Robert C. Merton is the School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the John and Natty McArthur University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. His research focuses on finance theory, including lifecycle and retirement finance, optimal portfolio selection, capital asset pricing, pricing of derivative securities, credit risk, loan guarantees, financial innovation, the dynamics of institutional change, and improving the methods of measuring and managing macro-financial systemic risk.
He was the George Fisher Baker Professor of Business Administration (1988–98) and the John and Natty McArthur University Professor (1998–2010) at Harvard Business School. After receiving a PhD in Economics from MIT in 1970, Merton served on the finance faculty of MIT’s Sloan School of Management until 1988, at which time he was the J.C. Penney Professor of Management.
Merton received the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1997 for a new method to determine the value of derivatives. He received a BS in engineering mathematics from Columbia University, an MSin applied mathematics from California Institute of Technology, a PhD in economics from MIT, and honorary degrees from eighteen universities.