Robert Merton

School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance

Biography | Selected Publications

Robert Merton

Robert C. Merton is the School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Merton is the University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, and 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. He previously served on the finance faculty of MIT Sloan from 1970 to 1988. Merton co-founded Long-Term Capital Management. He is currently resident scientist at Dimensional Fund Advisors, where he is developing a next-generation, integrated pension-management solution system that addresses the deficiencies associated with traditional defined-benefit and defined-contribution plans.  

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’s research focuses on finance theory, including lifecycle finance, optimal inter-temporal portfolio selection, capital asset pricing, pricing of options, risky corporate debt, loan guarantees, and other complex derivative securities. He also has written on the operation and regulation of financial institutions. Merton’s current academic interests include financial innovation and the dynamics of institutional change, controlling the propagation of macro-financial risk and improving the methods of measuring and managing sovereign risk.

He is the author of Continuous-Time Finance and a co-author of Cases in Financial Engineering: Applied Studies of Financial Innovation; The Global Financial System: A Functional Perspective; Finance; and Financial Economics. Merton also has been recognized for translating finance science into practice. He received the inaugural Financial Engineer of the Year Award from the International Association of Financial Engineers in 1993, which also elected him a Senior Fellow. Derivatives Strategy magazine named him to its Derivatives Hall of Fame as did Risk magazine to its Risk Hall of Fame. He also received Risk’s Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the field of risk management. A Distinguished Fellow of the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance and a Fellow of the Financial Management Association, Merton received the Nicholas Molodovsky Award from the CFA Institute.

Merton holds a BS in engineering mathematics from Columbia University, an MS in applied mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, and a PhD in economics from MIT.

Current Research Focus:  Merton’s current research focuses on three areas: 1)lifecycle investing and  retirement funding solutions, 2) measuring and monitoring macrofinancial (systemic) risk, and 3) financial innovation and the dynamics of financial institutional change.

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Web Site: http://robertcmerton.com

 

Contact Information
Office: E62-634
Tel: (617) 715-4866
Fax: (617) 258-6855
Support Staff
Name: Therese Henderson
Tel: (617) 715-2504
E-mail: tzh@mit.edu
Group(s)

General Expertise
Corporate finance; Derivatives; Financial engineering; Financial planning; Functional finance; Insurance; Retirement finance; Retirement planning; Risk management; Strategic finance