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MCFAM Advisory Board

Bob Mark

Bob Mark

Black Diamond Risk

Dr. Robert M. Mark is the Founding Chief Executive Officer of Black Diamond Risk.  In 1998, he was awarded the Financial Risk Manager of the Year by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). He is the Vice Chairperson of the Board of the Professional Risk Managers International Association (PRMIA). Dr. Mark has held a variety of senior positions at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) including: Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer (CRO), a member of the Management Committee and Corporate Treasurer. Prior to CIBC, he was a partner at Coopers & Lybrand. He earned his Ph.D. from New York University Graduate School of Engineering.

Carlos Tolmasky

Carlos Tolmasky

MCFAM Assistant Professor

Dr. Tolmasky was part of the founding team of industry practitioners and academics who developed the Master of Financial Mathematics (MFM) program within MCFAM. His research focus is Mathematical Finance.  Prior to his full time appointment at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Tolmasky was a derivatives trader at Cargill Petroleum. He joined Cargill in 1996 as a member of their Research Group focusing on the development and implementation of derivatives models for fixed income and commodities markets. He later joined the petroleum group as a "desk quant" and, more recently, as a derivatives/relative value trader. He holds an undergraduate degree (Licenciado) from the University of Buenos Aires and a PhD in mathematics from the University of Washington.

Chris Gross

Chris Gross

Gross Consulting

Chris Gross has twenty years of experience in the insurance industry, primarily in the area of property casualty insurance.Chris started Gross Consulting, Inc. in 2005. He has served a wide variety of clients across the United States from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, including insurance companies, banks, manufacturers, and governmental entities. He has provided clients with cutting-edge analytical services as well as unique software solutions. Before starting Gross Consulting, Chris was Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of the Financial & Professional Services business group at St Paul Travelers. Chris's various roles during his time there also included catastrophe modeling, tactical and strategic support of reinsurance buying decisions, capital allocation and risk load determination, corporate development and strategy, line of business and large account pricing, reserving, financial planning, and analytical support of the investment and tax departments. Chris has a bachelor's degree in Mathematics and a bachelor's degree in Economics, both from the University of Minnesota. He also is an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Chris is the chairman of the Low Interest Rate Environment Working Party Committee of the Casualty Actuarial Society.

Denis Guenther

Denis Guenthner

The Travelers Companies

Denis is Vice President and Actuary in Travelers Enterprise Risk Management department. One of his major responsibilities is leading the modeling of reserve variability, loss cost inflation, and multi-year underwriting cycle for Travelers' Economic Capital Model. During his 30 years at Travelers, Denis has held numerous chief actuary positions, including roles in Commercial Lines, Personal Lines, and Medical Services. Denis has also managed various non-traditional actuarial roles, including Underwriting Operations for National Accounts. Denis obtained his bachelor's degree in mathematics and economics from the University of South Dakota and his master's degree in economics from Iowa State University.

Galin Jones

Galin Jones

School of Statistics - University of Minnesota

Dr. Galin Jones is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the School of Statistics in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, Twin  Cities. His main research interests include Markov Chain Monte Carlo  methodology, decision theory, biological and environmental applications.  He has a PhD in Statistics from the University of Florida. Dr. Jones has published more than 40 articles in journals like The Annals of Statistics, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Biometrika, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B as well as several subject matter journals.  He has also edited two books, including  the Handbook of Markov Chain Monte Carlo.

Gary Hatfield

Gary Hatfield

Affiliated Faculty and MFM Instructor

Dr. Hatfield is an Actuary for Securian Financial Group in St. Paul (the parent company of Minnesota Life Insurance Company). The focus of his work is financial risk management. He is a key leader in Securian’s risk management function, and serves on the company’s most senior risk committee. He plays a key oversight role in Asset Liability Management and Hedging as well as the development of those functions. In addition, Gary dedicates much of his time to innovation initiatives such as Data Analytics. He earned his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota where he continues to be involved at the School of Mathematics as an Assistant Professor and an Advisory Board Member for MCFAM (Minnesota Center for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics). Dr. Hatfield is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries <https://www.soa.org/member/>, a member of the American
Academy of Actuaries <http://www.actuary.org/> and is also a CFA charter holder. Previous to entering the insurance field in 1998, he taught College Mathematics in St. Peter, Minnesota.

Gary Nan Tie

Gary Nan Tie

Cross Disciplinary Research: Applied Finance: Bridging Theory to Practice

Dr. Gary Nan Tie engages in cross-disciplinary research, discovering connections across disparate fields, bringing new insight, in bridging theory with practice. Previously he was Senior Vice President, Investments, managing Financial Risk & ALM, at Travelers, a Fortune 500 property casualty company providing commercial, specialty, and personal insurance. Prior to that he was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York and earlier held positions at Morgan Stanley, New York and Lockheed, Palo Alto. He is a reviewer for the American Mathematical Society, serves on advisory boards of universities, boards of Minneapolis-Saint Paul non-profits, and practices Aikido. He received his bachelor’s degree in science with first class honours from Monash University, Australia, his master’s degree and doctorate in mathematics from SUNY at Buffalo, and his master’s degree in statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. Always the beginner’s mind!

John Dodson

John Dodson

MFM Instructor

John is Vice President, Quantitative Risk Management at the Options Clearing Corporation in Chicago, which is the principal central counterparty for equity derivatives. Previously, John was with the treasury and investment risk management departments of Ameriprise Financial in Minneapolis. Prior to returning to the midwest, John worked for several major international banks in New York, London, and Zurich. He entered the industry out of college with an appointment at the Bank for International Settlements.

John is an Adjunct professor with MCFAMs Master of Financial Mathematics (MFM) program. In addition to his affiliation with MCFAMs MFM program, John has taught about financial derivatives for the Carlson School of Management and for various industry programs.

John has a BS degree in physics and mathematics from Stanford and an MS degree in computational finance from Carnegie Mellon. John's affiliation with the U of M goes back to the 80's. He was an UMTYMP student and also participated in a mentorship program with the head of the physics department during his high school years.

Tim Finnegan

Tim Finnegan

FSA, MAAA - Thrivent Financial

Tim Finnegan is Director-Analysis and Reporting in the Asset Liability Management area at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. He leads a team whose work includes asset modeling, duration analysis, and surplus risk management. Tim's other actuarial experience includes life valuation and financial reporting, reinsurance, and VUL and VA pricing. Tim is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota and Bachelor degrees in Mathematics and Physics from the University of St. Thomas. Before entering the actuarial world, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at St. Catherine University.

Shuzhong Zhang

Shuzhong Zhang

Industrial and System Engneering - University of Minnesota

Shuzhong Zhang is Professor and Head of Department of Industrial and System Engineering, University of Minnesota. He received a B.Sc. degree in Applied Mathematics from Fudan University in 1984, and a Ph.D degree in Operations Research and Econometrics from the Tinbergen Institute, Erasmus University, in 1991. He had held faculty positions at Department of Econometrics, University of Groningen (1991-1993), and Econometric Institute, Erasmus University (1993-1999), and Department of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (1999-2010). He received the Erasmus University Research Prize in 1999, the CUHK Vice-Chancellor Exemplary Teaching Award in 2001, the SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize in 2003, and the IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award in 2010. Dr. Zhang was an elected Council Member at Large of the MPS (Mathematical Programming Society) (2006-2009), and served as Vice-President of the Operations Research Society of China (ORSC) (2008-2012). He serves on the Editorial Board of several academic journals, including Operations Research, and SIAM Journal on Optimization.