Morgan Stanley’s Peter Carr, Noted Derivatives Expert, to Chair NYU Tandon Finance and Risk Engineering

Lays Out Plans to Attract Additional Stellar Practitioners to One of the Oldest and Largest Financial Engineering Educational Programs

Peter Carr

One of Morgan Stanley’s top quants is returning to his academic roots full time, as chair of one of the world’s oldest and largest financial engineering programs. The NYU Tandon School of Engineering announced it appointed Peter P. Carr — managing director and head of market modeling at Morgan Stanley since 2010 — chair of its Department of Finance and Risk Engineering.

Carr, a recognized expert on derivatives who has produced seminal work on volatility, remained a prolific researcher and adjunct professor throughout his professional career at Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg LP, and Banc of America Securities.

He was honored as Quant of the Year by Risk Magazine, shared the ISA Medal for Science from the University of Bologna, and was named Financial Engineer of the Year by the International Association of Financial Engineers (IAFE) and SunGard. Willmott Magazine gave him its Cutting Edge Research award, and Institutional Investor named him to its Tech 50 list of financial industry technology leaders from 2011 to 2014. Over the years, his research garnered four best paper awards from professional and academic associations. Since launching his career as a faculty member at Cornell University, he authored or co-authored more than 85 articles and served as an associate editor for nine leading academic journals.

“We are pleased to welcome Peter Carr to NYU Tandon as the chair of our Finance and Risk Engineering Department, which is so integral to the health of New York City’s financial sector and the world’s economy,” said Dean Katepalli R. Sreenivasan. “Peter is an excellent academic researcher and practitioner in the world of finance, and I have every confidence that he will maintain the program's distinctiveness of practical focus while raising its research profile. His passion and knowledge will invigorate a program that has a long history of excellence.”

Carr has begun his search for industry professionals who will reach beyond the traditional teaching duties of adjuncts; they will also explore cutting-edge research in the academic program known for bridging theory and practice.

“Some of New York City’s foremost financial engineers have expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity to break new research ground in the field for which NYU Tandon is already known: preventing catastrophic financial loss,” Carr said. 

“Working alongside tenured faculty, these adjunct professors will not only advance the world’s understanding of the markets but will offer students inside insight into economics, finance, applied quantitative finance, actuarial science, and financial technology in the classroom,” he continued. “The combination of scholarly and practical contributions of Nassim Taleb will encourage other thought leaders in our field to explore the academic opportunities offered by NYU Tandon.” Taleb, author of The Black Swan and other scholarly books that brought risk engineering into the public eye, is well known as one of the department’s foremost practitioner-scholars. He serves as NYU Tandon distinguished professor of risk engineering.

Financial engineering at NYU Tandon dates to 1995, when the school — then called Polytechnic University — launched the second such program in the country and the first certified by the IAFE. From the start, the rigorous program focused on preparing students for Wall Street careers in portfolio management and derivatives and drew heavily from internationally recognized professionals as adjuncts and full-time faculty.

Topfer Chair Professor Charles Tapiero established the department in 2005 and led it to a period of growth. “Professor Tapiero fostered a culture of excellence within the department, attracting professors who bridged theory and practice and who opened students’ horizons to the future of finance,” Carr said.

While the master’s degree program offered today continues to address global issues, it also prepares students for careers that barely existed in 1995, such as high-speed trading, and for risk engineering careers that increased in complexity and demand with the Dodd-Frank law that arose from the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The NYU Tandon program educates about 300 graduate students. Its affiliated faculty includes quants, traders, hedge fund managers, and academics-turned-practitioners.

Although Carr is known chiefly for his tenure in industry, he started his career as an academic. After receiving his doctorate in finance from the University of California, Los Angeles, Carr served as a finance professor for eight years at Cornell University. He then joined Morgan Stanley as a vice president and soon thereafter accepted an appointment as an adjunct professor at Columbia University. He continued to teach there part time after he became principal at Banc of America Securities. In 1997, he became a visiting member of the faculty of NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and has served 13 years as director or executive director of its Mathematics in Finance Master’s Degree Program. He remains a fellow at Courant. He was appointed head of Quantitative Financial Research at Bloomberg in 2003 and global head of Market Modeling at Morgan Stanley in 2010.

Born in Canada, Carr holds dual citizenship and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting and economics from the University of Toronto.

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, when the NYU School of Civil Engineering and Architecture as well as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly) were founded. Their successor institutions merged in January 2014 to create a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to programs at its main campus in downtown Brooklyn, it is closely connected to engineering programs in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, and it operates business incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn.