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How I Became a Quant - Washington DC

  • 28 Feb 2024
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (EST)
  • 2201 G street, School of Business, Funger Hall suite 108. Washington DC, NW 20052


Registration is closed

Financial Engineers Give a Personal View of Their Careers in Quantitative Finance

A Series of Panel Discussions for Students Interested in a Career in Quantitative Finance

Wednesday, February 28th

Program: 6:30 p.m.

Reception: 8:30 p.m.

2201 G Street,

Funger Hall Auditorium 103

Washington, DC 20052

In Partnership with

The George Washington University

School of Business


Mahmut Sen, Worldbank

Ryan Henning, Freddie Mac

Steve Holden, Fannie Mae

Svein Backer, Lockheed Martin Investment Management Company


Stephen Young, Wells Fargo

Registration is Free!

Sponsored by:

Panelist Biographies

Moderator: Stephen Young

Stephen D. Young works in the Wealth & Investment Management (WIM) division of Wells Fargo and is the Head of Market Risk and Advanced Analytics for WIM’s Investment Risk organization. Prior to this current role, Stephen worked in the WIM division of Wells Fargo as the Head of Investment and Market Risk for Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM). At a time when WFAM had several partly or wholly owned affiliates, Stephen served as the Chief Risk Officer for the Affiliated Managers Division of Wells Fargo. Over his tenure at Wachovia and Wells Fargo Stephen has held various positions including the Head of the Option Strategies Group for Evergreen Investments, Head of Wachovia’s Credit & Counterparty Risk Analytics Group, Director of Risk Oversight, and he also worked in Wachovia’s Equity Derivatives Group.

Prior to joining Wachovia, Stephen was with Merrill Lynch and Sterling Investments. Stephen has published in peer-reviewed academic and practitioner journals including Journal of Derivatives, Journal of Fixed Income, Journal of Futures Markets, Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, and others. Dr. Young is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University (GWU) (2005 – Present) where he teaches Cases in Financial Modeling and Engineering (GWU, School of Business, MS Finance Program), Stochastic Processes in Engineering, and Uncertainty Analysis in Engineering (GWU, School of Engineering and Applied Science, MS Electrical Engineering Program). Dr. Young has also taught at the Seoul School of Integrated Sciences and Technologies in Seoul, South Korea (2006 – 2013, Cases in Financial Modeling and Engineering) and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte (UNCC) (2015 – 2020, Asset and Portfolio Management, UNCC, Belk College of Business, MS Math Finance Program).

Stephen holds a BA in Economics from LIU, CW Post College, MBA in Finance from The George Washington University, MS in Finance from The George Washington University, MS in Predictive Analytics (Data Science) from Northwestern University, and a Doctorate in Engineering (D.Eng.) from The George Washington University, School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), with coursework focused on systems engineering and methods of operations research. Dr. Young has earned the right to use the Professional Risk Manager (PRM) designation and has earned the Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF).

Mahmut Sen: 

Mahmut Rustem Sen is part of ALM and Policy (CMIAP,) focusing on issues and policies that impact the balance sheet dynamics. Before joining CMIAP, he was the head of the Portfolio Analytics in QSA responsible for i) providing analytics to investment, funding, and ALM desks; ii) capacity building for central banks, sovereign pension and oil funds; iii) risk analysis for multi-asset portfolios; iv) quantitative and financial solutions and frameworks for internal and external partners. His experiences include asset management; market, credit, counterparty, liquidity, and enterprise risks; risk budgeting; ALM; economic capital; capital adequacy; RAROC; structuring; and central bank reserve management.

Prior to joining the WB, he was Financial Analysis Manager and Senior Risk Research Analyst at Freddie Mac, providing analytics on MBS, ALM, hedging, economic capital, and regulatory capital; teaching assistant at the George Washington University; and intern at Salomon Smith Barney.

He holds MS Finance from the George Washington University, BSc in Industrial Engineering from Marmara University, and completed “Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict & Courage” from Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education. He is a PRM charter holder from PRMIA.

Ryan Henning:

Ryan Henning is the Head of Financial Engineering at Freddie Mac, a position he has held for most of his 24 year career. In this role he oversees the implementation of the firm's models and risk systems, as well as model governance and model data engineering for a $3+T balance sheet that helps provide stability and liquidity for our nation's housing stock.

Models and systems produced by Financial Engineering support automated underwriting, distressed borrower and property decisions, capital markets trading, debt issuance and redemption, market and credit risk management, collateral valuation, credit risk transfer, hedge accounting, loan loss reserves, regulatory capital, stress testing, balance sheet forecasting, and corporate strategy. The Enterprise Model Governance function works across all lines of defense to ensure a safe and sound environment for model development, implementation, and use across all business lines, which includes the governance of AI/ML. The Data Engineering function supplies curated data sets for the construction of models and supports the modelers with data quality and model monitoring services.

Mr. Henning has degrees in Computer Science, Finance and Accounting from St. Bonaventure University, and a Masters in Computational Finance from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds CFA and FRM designations.

Steve Holden

Steve Holden is Fannie Mae's Senior Vice President-Single-Family Analytics, reporting to the Executive Vice President – Single Family Business.

Holden leads a group of data science professionals that support loan underwriting, pricing and acquisition, securitization, loss mitigation, and loan liquidation for the company’s multi-trillion-dollar Single-Family mortgage portfolio. He also holds Enterprise-wide accountability for all Generative AI initiatives at Fannie Mae. His team delivers real-time analytic solutions, guiding the thousands of daily business decisions needed to manage a mortgage portfolio of this magnitude. The team includes experts in econometric models, machine learning, data engineering, data visualization, software engineering, and analytic infrastructure design.

Experience: Previously, Holden was Vice President – Credit Portfolio Management Analytics. Prior to joining Fannie Mae in 1999, he served in several analytic leadership roles. Holden spent the early part of his career working on economic issues at the Economic Strategy Institute and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education: Holden has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Toronto, a Master of Arts in economics from Queen's University, and a Doctorate in economics from Johns Hopkins University.

Svein Backer

Svein is the Managing Director of Global Equities at Lockheed Martin Investment Management Company and Head of Internally Managed Equities (four Global Equity portfolios). The internally managed equity group consists of a team of 3 professionals in Bethesda/MD (PM + 2 analysts) and manage approximately US$ 850 million.

Prior to Lockheed Martin, Svein was the Director of Public Securities for Dow Chemical's Pension Investments group. At Dow he managed its in-house $880 million equity and $1.9Bn fixed income portfolios as well as serving on the pension plan's Investment Policy Committee.

Svein has 30 years of experience in global financial markets as an analyst, portfolio manager and strategist. Over his career he has managed European, EAFE, US and Global equity portfolios. He has served as Chairman of the Northern Trust Corporation's Global Asset Allocation Committee as well as International Portfolio Strategist at Driehaus Capital Management.

Svein is a dual US and Norwegian citizen. He received his Masters of Business Administration in 1997 from the University of Chicago with concentration in Finance, International Business, and Business Economics. He received his Bachelor's of Business Administration Magna Cum Laude in Finance from the Loyola University of Chicago in 1992. In 1987, he graduated from the Norwegian Army Infantry Military Academy and in 1985 he completed the Norwegian Army Officer Candidate School for Field Artillery.