By Carolyn Gray Anderson
On December 19, UCLA Anderson Dean Judy Olian conferred master of financial engineering degrees on the 6th graduating class of Anderson’s MFE program. The 43 graduates — hailing from some two dozen countries — completed the rigorous one-year curriculum that prepares them for careers in risk management, asset management, derivative pricing, private equity, hedge funds and technical operation areas of corporate finance.
This year’s commencement speaker was Ronald Kahn, global head of Scientific Equity Research at BlackRock in San Francisco. Kahn is a renowned expert on active portfolio management, risk modeling and quantitative investing. He is responsible for enhancing BlackRock’s Scientific Active Equity products and upholding their research standards.
Kahn teaches the equities half of International Equity and Currency Markets in UC Berkeley’s MFE program, and, he says, he likes to hire MFEs. Having gone from physics to finance before the advent of formal degree programs of that sort, he expressed both a “rational” and an “intuitive” appreciation for MFEs. “I know the size of the hole that MFE programs have filled for engineers and scientists who want to work in finance,” said. “The art of investing is evolving into the science of investing, and MFE graduates are perfectly poised to help drive that evolution.”