Friday , 29 September 2023

Andrew’s Life After High School

What have I done since high school?

I have spent a lifetime in applying the math skills I started honing at BCIVS. I graduated from Queen’s, also got my master’s degree there, and then a Ph.D. at U of T. After moving to the United States in 1968, I gradually shifted into finance, specializing in bonds. Don’t ask me about stocks.

Initially I worked in the Idea Factory known as Bell Labs, when it functioned as the research arm of Ma Bell. Back then Bell Labs was on the cutting edge of science, manufacturing and communication.

I worked on a simple question —how do you value the options embedded in debt instruments like bonds or home mortgages?

The answers to these questions led me to Wall Street — I spent nearly a decade at Salomon Brothers, where I put these valuation theories into practice.

In 1990 I struck out on my own and formed my own debt management consulting business. We develop cutting edge software for bonds, licensed by some of the top firms on Wall Street. I am still working, but it’s time to phase out.

My writing and advances derived from a simple, relatively straightforward theory and have garnered some laurels – in 1997 I was inducted into the Fixed Income Analysts Society Hall of Fame.

Academically I taught both full and part-time at Fordham, Wharton and Columbia Universities. In 1995 I was the founding director of the first graduate program in Financial Engineering, at Polytechnic University (now part of NYU).

I married Jill in 1965. We raised two daughters, Daphne and Leah. I am the proud grandpa of two soccer playing grandsons.

Through it all I have maintained my contacts with Canada, returning each summer to our cottage at Hudson’s Point, until my mother died in 2017.

I developed two passions in my school years that I have continued to pursue in my spare time — chess and kayaking.

I played in several Canadian chess championships, including a memorable one in Brockville in 1961, sponsored by George and Josephine Fulford.

I was a member of the Canadian team at the Chess Olympiad in Havana in 1966, where I received a custom-made cigar from Fidel. And yes, I inhaled (and then turned green).

Although I stopped playing competitive chess after the Olympiad, I still spend many frustrating hours composing problems, specializing in an obscure genre called helpmate.

If I can offer a moral, it is that simple questions can take you a long way in life. You just have to be sure you choose the right ones.

(Editor’s Note: Check out further information on Andrew sourced from Wikipedia and his company’s web site.)