Today, we speak to Professor John Hull, Maple Financial Group Chair in Derivatives and Risk Management here at Rotman and a scholarly legend in finance. He literally wrote the book on derivatives (really, check your textbooks!). He is also a co-director of Rotman’s Master of Financial Risk Management (MFRM) program.
Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background and what brings you to the MFRM program?
I’ve been at Rotman for longer that I can remember—around 25 years. My main areas of finance expertise are in derivatives and risk management. Rotman is very unique amongst business schools because we have a big concentration of faculty in risk management; people like Peter Christoffersen, Alan White, Tom McCurdy and myself. So the MFRM is a natural fit for me and for Rotman. We are absolutely delighted with the students we have taught in the program so far.
In your opinion, how do students benefit from this program?
The main advantage for students entering the MFRM is that it will give them a head-start in the job market, especially in terms of leveraging their quantitative skills to find their first job. This program is for anyone who wants to start a career in finance simply because financial institutions have been increasing their head count in risk management very fast and continue to do so. In fact, risk management is a great area to work for, as it often provides an opportunity to gain a wider perspective on what the whole financial institution is all about and to engage with a wider range of people.
Since the 2008 crisis it has become clear that nobody should become a CEO of a financial institution without having spent some time in risk management.
What distinguishes Rotman’s MFRM to other programs that require a sophisticated understanding of finance and high-level of quantitative skills?
All our Rotman MFRM courses have an applied focus; after all, we are a business school. I think the difference between doing a program like this at a business school and doing it somewhere else is that our underlying discipline is management; therefore, we think about what the students really have to know from a management and communications point of view to excel in this area.
Could you tell us about Rotman’s connections to industry?
Rotman has incredible connections to industry that we leverage extensively. For example, one of the first things we did when creating the program was set up an MFRM advisory board. The MFRM advisory board are instrumental in connecting us to the latest development in the industry. Board members currently include people at the senior vice president level from all the major financial institutions in Toronto and Montreal, and one of the financial institutions in New York and London.
We’ve also invited alumni from Rotman’s Master of Finance who are currently in senior positions in risk management to join the advisory board. These alumni are a great addition because they are very well informed and are fantastic ambassadors for the School.
The Chairman of Advisory Board is Richard Nesbitt, a Rotman adjunct professor and the CEO of the Global Risk Institute. In fact, we’ve worked very closely with the Global Risk Institute in setting up this program. Stay tuned because, very soon, we’ll be putting the Advisory Board on the website.
The Master of Financial Risk Management is a full time program designed to prepare ambitious young professionals for careers in risk management and finance.