Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  • Retired Distinguished Professor


Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent more than 20 years as a derivatives trader specializing in:

  • hedging nonlinear risks,
  • managing payoffs under complicated probability distributions, 

before starting a full-time career in research in the field of risk management and applied probability. 

Before becoming a researcher, he held senior positions with major financial institutions: Credit Suisse First Boston, UBS, BNP-Paribas, Indosuez (now Calyon), Bankers Trust (now Deutsche Bank). He also worked as an independent pit trader and ran his own derivatives firm for 6 years.

Taleb has also been involved in risk-based policy making, advising various heads of states, U.S. agencies, and international organizations on model error and the detection and mitigation of tail exposures. He has also has testified twice for the United States Congress.

Taleb holds a PhD from the University of Paris and an MBA from the Wharton School. He is the author of the Incerto, a 5-volume essay on uncertainty (Antifragile, The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, The Bed of Procrustes, andSkin in the Game), and Dynamic Hedging (1997), a technical clinical book on derivatives, in addition to The Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails, a freely available technical book (and reexpression of the Incerto) in applied probability theory.

Taleb's books have more than 120 translations in 35 languages. Since starting his academic career, he has written more than 65 scholarly papers across various aspects of risk and probability. In 2011, he was listed among the Bloomberg 50 most influential persons in the world (policy makers, bankers, corporate leaders) in Finance. He is one of the 25 most influential graduates of the Wharton School.

Taleb received numerous prizes and accolades and honory doctorates, but the only one he is really proud of is the Wolfram Award for Innovation, granted by Stephen Wolfram for his contributions to computational probability.



Research Interests
Risk, Tail Risk, Quantitative Finance, Applied Probability

Derivatives Trader, December 1984 to January 2005
Bankers Trust (now Deutsche), UBS, CS First Boston, Indosuez, BNP-Paribas, Empirica Capital LLC, Chicago Mercantile Exchange (floor trader)

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU, December 1999 to December 2005
Fellow Math Finance Program, Adjunct Professor of Mathematics

London Business School, December 2007 to January 2009
Visiting Research Professor

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, January 2005 to January 2006
Dean's Professor, Decision Sciences

Journal Articles

Authored/Edited Books

  • The Incerto, 4 volume  (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly ImprobableThe Bed of Procrustes,  Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets.) 2001-2012
  • Dynamic Hedging: Managing Vanilla and Exotic Options. New york: John Wiley & Sons. (1997)