on derivative valuation, optimal investing, and retirement savings.
Jonathan A. Parker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jonathan A. Parker is the Robert C. Merton (1970) Professor of Finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the area head of Economics, Finance and Accounting, and co-director of the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy. An expert in finance, macroeconomics, and household behavior, he has published on topics such as macroeconomic risks and asset returns, fiscal stabilization policy, national saving, household financial decisions, the measurement of business cycles, and modeling human economic behavior.
Kenneth Blay, Invesco
Kenneth Blay serves as Head of Investment Solutions Thought Leadership. In this role, he leads the development of original research, the authorship of whitepapers and articles for publication in practitioner journals, and the creation of innovative investment content designed to elevate and strengthen Invesco’s profile as a global thought leader in asset allocation, risk management and portfolio implementation.
Prior to joining Invesco, Mr. Blay was a vice president and advisory research manager in the portfolio and risk research group at State Street Associates, where he collaborated with academic partners to develop and implement new research on asset allocation, risk management and investment strategy, and led research efforts for advisory engagements with institutional clients.
Previously, he served as director of research for 1st Global, where he led asset allocation research and investment policy for the firm’s investment management platform. He was also directly responsible for the development and management of the firm’s discretionary portfolio management program and the establishment of the investment management research group.
Mr. Blay earned a BBA in finance from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He has collaborated with Nobel Laureate Dr. Harry Markowitz on asset allocation research, coauthoring a book, Risk-Return Analysis: The Theory and Practice of Rational Investing (Volume 1), and a paper published in the Journal of Investment Management, “Tax-Cognizant Portfolio Analysis: A Methodology for Maximizing After-Tax Wealth.” His work with Dr. Markowitz on maximizing future consumption through the optimization of the net present value of cash flows appears in chapter 11 of Markowitz’s book, Risk-Return Analysis: The Theory and Practice of Rational Investing (Volume 2).
William Kinlaw, State Street Associates
Will is senior managing director and head of State Street’s academic affiliate, State Street Associates, a unique partnership that bridges the worlds of financial theory and practice. Part of State Street’s Global Markets division, State Street Associates develops risk, investor behavior, and economic indicators as well as investable indices for investment managers and institutional investors around the world. Its products leverage State Street’s proprietary information assets as well as data sourced through strategic partnerships with big data start-up companies in the Boston area.
Will and his co-authors were awarded the 2013 Peter L. Bernstein Award as well as the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy “Outstanding Article” Awards for their articles on liquidity, risk management, and performance measurement. His article on the role of sector exposures in describing the private equity premium won “Honorable Mention” for the 2016 Peter L. Bernstein Award. His book, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Asset Allocation,” co-authored with Mark Kritzman and David Turkington, was published by Wiley in 2017.
Will serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Portfolio Management and the Advisory Board for the Journal of Investment Management conference series. He holds an M.S. in finance from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University, as well as a CFA designation. He joined State Street in 2002.
Bernard R. Horn, Polaris Capital Management, LLC
Bernard R. Horn Jr. is president and portfolio manager of Polaris Capital Management, LLC, a leading Boston-based global value equity firm. Mr. Horn founded Polaris in April 1995 to expand his existing client base dating to the early 1980s. Mr. Horn’s pure global value philosophy combines investment technology with traditional fundamental research. His thirty-year track record exceeds most current competitors in length and has produced admirable risk-adjusted returns since inception.
Known as forerunner in global and international investing, Mr. Horn has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times, SmartMoney, Investor’s Business Daily, Washington Post and many other national publications. He has appeared on PBS’ Nightly Business Report, PBS’ Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg TV to discuss global market trends.
Prior to founding Polaris, Mr. Horn worked as a vice president and portfolio manager for Freedom Capital Management Corporation from 1990 to 1992. This position led to the firm’s sub-advisory relationship with the Freedom International Fund, commencing in 1998, which Polaris still manages under the name of RBC GAM International Fund. Prior to Freedom, Mr. Horn worked at MDT Advisers, Inc. From 1980 to 1990, Mr. Horn was the principal and founder of Horn & Company, an investment counseling firm that specialized in global portfolio management for individuals, trusts, and tax qualified accounts. In July 1989, he formed the Global Value Limited Partnership (predecessor to Polaris Global Value Fund – PGVFX) for the purpose of serving existing and new clients. The Thrift Investors Limited Partnership was formed in 1986. Mr. Horn was responsible for the formation, fund raising, administration, marketing, and management of both funds.
Mr. Horn is a graduate of Northeastern University (1978) with a B.S. in business administration and holds a master’s of science degree in management (M.S.) from the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management at M.I.T (1980). Thesis title: “The Pricing of Commodity Options”, Faculty Advisors: Professors Fischer Black, Robert C. Merton.
In addition to his responsibilities at Polaris, Mr. Horn is actively involved in many volunteer activities and charitable organizations, including the Reading Library Endowment Committee. He serves on various M.I.T. boards, including the Advisory Board of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, the Sloan Finance Group Advisory Board, the Center for Finance & Policy Advisory Board, and the M.I.T Sloan Executive Board for the North American region.
Jennifer Hutchins, Portfolio Manager at 1st Global/Blucora
Jennifer Hutchins, CFA is a portfolio manager for IMRG at 1st Global, Inc. where she supports the ongoing adoption and retention of assets of the advisory platform through asset allocation, investment manager due diligence and risk management. She originally joined the company in business development from 2007–2008 and returned in 2016.
Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and economics from Christendom College, and her love of mathematics and economic studies eventually led her to pursue a career in the financial services industry. In addition to her previous work at 1st Global, she gained valuable industry experience at H. Beck, Inc. from 2008 to 2016 as a senior product specialist, investment analyst and vice president of investments. She is a member of the CFA Society of Dallas-Fort Worth and has passed the FINRA Series 7, 24 and 66 exams.
Martin Landry, Global/Blucora
Martin Landry, CFA, CFP®, CAIA, CIMA®, CTFA, CIPM, AIF®, Manager of Investment Management Research Group (IMRG) and Senior Portfolio Manager at 1st Global/Blucora
Martin oversees the discretionary advisory programs for 1st Global, Inc., an independent broker/dealer and registered investment advisor. 1st Global was recently purchased by Blucora, a publicly-traded financial technology company (Ticker: BCOR). The IMRG is responsible for setting the strategic asset allocation for the 1st Global advisory program. The group also is tasked with investment due diligence, portfolio construction and reporting of $4B in model portfolios.
Martin has twenty years of investment experience. He began his career at 1st Global in 2010 and previously served as an investment due diligence analyst and a portfolio manager prior to stepping into his current position in 2016. Martin received his Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Texas A&M University — Commerce and his Master of Business Administration degree in management from the University of Texas at Tyler.
After a 14-year career in broadcast television news as a video photojournalist, reporter, editor and producer, Martin was drawn to the financial services industry in 1999 because of his interest in how the capital markets work and his desire to help others make sensible decisions regarding their savings and investments. Before joining 1st Global, Martin gained experience in the industry as a financial consultant at Merrill Lynch, a portfolio manager at Bank of America and as a senior investment analyst at GuideStone Capital Management. He is a member of the CFA Society of Dallas-Fort Worth, the CFA Institute, the CIPM Association, the Investment Management Consultants Association, the Texas Chapter of the CAIA Association and the Dallas chapter of the Financial Planning Association.
Eric Penanhoat, Penanhoat-Consulting and Kamakura Corporation
Eric has his own consulting practice leveraging 25 years in applied Economics and Quantitative Finance. He is also a Managing Director, Quantitative Risk at Kamakura Corporation. Until September 2017, for 20 years, he has held a number of quantitative roles at Fidelity Investments, including Risk Management, Portfolio Construction, Asset Allocation, Advice and Guidance. He contributed to the development and implementation of institutional and retail portfolio advice and guidance strategies. His latest role was to establish the quantitative analytics team in Fidelity’s Counterparty Research and Analytics group. Before, he worked at
Barra as product manager and consultant.
Eric has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the London School of Economics with an MSc in Economics.
Shane Shepherd, Research Affiliates
Shane Shepherd leads the Research team and its investigations into bonds, commodities, currencies, equities, and asset allocation at Research Affiliates. In addition, he applies quantitative research to inflation, economic growth, volatility, and other macroeconomic topics. His work strengthens and expands the RAFI™ Fundamental Index™ concept and supports the global tactical asset allocation model.
Prior to joining Research Affiliates, Shane served as a research assistant at the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management, where he investigated issues in behavioral finance. Shane also taught a corporate finance class at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.
Shane earned his PhD in finance from the University of California, Los Angeles, and holds a BA in political science and philosophy from Duke University.