People

People

Robert M. Anderson  Director

Robert M. Anderson is Director of the Center for Risk Management Research at UC Berkeley.  He is also Professor of the Graduate School, Coleman Fung Professor Emeritus of Risk Management, and Professor Emeritus of Economics and Mathematics at UC Berkeley.  He received his B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1973 and his Ph.D. from Yale University in Mathematics in 1977, under the supervision of Shizuo Kakutani.  He spent a year as McMaster Fellow at McMaster University in 1977-78, and then went to Princeton as Assistant Professor of Economics of Mathematics from 1978 to 1982 and Associate Professor of Economics in 1982-83.  He has been at Berkeley since 1983.  He was named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in 1982 and a Fellow of the Econometric Society in 1988.  His research has ranged from the intersection between probability theory and logic, to general equilibrium theory, to mathematical finance.  His current research focuses on the determination of portfolio returns.  He has been active in University governance, having served as President of the Student’s Administrative Council at the University of Toronto in 1973-74, as Chair of the Economics Department at Berkeley, and as Parliamentarian of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate.  He has taken on numerous assignments for the University of California system Academic Senate, including Vice Chair and Chair of the UC Academic Senate and Faculty Representative to the Board of Regents in 2010-12.  He received the Berkeley Faculty Service Award in 2009 and the Berkeley Social Science Service Award in 2013.

 

Lisa R. Goldberg  Director of Research

Lisa R. Goldberg is the Director Research at the Center for Risk Management Research and Adjunct Professor of Statistics at University of California, Berkeley. Lisa received a B.A. in Mathematics from University of Rochester in 1978 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Brandeis University in 1984, under the supervision of Edgar Brown, Jr. Lisa was Einstein Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor of Mathematics at City University of New York between 1982 and 1993. She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley in 1986 and a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton from 1986 to 1987. In 1991-1992, Lisa was a Visiting Professor of Mathematics at University of California, Berkeley, and in 1992-1993, she returned to the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute as a Research Professor.

In 1993, Lisa left academia to join Barra, the leading provider of quantitative risk management tools to the financial services industry. At Barra, Lisa was principal scientist for industry standard fixed income and multi-asset class risk models, mentor to junior researchers, and corporate spokesperson to clients, to the media and to the research community. In 2004, Barra merged with MSCI and Lisa became Executive Director of Research. After the merger, Lisa’s research focused on credit, risk due to extreme events and asset allocation.

Lisa has been awarded numerous research grants including an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and an NSF Visiting Professorship for Women. Lisa is an inventor on four patents; she is the author of more than forty articles in peer-reviewed journals and a book, Portfolio Risk Analysis, which was published by Princeton University Press in 2010. Lisa is Book Review Editor for Quantitative Finance, she is on the Editorial Board of Financial Analysts Journal and she is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Investment Strategies. She is on the Academic Advisory Board of the Consortium for Systemic Risk Analytics and the Board of the Journal of Investment Management conference series. She is an expert judge for the Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing.  Lisa is the Director of Research at Aperio Group, which is a Sausalito-based wealth management firm, and a Director at Berkeley Research Group, where she provides litigation-based consulting in statistics, economics and finance.

 

 

Samim Ghamami  Affiliated Researcher

Samim Ghamami obtained his Ph.D. in Operations Research from the University of Southern California in 2009, where his principal advisor was Professor Sheldon Ross. His research broadly focuses on stochastic modeling and applied probability, Monte Carlo simulation, and asset pricing and financial risk management. He has been a post-doctoral researcher with CREATE Homeland Security Center, a quantitative analyst with Barclays Capital, an adjunct faculty member of USC, a senior quantitative researcher with MSCI, and a visiting scholar at the Department of Economics at UC Berkeley. Samim is currently an Economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. His publications have appeared in various journals including the Journal of Applied Probability, Journal of Derivatives, Mathematics of Operations Research, and Probability in the Engineering and Informational Sciences.

 

 

 

 

Nicholas L. Gunther  Affiliated Researcher

 

Nicholas L. Gunther received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Harvard in 1982 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1986. Nick worked as an associate specializing in tax matters at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton until 1992. From 1992 until the present, Nick has worked on the development, structuring and execution of financial products with a tax, accounting or regulatory emphasis, at AIG Financial Products, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Sosin & Co. LLC and other prominent investment banking firms. In 2005, with one of his colleagues, Nick founded GH Group LLC, a registered broker-dealer that conducts an investment banking business. In 2009, Nick sold the firm to another investment bank. Since then, Nick has pursued both investment banking transactions, including student-loan securitizations, and computer and internet-based business, including automatic grading and financial data and analytics distribution. He is the founder of the startup OpenAnalytics, and one of the founding partners of Visible Market, a company dedicated to providing new visual approaches to understanding financial markets. Visible Market is the developer of StockTouch, one of the most popular financial apps in the Apple App Store in 2012.

 

 

 

Konstantin Magin  Affiliated Researcher

 

 

Konstantin Magin obtained his B.A. in Economics from the Leningrad Institute of Economics and Finance and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a researcher at the Center for Risk Management Research. His research focuses on modeling the relationship between political risks, insecure property rights (stochastic taxes) and asset prices and also includes financial derivatives, financial engineering, real estate finance and Social Security privatization. He is also a lecturer at the Haas School of Business, where he teaches financial derivatives courses.  He has been a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. His publications have appeared in the Journal of Economic Perspectives and The Economists' Voice.

 

 

 

Ola Mahmoud  Affiliated Researcher

 

Ola Mahmoud obtained her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 2011, a Master of Advanced Study in Mathematics (also known as Part III of the Mathematical Tripos) from the Department of Pure Mathematics at the University of Cambridge in 2005, and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from the American University in Cairo in 2004. Currently, Ola is a Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer at the Faculty of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Previously, she was a Quantitative Investment Strategist at the Swiss private bank Pictet & Cie and a researcher at MSCI Inc. under a fellowship sponsored by the Marie Curie Initial Training Network on Risk Management and Risk Reporting. Her current research interests include the theory of quantitative risk and the development of mathematical paradigms of risk diversification.

 

 

 

Stephen Bianchi  Affiliated Graduate Student

Stephen is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Economics department at UC Berkeley, specializing in financial economics and econometrics. He holds an M.S. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University. Prior to entering the Ph.D. program, Stephen worked in the fixed income research group at MSCI Barra, where his responsibilities included term structure and credit spread curve estimation and the development of fixed income risk models for the United States and Japan. His current interests include the use of generalized deviation measures in the context of the Capital Asset Pricing Model, in factor analysis, and in portfolio construction. Stephen taught Economics 136 (Financial Economics) over the 2012 and 2013 Berkeley summer sessions.

 

Tessa Childers-Day  Affiliated Graduate Student

Tessa Childers-Day graduated with highest honors from UC Davis in June of 2008, earning her B.S. in Statistics with a minor in Political Science. She is a 5th year Ph.D.student in the Department of Statistics at UC Berkeley, and her main research interest is the application of Hidden Markov Models to Finance. Tessa enjoys helping undergraduates understand and appreciate the beauty of statistics and is an advocate for science education, through her involvement with the Department of Energy's National Science Bowl.

 

 

Raymond C. W. Leung  Affiliated Graduate Student

 

Raymond C. W. Leung is currently a third year Ph.D. Finance student in the Haas School of Business and an M.A. Statistics student in the Department of Statistics at UC Berkeley. His research interests are in asset pricing and financial econometric theory. In asset pricing, he is studying how principal-agent models can be incorporated into financial security design problems. In financial econometrics, he is studying how to extend current univariate continuous-time stochastic volatility estimation techniques to the multivariate case.  

 

Raymond holds a BCom in Finance and Accounting from the University of British Columbia, and a Graduate Diploma and a MSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, photography and watching movies.

 

 

Markus Pelger  Affiliated Graduate Student

Markus Pelger is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at UC Berkeley. His research interests span several topics, including credit risk modeling, executive compensation, network economics and financial econometrics. His most recent paper explores the use of credit default swaps as a conversion trigger for contingent convertible bonds in a model with jumps.

For his work at Berkeley, he has received the Eliot J. Swan Prize, the INET Economic History Price and the Outstanding GSI Teaching Award. He has been Teaching Assistant for graduate and undergraduate courses in Econometrics and Finance. Among his fellowships are the German National Merit Foundation Scholarship, the Fulbright Scholarship, the German Academic Exchange Service Scholarship and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Fellowship.

He holds a Diplom in Mathematics (with distinction) and a Diplom in Economics (with distinction) from the University of Bonn.

 

Peter Vinella   Affiliated Graduate Student

 

Peter is a Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics at UC Berkeley; he recently returned to the program after a 30-year break and he is working under the supervision of Professor Craig Evans. His current research focuses on nonlinear analysis, stochastic optimal control theory, and differential games with applications to finance. He received an A.B. in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley and was in the Ph.D. program studying computational fluid mechanics under Alexandre Chorin in the late 1970's. Peter was a Lecturer and Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Cal State Hayward (Cal State East Bay) in the early 1980's.

 

Peter spent more than 25 years on Wall Street during his hiatus from academia, and he has held positions in senior management, trading and research at major financial institutions. He has provided testimony to the US House of Representatives and worked with US government agencies, including the GAO, the SEC, and the Federal Reserve, regarding the health of the US financial system. Peter is the coauthor of two books on operational risk management as well as dozens of articles on a wide variety of topics for major industry journals and the lay press. Peter is frequently quoted in the press and has appeared on ABC Nightly News, the BBC, BBC Radio, and Bloomberg Radio in addition to penning op-ed pieces for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

 

Peter is currently a Director with the Berkeley Research Group where he provides litigation-related consulting and expert testimony. To date, he has been a testifying expert on more than two dozen lawsuits, eight of which had more than $1B at issue.

 

 

Yang Xu  Affiliated Graduate Student

Yang Xu is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley, and received his M.A. in Statistics in 2012. His research interests include stochastic processes in financial risk management and asset pricing, and he has recently become involved in a project concerning the analysis of counterparty risk. His research advisors are Professor Lisa R. Goldberg and Professor Ilan Adler.