MSc in Mathematical Finance - Alumni profiles

Paul Bilokon

Head Quant, Director, Markets Electronic Trading, Deutsche Bank and Founder, Thalesians Ltd

Finished course: 2016

As a result of taking the course, I improved my knowledge of quantitative finance significantly, moved on to senior roles, eventually managing highly technical quant teams spanning three continents and founded a leading quantitative fintech featured on Bloomberg and Newsweek. Thoroughly recommended to all aspiring leaders in mathematical and computational finance.

 

David Walsh-Jones

Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting

Finished course: 2014

I had planned to study postgraduate mathematics upon completion of my undergraduate degree, but circumstances changed and seven years later I found myself working as a management consultant with investment banks in London. When exploring my options for further education, I came across the MSc. in Mathematical Finance at Oxford, which enabled me to continue working full time while devoting myself to mathematics for week-long blocks during each module. The MSc. not only provided me with a technical understanding of financial market instruments, models and strategies, enabling me to engage more knowledgeably with my clients, but it also re-kindled my enthusiasm for research and the pursuit of knowledge. I found the course challenging, but by the time I began researching my dissertation I was not alone in making additional trips to Oxford whenever I could find time; to work in the college library or the Mathematical Institute, take guests to formal hall, or attend MCR events in my college. To anyone considering whether this course is for them - know that it will be hard work, but one of the best investments you will make.

Ran Chen

'The course has given me the opportunity to meet really smart classmates working as quants in the industry, with them we share insights as to how mathematics are applied in what they are working on. If one aspires to be in a quantitative function, this is really valuable input! I myself work in market risk and the course has taught me the useful machinery to understand the models for valuation and risk, which is tremendously helpful for me to grasp the limitations and uncertainties on relying on these models for complex products. Hence the course is extremely useful and changed a lot of my perspective on financial products.'

 

Alexey Simonov

'I decided to get a formal degree in Mathematical Finance long after finishing my graduate degree in Applied Mathematics in Russia. My search of the most appropriate program was over once I realised that it is possible to combine career in the City with study at Oxford. All other programs of this caliber require you to devote full time to the study. But I knew that full time study is not a good fit with my personality. I have to intersperse study and work. I was unsure though if I was going to be admitted given that I have not practiced maths for many years. And indeed I required to review the basic topics like linear algebra and probability. Once in the lecture room I realised that study is much more fun when it is done the way they do it in Oxford. Having gone through the Russian education system I firmly believe that teaching methods used on this program are better suited for my personality. The explanations are more intuitive and the assignments are very practical.

The teaching is done by both Mathematical Institute staff and visiting practitioners. Students have full access to people considered to be the top of the field in mathematical finance. Another fantastic aspect of being at Oxford was intellectual exchange with individuals from all over the world and who have similar interests. As part of the program we had to join one of the Oxford colleges and this allows one to fully participate in the university life. I discovered that I can always go back to Oxford for a weekend and spend time in my college or a library, either doing assignments or spending time with fellow full-time graduate students. I even learned how to play cricket! Oxford black tie dinners and balls are also perks of being a college student.

The program helped my career tremendously. I now work on much more interesting projects than I used to. And I have a wider choice of possible jobs that I can do. In short, this program is simply unique in almost all aspects: curriculum, staff, networking and career opportunities, possibility to combine busy working life with intense study periods in Oxford, ability to participate in the university life.'

 

Lydia Shamrakov

'The MSc in Mathematical Finance at Oxford University provided the perfect fit for what I was looking for in a degree. The course enabled me to study the specific area of finance that I am interested in at one of the world's leading universities and to continue to work full time. At the same time I still had the opportunity to sample some student life during the residential modules.
I found the course content interesting, motivating and challenging and it certainly advanced my technical knowledge in the area of mathematical finance. The course had an impressive panel of tutors, enabling us to learn first-hand from some of those driving the academic and practical advancements in mathematical finance. The module-based nature of the course allowed to plan my time for studying and assignments well in advance which proved very helpful whilst working full-time. And last but not the least, the course gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of bright, interesting and very intelligent people from all over the world, my fellow MSc Maths Finance students. Since finishing the course I have reconsidered my career path and have moved to work in an investment bank.'

 

Dr Christopher M. Cormack

'On starting the course I was a relative novice in the area of finance after leaving academia. Through the 2 years of the Masters program not only has my knowledge of the mathematical theory developed but I have gained an understanding of the more practical issues of mathematical finance. With world renowned academics and importantly practitioners the Oxford course has arguably the best combination both. The course is residential in nature and brings back the feel of student days, which helps focus learning without the distraction of your daily job and brings together the young generation of future achievers in a friendly atmosphere of stimulating discussion, which doesn't have to be all maths!
Personally I regard my choice of attending the Oxford course as one of the best I have ever taken - I am now working in a Hedge Fund in the area of mathematical finance.'

 

Edgardo Palombini

'I applied to this program because I was looking for a mathematical finance course offered by a top university, standing out in its faculty, with a part-time schedule suitable for students coming from outside the UK. I have an economics background and I have worked as an economist at the Bank of Italy and at the Italian Deposit Insurance Institution, so the course was quite challenging because most topics are highly mathematically oriented. Nonetheless the program turned out to be very enjoyable and successful in giving me a good mathematical understanding of financial derivatives and knowledge of many numerical and modelling techniques. Furthermore, it was extremely pleasant to be in Oxford on a regular basis, enjoying the college life almost as a residential student and meeting people with so different experiences and backgrounds.'

 

Vaughan Robinson

'After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, I found I had a significant amount of free time on my hands, no longer having to study for professional exams. I had studied Maths at university and felt that now was a good time to renew that interest. However, I wanted a course that was practical. The MSc has fitted the criteria perfectly. The demands on my time have not been too onerous and I feel I have learnt a significant amount and improved my skill base. I have also recently left the accounting practice to work for an investment bank.'

 

Bruce Cordingley 

'I am President and CEO of the Pedrox Companies which develops, finances and owns apartment communities in several streets in the U.S.I am pursuing the MSc degree to learn the financial tools that are now used in the traded equity and bond markets to gain insights into how they can be applied to new real estate finance.'