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Steven Risack, MSRM ’12

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Steve was already enrolled in the Stern MSRM program when he was interviewing for his current position as vice president for risk management analytics in the institutional sales division of MSCI Inc. That clear commitment to the risk management space, he says, helped him get the job.  That was more than three years ago, and his ROI from the program has never stopped. “From day one on the job I was able to explicitly use concepts I learned in the Stern MSRM program,” he says.
Raised in the New York Metro area, Steve had his eye on the fast-paced world of finance from the get-go, working as a trader for several years prior to entering the MSRM program. The financial crisis of 2008 spurred him to reevaluate his career path: “After my experiences as an institutional equity trader during the financial crisis, I knew that an expanded knowledge regarding risk management could make me a more effective trader. With all of the new regulations enacted after the crisis, I believed that there would be a greater pool of professional opportunities available to people who had a deeper education and knowledge of risk management. After all, there’s a saying on the street that the best traders are also the best risk managers.” Additionally, the global structure of Stern’s program was unique, in his view, and promised the multidimensional level of perspective he sought.
An avid skier, golfer, and paraglider, Steve took Stern’s challenge to master risk management principles and ran with it. “The faculty's experience and knowledge of the subject matter was outstanding,” he says. “The up-to-date material taught by the faculty combined with real-life experiences made for a unique learning environment.  And the varied and in-depth professional experience of the cohort drove the lectures beyond what had been my previous experience with academic courses.”
As Steve was moving into his new position at MSCI, the material he was learning at Stern proved immediately useful. “On a daily basis I need to be able translate in depth risk management analytic concepts into high level discussions regarding analytic products,” he explains. “The knowledge and experience the Stern program gave me not only helped me get into the space, I also use this information every day to help my clients find the right products to meet their risk management needs.”
In Steve’s opinion, the Stern MSRM program is “invaluable” to someone looking to get into the risk management space. Even more generally, “The program would benefit anyone who already has business experience and is looking for a more defined career path, or someone who is working in risk today and might need his or her skill set broadened out to understand the drivers of risk from an enterprise level.”