Your Haas Network
Karim Khiar, MBA 02, MFE 02
Barclays Global Investors
San Francisco, Calif.
Karim Khiar, MBA 02, MFE 02, has made a career out of trying to predict the future.
As head of the Structuring Research & Investment Group at Barclays Global Investors, Khiar manages a team that designs financial models to price and manage risk for high-return investment opportunities such as collateralized debt obligation, a security backed by a pool of bonds, loans, and other assets.
"It's one of those rare fields where you can combine different disciplines specifically mathematics, computer science, and finance," he says. "There is a real need in finance to be systematic and scientific."
Before he came to Haas, the Toulouse native spent nearly a decade constructing radar system simulations at France-based Thales Group. Khiar planned to return to Thales after Haas, but, unpredictably, that plan changed in 2001 at the Merrill Lynch-Carnegie Mellon Financial Engineering Competition.
Khiar joined the Haas team because of his modeling experience. The competition motivated Khiar to enroll in the Master of Financial Engineering Program at Haas.
Financial engineering both piqued Khiar's interest and fit his background. Coming to Haas, Khiar already held three degrees: an undergraduate-master's degree in aerospace engineering from Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Aeronautique et d'Espace; a master's in mathematics from Paul Sabatier University; and a master's in computer science from Purdue University.
After graduating from Haas, he worked for an investment technology consultant group before joining Barclays in 2004.
Khiar has watched financial engineering services grow into efficient and mature products that provide insights to many clients. But he predicts the best is still ahead. He says, "The field of finance and engineering is heading in the direction where more people will be able to invest in securities that have previously only been available for big banks, and it's a direct consequence of the growing efficiency of financial modeling products."