The MIT Sloan Finance Group was founded in the late 1960s, long before many other business schools recognized finance as a distinct field of study. Thanks to the intellectual contributions of Paul A. Samuelson and the academic leadership of Professor William Pounds, who was Dean of MIT Sloan from 1966 to 1980, the Finance Group coalesced into a small but influential collection of scholars with a common interest.
Pioneers of this academic unit became the pioneers of modern finance, including Fischer Black, John Cox, Robert Merton, Franco Modigliani, Stewart Myers, and Myron Scholes. As a result, many breakthroughs in financial economics are associated with MIT faculty, including: the Black-Scholes/Merton option-pricing model; the Modigliani-Miller theorems; continuous-time models of consumption and portfolio choice; applications of option-pricing theory to real investments, corporate finance, and other real options; equilibrium models of the term structure of interest rates; binomial option-pricing; and the risk-neutral pricing kernel for pricing derivative securities. Peter Bernstein's lively account of the historical origins of modern financial economics — Capital Ideas (Free Press, 1992) and Capital Ideas Evolving (Wiley, 2007) — memorializes a number of these contributions, and some of the colorful personalities behind them.
The Finance Group currently has 19 full-time tenure-track faculty, 4 visiting faculty, and 12 adjunct faculty and senior lecturers. Our research program spans all of the sub-disciplines that financial economics has produced over the last four decades, and some recent examples are included in the Research section of this website. Our teaching activities include finance courses in the MBA program, the undergraduate program, the MFin program, the Sloan Fellows program for senior executives, other executive education programs, and collaborations with Tsing-Hua University, Sungkyunkwan University, Nanyang Technological University, and ITESM.