Advisory Board


The CFRM program is pleased to announce its external Advisory Board:

  • Robert Almgren, Co-Founder, Quantitative Brokers

  • Keith Ferguson, CIO, UW Investment Management

  • Bob Litterman, Senior Partner, Kepos Capital

  • John McMurray, CRO, Russell Investments

  • George Papanicolaou, Professor of Mathematics, Stanford University

  • David Stein, CIO, Parametric Portfolio Associates

  • John Stewart, CRO, Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle

  • George Zinn, Corporate VP and Treasurer, Microsoft



Robert Almgren, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Quantitative Brokers

Dr. Robert Almgren is co-founder of Quantitative Brokers which provides agency algorithmic execution and cost measurement in futures and fixed incoming, and Fellow in the Mathematics in Finance Program at New York University. Until 2008, Dr. Almgren was a Managing Director and Head of Quantitative Strategies in the Electronic Trading Services group of Bank of America Securities. From 2000-2005, he was a tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Toronto, and Director of its Master of Mathematical Finance program. Before that, he was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago and Associate Director of the Program on Financial Mathematics. He has an extensive research record in applied mathematics, including papers on optimal trading, transaction cost measurement, and portfolio construction.

Education: Dr. Almgren holds a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Princeton University.


Keith Ferguson, MBA, CIP, Chief Investment Officer, University of Washington Investment Management

Keith Ferguson is currently the Chief Investment Officer at the University of Washington in Seattle.    Mr. Ferguson has over twenty years of experience in the investment business, primarily working as a portfolio manager and research analyst.   Prior to his current role, Mr. Ferguson worked for Fidelity Investments in senior investment roles, including Chief Investment Officer for Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong.

Education:  Mr. Ferguson received a B.A. degree from Princeton University and an MBA degree from the University of Washington.   


Bob Litterman, Ph.D., Senior Partner and Chairman of Risk Committee, Kepos Capital

Bob is a senior partner and chairman of the risk committee and the academic advisory board at Kepos Capital, a New York based hedge fund.  Bob retired in 2009 from a 23-year career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in research, risk management, investments and thought leadership roles.  He also spent six years as one of three external advisors to Singapore‘s sovereign wealth fund, the Government Investment Corporation (GIC). Bob was named a partner of Goldman Sachs in 1994 and at that time was asked to head the newly created firm-wide risk management function. Prior to that role, he was co-head of the Fixed Income Research and Model Development Group with Fischer Black. During his tenure at Goldman, Bob researched and published a number of groundbreaking papers in asset allocation and risk management. He is the co-developer of the Black-Litterman Global Asset Allocation Model, a key tool in investment management, and has co-authored books including The Practice of Risk Management and Modern Investment Management: An Equilibrium Approach (Wiley & Co.). He currently serves on a number of boards, including Commonfund, the Sloan Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, the Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute at the University of Minnesota, and the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

Education: B.S. in Human Biology, Stanford University in 1973 and Ph.D. in Economics from University of Minnesota in 1980.


John McMurray, MBA, Chief Risk Officer, Russell Investments

John McMurray is chief risk officer for Russell Investments. John’s background includes more than 25 years of risk and investment management at large commercial and government sponsored institutions with managed assets exceeding one trillion U.S. dollars. His experience spans multiple asset classes across multiple market cycles. John’s risk management experience encompasses consumer, commercial and counterparty market and credit exposures for securities, options, whole loans, derivatives, guarantees and insurance.  He is a Charted Financial Analyst and a Certified Public Accountant. John has been a featured presenter at Federal Reserve and American Securitization Forum conferences, where he introduced techniques to quantify risk characteristics and expressed early warnings about the mortgage and real estate markets.

Education: BSBA from Trinity University in San Antonio, MBA from the University of Texas and M.S. from MIT.


George C. Papanicolaou, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics, Stanford University

George C. Papanicolaou is currently the Robert Grimmett Professor in Mathematics at Stanford University. Besides his former focus on the analysis of waves and diffusion in inhomogeneous or random media, his recent research interests also include financial mathematics, especially the use of asymptotics for stochastic equations in analyzing complex models of financial markets and in data analysis. He has published several articles in financial mathematics including a book on the analysis of stochastic volatility models (

Education: M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1967 and 1969, respecitively from New York University Courant Institute.


David Stein, Ph.D., Chief Investment Officer, Parametric Portfolio Associates

Mr. Stein leads Parametric’s Investment, Research and Technology activities. David’s experience in the investment industry dates back to 1987. Prior to joining Parametric in 1996, he held senior research, development and portfolio management positions at GTE Investment Management Corp., The Vanguard Group, and IBM Retirement Funds. He has additional experience as a Research Scientist with IBM Research Laboratories where he designed computer hardware and software systems. He has served on the After-Tax Subcommittee of the AIMR-PPS standards committee, and on the advisory board of the Journal of Wealth Management. David holds a number of patents and is published in multiple academic journals, including Mathematics of Operations Research, The Journal of Wealth Management and the Journal of Portfolio Management.

Education: B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa,  Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University.


John Stewart, Ph.D., Chief Risk Officer, Federal Home Loan Bank Seattle

John is currently the Chief Risk Officer at Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle since 2010, where he has oversight responsibilities for Enterprise Risk Management including Credit Risk, Market Risk and Operational Risk functions. Mr. Stewart was previously Senior Manager, Consulting and Valuations with Moss Adams in Seattle, where he was responsible for portfolio management strategies including valuation of complex financial instruments, risk quantification approaches, enterprise risk management, risk-adjusted performance measurement, management reporting, and regulatory compliance. In addition, he was SVP Risk Quantification with JP Morgan Chase-WAMU for seven years, where he was the Basel II Program Owner and Economic Capital group leader.

Education: Mr. Stewart received a B.A. degree in Philosophy as well as a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities, and a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. He is also a CFA Charterholder.


George Zinn, MBA, Corporate Vice President and Treasurer, Microsoft

George Zinn is responsible for investing and managing Microsoft’s corporate assets.  He leads a group which manages the company's worldwide financial and corporate risk, investment portfolio, strategic portfolio, foreign exchange, corporate and structured project finance, dilution management, cash and liquidity, customer financing and collection activities. Zinn led Microsoft's inaugural debt issuance which was awarded AAA credit rating. Additionally, he is a fiduciary for the company's defined contribution plan.  In 2009, George was recognized by Treasury & Risk Management Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Finance.  George began his career on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and his previous role at Microsoft was Chief Financial Officer of the Intellectual Property & Licensing Division.  Zinn serves on the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) Investment Advisory Board.

Education: B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies, with a minor in Romance Languages, from Bowdoin College in 1988, and  M.B.A. from the University of Washington in 1998.