Robert C. Merton

John and Natty McArthur University Professor, Emeritus

Robert C. Merton is University Professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School, where he was the George Fisher Baker Professor of Business Administration from 1988 to 1998 and the John and Natty McArthur University Professor from 1998 until his retirement in 2010.  He is currently the School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he previously served on the finance faculty from 1970 until 1988. Merton 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. He received the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1997 for a new method to determine the value of derivatives.

Connecting Web Sites

MIT Web Site

Nobel Prize Biography
Nobel Prize Lecture
Theses of MIT Alumni Nobel Prize Winners
Columbia University SEAS latest Nobel Laureate: Robert C. Merton
N ova documentary about the Black-Merton-Scholes Formula. The film tells the fascinating story of the invention of the Black-Scholes Formula, a mathematical Holy Grail that forever altered the world of finance and earned its creators the 1997 Nobel Prize in Economics.
Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates, Jordan 2005
Bodie-Merton FINANCE textbook
Bodie-Merton-Cleeton FINANCIAL ECONOMICS textbook
Derivatives Sourcebook Web site maintained by MIT LFE. A project to illustrate the wide application of option pricing theory. We have collected, categorized and indexed a list of over 1400 research articles since 1980 that have cited the option-pricing research of Fischer Black, Robert Merton, and Myron Scholes.

Listing of Education, Appointments, and Awards

Education

B.S., Columbia University (Engineering Mathematics), 1966
M.S., California Institute of Technology (Applied Mathematics), 1967
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Economics), 1970

Honorary Degrees

Masters of Arts, Harvard University, 1989
Doctor of Laws, University of Chicago, 1991
Professeur Honoris Causa, Hautes Etudes Commerciales (France), 1995
Doctor of Economic Science (honoris causa), University of Lausanne, 1996
Doctoris Honoris Causa, University Paris-Dauphine, 1997
Doctor of Management Science (honoris causa), National Sun Yat-sen University, 1998
Doctor of Science (honoris causa), Athens University of Economics and Business, 2003
Doctor Honoris Causa , Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru, 2004
Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa, Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, Lima, Peru, 2004
Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, Claremont Graduate University, 2008 

Academic Appointments

School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance, A.P. Sloan School of Management Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010 –
University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University, 2010 –
John and Natty McArthur University Professor, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University,1998-2010
George Fisher Baker Professor of Business Administration, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, 1988-1998
Invited Professor of Finance, Faculte des Sciences Economiques, Universite de Nantes, June 1993
Visiting Professor of Finance, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, 1987-1988
J.C. Penney Professor of Management, A.P. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,1980-1988
Assistant Professor of Finance, 1970-73, Associate Professor, 1973-74; Professor 1974-80, A.P. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research (1979- )
Instructor, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1969-1970
Research Assistant to Paul Samuelson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1968-1970
Other Professional Appointments

Current:

Resident Scientist, Dimensional Fund Advisors (2009- )
Chairman, Board of Directors, Daedalus Software, Inc. (2008- )
Member, Board of Directors, Dimensional SmartNest LLC (2010-)
Member, Board of Directors, Peninsula Banking Group (2003- )
Member, Board of Directors, Community First Financial Group (2003- )
Member, Board of Directors, Vical Inc. (2002- )
Member Quantitative Finance Advisory Board, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Stony Brook University (2009- )
Member, Board of Advisors, Santa Clara University Center for Innovation in Finance & Investment (2008-  )
Member, International Advisory Board, Middle East Science Fund (2008- )
Member, Board of Policy Advisers, Chinese Academy of Sciences Research Center on Fictitious Economy & Data Science (2008- )
Member, Competitive Markets Advisory Council, CME Group (2004-)
Member, Academic Advisory Board, Real Options Group (1999- )

Past:

Member, MIT Sloan Finance Group Advisory Board (2008-2010)
Member, Board of Directors, Dimensional Funds (2003-2009)
Member, Board of Directors, MF Risk, Inc. (2001-2009)
Senior Advisor, Platinum Grove Asset Management (2008)
Chief Science Officer, Trinsum Group (2007-2008) 
Member, Board of Directors, Trinsum Group (2007-2008)
Member, Board of Directors, Integrated Finance Limited (2002-2007)
Co-Founder, Chief Science Officer, Integrated Finance Limited (2002-2007)
Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Chase (2001)
Senior Advisor, J.P. Morgan & Company, Inc. (1999-2000)
Co-Founder, Management Committee, Long-Term Capital Management, L.P. (1993-1999)
Senior Advisor, Salomon Inc. (1988-1992)
Member, Board of Trustees, College Retirement Equities Fund (1988-1996)
Member, Board of Directors, Travelers Investment Management Company (1987-1991)
Member, Board of Directors, ABT Investment Series (1983-1988)
Member, Board of Directors, ABT Utility Income Fund (1982-1988)
Member, Board of Trustees, ABT Growth and Income Trust (1982-1988)
Member, Board of Directors, Nova Fund (1980-1988)
Member, Advisory Board, AlphaSimplex Group, Cambridge, MA (2001-2007)
Member, Advisory Board, nuServe (2001- 2004)
Member, Advisory Board, eCredit.com (2000-2002 )


Elected Societies and Positions

Member, Tau Beta Pi, Columbia University, 1965
Member, Sigma Xi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1970
Director, American Finance Association, 1982-84; 1987-88
Fellow, Econometric Society, 1983-
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1986-
President, American Finance Association, 1986
Vice President, The Society for Financial Studies, 1993
Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1993-
Senior Fellow, International Association of Financial Engineers, 1994-
Distinguished Fellow, Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance ('Q Group'), 1997-
Honorary Member, the Bachelier Finance Society, 1997-
Member, The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1999-
FMA Fellow, Financial Management Association, 2000-
Fellow, Society of Fellows, American Finance Association, 2000-
Member, Honorary Board, The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, 2003-
Member, Honorary Board, Angelo Roncalli International Committee, 2003-

Awards

1964 Faculty Scholar Award, Columbia University
1971-72 Salgo-Noren Award for Excellence in Teaching, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1977-78 Graduate Student Council Teaching Award, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1983 Leo Melamed Prize, University of Chicago
1985, 1986 First Prize, Roger Murray Prize Competition, Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance
1989 Distinguished Scholar Award, Eastern Finance Association
1993 International INA - Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei Prize, National Academy of Lincei, Rome
1993 FORCE Award for Financial Innovation, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
1993 Financial Engineer of the Year Award, International Association of Financial Engineers
1997 Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
1997 'Heroes Among Us,' Boston Celtics, Boston
1998 Inducted, Derivatives Hall of Fame, Derivatives Strategy Magazine
1998 Michael I. Pupin Medal for Service to the Nation, Columbia University
1999 Distinguished Alumni Award, California Institute of Technology
1999 Mathematical Finance Day Lifetime Achievement Award, Boston University
2002 Risk Hall of Fame, Risk Magazine
2003 Lifetime Achievement Award, Risk Magazine
2003 Nicholas Molodovsky Award, Association for Investment Management and Research (now CFA Institute)
2004 Graham and Dodd Award for the Best Perspectives Article in 2003, Financial Analyst Journal
2005 establishment of The Robert C. Merton (1970) Professorship in Financial Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2006 PRIMIA Higher Standard Award, Professional Risk Managers' International Association
2007 40 People of Power & Influence in Finance during the last 40 Years, 40th Anniversary, Institutional Investor magazine
2007 Profile, 20th Anniversary, Risk Magazine
2008 Distinguished Finance Educator Award, Financial Education Association
2008 First Annual Award for Foundational Contributions to Finance, Owen School of Management, Vanderbilt University
2009 Robert A. Muh Award in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT
2009 Tjailing C. Koopmans Asset Award, Tilburg University
2009 Award of Excellence, The Hall of Excellence, Hastings-on-Hudson High School
2009 Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Life Member
2010 LECG Award for Outstanding Contributions to Financial Economics
2010 Kolmogorov Medal, University of London

Selected Lectures

1975 Distinguished Speaker Lecture, Western Finance Association
1985 Mortimer Hess Memorial Lecture, Association of the Bar of the City of New York
1988 12th Annual Lecture, Geneva Association, Paris
1992 Scholl Chair in Finance Distinguished Speaker Lecture, DePaul University
1993 Lecture, Discussion Meeting on Mathematical Finance, The Royal Society, London
1993 Keynote, 10th International Conference in Finance, Association Francaise de France
1994 AEA/AFA Speaker, Allied Social Sciences Meetings
1994 Speaker, International Monetary Conference, London
1995 Lecture, Newton Institute Seminar, Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge
1995 Keynote, 12th International Conference in Finance, Association Francaise de France
1995 Keynote, 25th Anniversary, Financial Management Association
1996 Oxford University Press and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management
Distinguished Lectures in Business, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
1996 Donor's Lecture, London Business School, London
1996 Inaugural, Dean's Research Seminar, Harvard Business School
1996 Faculty Inaugural Session, University of Lausanne
1996 Paolo Baffi Lecture on Money and Finance, Bank of Italy, Rome
1997 Edgar Lorch Memorial Lecture, Sigma Xi, Columbia University
1998 Lionel McKenzie Lecture, University of Rochester
1998 Martin H. Crego Lecture, Vassar College
1998 I.E. Block Community Lecture, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
1999 Keynote, Risk Magazine's 5th Annual Derivatives and Risk Management Congress, Boston
2000 Speaker, Boston Economic Club
2000 Speaker, Finance 2000, Boston University
2000 Keynote, First World Congress of Bachelier Finance Society, Paris
2000 Keynote, IMF/World Bank Meetings, Prague
2000 Keynote, Kyoto Symposium, Tokyo
2001 First Nomura Lecture, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford
2001 Keynote, European Finance Association, Barcelona
2001 First Nash Distinguished Lecture in Quantitative Finance, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh
2001 Nobel Centennial, Economics Department, Lund University
2001 Nobel Centennial, Stockholm Institute for Financial Research
2001 Nobels in Venice 2001 - III MILLENNIUM COLLOQUIA
2002 Commencement Speaker, Master of Financial Engineering, Haas School of Business, University of California
2002 Keynote, De Nederlandsche Bank Conference, Amsterdam
2002 Fourth Geneva Conference on the World Economy, International Centre for Monetary and Banking Studies, Geneva
2002 Universita degli Studi di Brescia, Italy
2002 Bocconi University, Milan
2002 Third Millennium Colloquium, Venice
2002 Keynote, 8th Annual Risk Management Conference, ICBI, Geneva
2003 Keynote, Conference on International Accounting Standards, Harvard Law School
2003 Keynote, Annual Meeting Conference, Association of Investment Management and Research, Phoenix
2003 Keynote, 6th Hellenic European Conference on Computer Mathematics and Its Applications, Athens University of Economics and Business
2003 Keynote, 10th Anniversary Risk Management Conference, ICBI, Geneva
2004 Isaacs-Jonas Entrepreneurship Lecture, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University
2004 Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima Peru
2004 XIV National Congress of Students of Economics, Peru
2004 Central Bank of Peru, Lima
2004 Nobels in Venice Conference, Venice
2004 Lindau Nobel Prize Winners' Conference, Lindau Germany
2004 Keynote, 14th Annual Derivative Securities and Risk Conference, Cornell University
2004 Keynote, Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance ('Q Group'), Paris
2004 Annual Meeting of Board of Governors, Inter-American Development Bank, Lima Peru
2004 Keynote, 11th Annual Risk Management Conference, ICBI, Geneva
2005 Political Economy Lecture Series, Department of Economics, Harvard University
2005 Keynote, Mathematical Finance Seminar, The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University
2005 Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates, Jordan
2005 Business Leadership Forum, Instituto de Empresa, Madrid
2005 Keynote, 12th Annual Risk Management Conference, ICBI, Geneva
2006 Nancy Schwartz Memorial Lecture, Northwestern University
2006 Keynote, 40th Anniversary Conference Q Group
2006 Keynote, 13th Annual Risk Management Conference, ICBI, Geneva
2007 Keynote, 14th Annual Risk Management Conference, ICBI, Geneva
2007 60th CFA Institute Anniversary Conference, New York
2007 Daimler Series Lecture, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing
2007 Lecture, "Observations on Sovereign Wealth and QDII Management: Commercial Opportunities," Asset Managers Association, Shanghai
2008 Keynote, Silver Industry Conference, Singapore
2008 Seminar, National University of Singapore, Singapore
2008 London Business School Distinguished Speaker Lecture
2008 Seminar, CIEBA Meeting Washington, DC
2008 Keynote, Harvard University Law School Islamic Finance Forum
2008 Keynote, HBS Centennial Event, Mexico
2008 Keynote, Boston College Finance Conference, Boston
2008 Marjolin Lecture 27th SUERF Colloquium, Munich
2008 Opening Speech, Aix-en-Provence Economic Forum, Marseille
2008 Keynote, Stochastic Economic Dynamics and Finance Symposium, Denmark
2008 Central Bank of Denmark
2008 Boston University, "The Future of Life-Cycle Saving and Investing Conference"
2008 The Hague
2008 Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, Conference on Financial Innovation 
2008 Keynote, 15th Annual Risk Management Conference, ICBI, Geneva
2008 Keynote, Speech, Global Financial Linkages, Transmission of Shocks, and Asset Prices Conference, European Central Bank, Frankfurt
2008 Finance Lecture, Goethe University, Frankfurt
2009 Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement
2009 Harvard Business School Global Economic Crisis "Deep Dive" Seminar
2009 IMF Asset Managers Roundtable, Washington, DC
2009 Columbia School of Engineering and Physical Science Research Panel
2009 Keynote, Institutional Money Congress Frankfurt
2009 Robert A. Muh Lecture, MIT
2009 Keynote, Conference - Facing the Crisis: Economic and Social Policies for Turbulent Times, 50th Anniversary of the Inter-American Development Bank, Medellin, Colombia
2009 Van Lanschot Lecture, Tilburg University, Holland
2009 Keynote, European Financial Management Association, Milan
2009 Keynote, World Glaucoma Congress, Boston
2009 Keynote, Money and Banking Conference, Central Bank of Argentina
2009 CME Global Financial Leadership Conference, Chicago Mercantile Exchange
2010 Kolmogorov Lecture, University of London
2010 Nathan and Beatrice Keyfitz Lecture, Fields Institute, Toronto
2010 9th Carroll Round Lecture, Georgetown University
2010 Cambridge Science Festival 2010: "Lunch with a Laureate" Series, MIT
2010 Keynote, 2010 FIAP International Seminar: Developing the Potential of the Individually Funded Pension Systems, Chile

Advisory and Editorial Boards

Current:

Advisory Editor, Review of Development Finance (2009- )
Member, Academic Advisory Board, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance (2008- )
Co-editor, Annual Review of Financial Economics, (2007- )
Advisory Board, Journal of Financial Literature (2004- )
Advisory Board, Annals of Finance (2004- )
Advisory Board, Journal of Investment Management (2002- )
Advisory Board, North Holland Series of Handbooks in Finance (2000- )
Advisory Board, International Journal of Theoretical & Applied Finance (1997- )
Advisory Board, Brookings-Wharton (1997- )
Advisory Board, Journal of Financial Education (1995- )
International Board of Scientific Advisers, Tinbergen Institute (1995- )
Advisory Board, Review of Derivatives Research (1993- )
Advisory Board, Japan Financial Economics Association (1993- )
Associate Editor, Journal of Fixed Income (1991- )
Advisory Board, Mathematical Finance (1989- )
Editorial Board, Finance India (1988- ) 

Past:

Advisory Council, Financial Analysts Journal (2003-2009)
Advisory Board, Journal of Banking and Finance (2003-2007)
Advisory Board, Review of Finance (formerly European Finance Review (1996-2005)
Associate Editor, Journal of Banking and Finance (1977-1979,1992-2003)
Advisory Board, Center for Global Management and Research, George Washington University (1996-2000)
Advisory Board, The New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance (1989-1992)
Selection Editor, Papers and Proceedings, Journal of Finance, July 1986
Co-Editor, Journal of Financial Economics (1974-1977)
Associate Editor, Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance (1989-1996)
Associate Editor, Journal of Financial Economics (1977-1983)
Associate Editor, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking (1974-1979)
Associate Editor, Journal of Finance (1973-1977)
Associate Editor, International Economic Review (1972-1977)
Founding Committee, Review of Financial Studies (1986)

Interviews

Columbia University School of Engineering Award
Profile: Robert C. Merton in Quantitative Finance, Vol 2 Issue 2 http://quant.iop.org
"Too Young to Retire," interview by Rutger Vahl, DNB Magazine, a publication of the Dutch Central Bank, no 3/4 2002
"A Model Mind," CFA Magazine , July-August 2004, interview with Roger Mitchell
"'Hedge funds' are a safety valve" interview Madrid, Spain, October 2005
"Harvard's Financial Scientist," by Peter Carr, Bloomberg Markets, October 2006
"CFOs : Don't forget pension funds," interview by Joel Chernoff, Pensions and Investments, December 11, 2006
"Derivatives provide security," interview by Kris van Hammet, Het Financiale Dagblad, Spring 2007
"Power & Influence," interview by Michael Peltz, Institutional Investor, p. 91, May 1, 2007
A model prophet," interview by Navroz Patel, Risk, V. 20 N. 6 July 2007, p. 40
"Don argues against annuity with refund," interview by Jeremy Au Yong, The Straits Times, January 11, 2008, Singapore.
"On Markets and Complexity," interview by Nate Nickerson, Technology Review, April 2/2008
"We have all learned," Interview, Institutional Money, 8/3/2007.
Bloomberg Television, Interview: Financial Risk, Now versus the Past, November 2007, Bloomberg Television, Singapore
Nobel Prize: Nobel Thinkers: Robert C. Merton
Nobel Prize: Nobel Thinkers: Paul A. Samuelson
Scully The World Show 2008, Nobel Laureates, Interview
"Under the Hood: Retirement Engine Rebuilt," Right Now, Harvard Magazine, January-February 2009, 9-10
"Lehman failliet laten gaan was fout," interview by Marike Stelligna, Elsevier, The Netherlands
"Whodunit?," interview by Dan Tudball, Wilmott Magazine, England, May 2009, pp. 32-45

Video: Speeches and Seminars

1997 Nobel Prize
1997 Nobel Prize Press Conference Harvard Business School
Haas School of Business video of Commencement Speech by Robert C. Merton
2001 Business, Government and the International Economy, Robert C. Merton and Paul Samuelson, November 19 
2001 First Nomura Lecture, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford
2001 Keynote, European Finance Association, Barcelona
2001 First Nash Distinguished Lecture in Quantitative Finance, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh
2002 Baker Library FEA
2003 NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, July 20, 2003, with Robert C. Merton on Stock Options
2003  Robert C. Merton Keynote Speech at 2003 AIMR Annual Conference
2004 Financial Engineering Graduation Speech, UC Berkeley
2006 Celebrating the Robert C. Merton Professorship, MIT Sloan School of Management, March 28
2006 "How to Pursue Both Comparative Advantage and  Efficient Diversification Risk: An Application of Derivative Securities", Nancy Schwartz Memorial Lecture, Northwestern University, April 5, 2006  View Video.
2006 "Future of Personal Finance", Boston University-Boston Federal Reserve Conference, October 26
2007 CFA Institute Annual Conference, May 2
2008 Keynote, Silver Industry Conference, Singapore
2008 Seminar, National University of Singapore, Singapore
2008 Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Panel Discussion reported in Barron's by Steven M. Sears, May 12, P. 52  
2008 Harvard Business School Panel, "Turmoil on the Street: Fathoming the Financial Crisis," September 23
2008 Harvard University Panel, "Understanding the Crisis in the Markets: A Panel of Harvard Experts," September 25
2008 Boston University, "The Future of Life-Cycle Saving & Investing Conference," October 23 
2008 Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, Conference on Financial Innovation: 35 Years of Black/Scholes and Merton, October 16
2009 Columbia School of Engineering and Physical Science Research Panel
2009 Robert A. Muh Award in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT
2009 Harvard Business School Spring Reunion, "Observations on the Financial Crisis"
2009 Keynote, European Financial Management Association, Milan

  1. Profiled as a pioneer in establishing modern risk management by Risk magazine in its special July 2007 issue celebrating the magazine's 20th anniversary. The story was entitled "A Model Prophet."

  2. Received the 2008 Robert A. Muh Award in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at MIT. The Muh Award honors MIT alumni who have made outstanding contributions in one or more of these fields.

  3. Became a Life Member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, in 2009.

  4. Received the 2009 Tjalling C. Koopmans Asset Award from the Tilburg School of Economics and Management. The award is given to scientists who have made extraordinary contributions to the economic sciences and policy making, and have reached the highest standards of quality in academic research.

  5. Profiled as one of the 40 People of Power & Influence in Finance during the Last 40 Years, by Institutional Investor magazine in its special May 2007 issue celebrating the magazine's 40th anniversary.

  6. Awarded the honorary degree, Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, by Claremont Graduate University, Claremont California at a ceremony on May 17, 2008.

  7. Received the 2008 Distinguished Finance Educator Award from the Financial Education Association.

  8. Honored with the 2010 Kolmogorov Medal and Lecture. The lecture is given annually by distinguished researchers in the field of theoretical computer science, or related mathematical sciences, who made outstanding contributions to developing research directions initiated by Andrei N. Kolmogorov.

  9. Received the 2010 LECG Award for Outstanding Contributions to Financial Economics for his tremendous scholarship and contributions to the field of financial economics.

  10. Winner of the 2003 Graham and Dodd Award for Best Perspectives Article for "Thoughts on the Future: Theory and Practice in Investment Management" (Financial Analysts Journal, January/February 2003).