Nobel Laureate Speaks at UNSW Business School Celebration: MBA News |

Nobel Laureate Speaks at UNSW Business School Celebration: MBA News

By Tim Dhoul

Updated September 5, 2019 Updated September 5, 2019

Image: Jean-Philippe Menard /

Nobel laureate in the field of economic sciences and MIT Sloan professor, Robert Merton, gave the keynote address in the 25th anniversary celebrations held in honor of UNSW Business School’s School of Banking and Finance – a school that prides itself on the strength and influence of its research.

Merton, a distinguished finance professor at MIT Sloan, spoke about the role financial markets play in an economy at the event, held at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Faculty and alumni of the school as well as industry leaders were in attendance to hear from the Nobel laureate.  

MIT Sloan professor awarded Nobel Prize in 1997

UNSW Business School’s guest became a Nobel laureate in 1997, when Robert Merton was recognized, along with Myron Scholes, for the creation of a new method for determining the value of financial derivatives – one which expanded a mathematical understanding of the Black–Scholes model.

A PhD graduate of MIT Sloan, Merton spent close to 20 years on the school’s finance faculty before leaving to join Harvard Business School in 1988, where he remained until 2010 - at which point the Nobel laureate returned to MIT Sloan.

Launched in 1989, UNSW Business School’s research-led School of Banking and Finance offers specialized master’s programs and is one of eight branches of the Sydney-based school, which additionally encompasses the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) and its roster of MBA and EMBA programs.

The banking and finance school, meanwhile, counts Mark Bouris, founder and chairman of financial services firm, Yellow Brick Road, among its alumni. Bouris hosted Australia’s short-lived version of The Apprentice, staying on for its more popular successor The Celebrity Apprentice Australia.

“The school has produced exciting innovations that have not only affected academic research and teaching in Australia but have influenced the operation of markets, such as in market surveillance and corporate disclosure,” Jerry Parwada, the banking and finance school’s head, said in a press release.

Australia and UNSW Business School prepare for ‘suit Olympics’

Although Brisbane was chosen ahead of Sydney (for logistical reasons), finance faculty at UNSW Business School are gearing up for the G20 summit that will be held later this week, November 15-16 2014.

The summit is set to be the largest ever gathering of world leaders in Australian history, according to UNSW, and rounds off the country’s G20 presidency.  

The 20 countries that make up the G20 account for approximately 85% of the world’s GDP and 75% of the world’s trade, and will have plenty to ponder at the summit, according to UNSW Business School’s James Morley:

“While the US is finally exiting quantitative easing, Japan has just engaged in another massive round on monetary stimulus to try to avoid deflation and possibly kick start its long-struggling economy. Currency markets have been going wild in response."

"One thing is for certain, Brisbane will aim to put on a bigger and grander G20 than Russia did last year. And it's likely to cost more. It's like the 'suit Olympics' with each host city trying to outdo the previous host,” said Tim Harcourt, economics fellow at the school.

This article was originally published in November 2014 . It was last updated in September 2019

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Written by

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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