Please assess


New Member
Dear Friends,

I planning to apply for MSc in Financial Math this year. There are two issues I would be grateful you share your thoughts on:

I am 34 y.o. In 1996 I graduated from SPb State University (Russia) MSc + BSc in Applied Math and Mechanics, in 2002 - Law from the same university, in 2004 - LLM in Commercial Law from the University of Edinburgh. For ten years I have been running a business consultancy company in which I am a director. I do mostly financial and law advice in M&A, joint ventures. By the time I do MSc Financial Math I will be 35. Now two questions:

1. Am I too old for a quant?

2. How perspective employers will look at my legal / business management experience. Is it an advantage or disadvantage?

Let us assume I do very well with my degree.I will aslo be able to demonstrate fluentcy with some computer languages like C++, Visual Basic and packages like Matlab.

Thank you.

Andy Nguyen

I believe you meant to title your thread "Please assess". Sometimes, a missing s can be very amusing.
There is an increasing number of thread mentioning age and MFE. This can be explained by the increasing popularity of financial engineering field. As more and more people know about this field, more people wants a career change. This is absolutely natural and nothing to worry about. MFE is not a field reserved for young blood.

1) Many of my classmates are far older than you. The biggest challenge for them would be to balance a family life and a very demanding MFE program. Age is not and will never be an issue. Employers are legally not allowed to use age as a hiring factor. As long as you have the skills they need, how old you are is none of their business.

If I remember correctly, Derman started his quant career at 30ish too.

2) There are plenty of roles that your experience can be of great advantage like M&A, S&T. It's up to you to target those positions.


MFE Alum
You are never old to be a quant, the issue is that some schools have their internal age limits. Even though they may not say it explicitly, some schools do not admit many people after, say, 35. Baruch is a nice exception.


New Member
Of course I meant 'assess'. Sorry, I wanted to be somewhat funny and perhaps even provoking. I now realise it could simply look awkward to some. My apologies. I am glad, however, that people here seem to understand.

Thank you for your anwsers. There are two more if I may:

1. How many of those who do Financial Math or MFE (I use these terms here as interchangable. However I seem to realise the difference) do not become quants and move to the mainstream investments? More generally how close in real life are mainstream investments and quants? Can you switch into mainstream finance at some later stage of your career?

2. What sort of people are the quants? How would you describe an average quant? I understand of course there is no such thing as an average quant. However, being myself among mathematicians, phisicists, lawyers and businessmen at various stages of my career I could easily give you some general characteristics of eachgroup. Can you? How for instance a quant differs from a mainstream phisicist or engineer, or from a conventional investment manager? Not as profesionals but as people?
Can we edit the title please, lets start there.

Are you too old for a quant degree? I would say it doesnt matter but that's me. Potential employers may say otherwise. At the very least, the title of your post suggests some adolescence


New Member
"At the very least, the title of your post suggests some adolescence"

I guess I have come to the wrong place.