Carnegie Mellon University

Yuting Zhao

Yuting Zhao

Director of Quantitative Risk - BlockFi

Yuting Zhao is the Director of Quantitative Risk at BlockFi

Please describe your role at BlockFi.

I am responsible for interest rate modeling, which is the main business model of our company. As a centralized finance company in the crypto space, we are contributors to the market lending/borrowing rates for different crypto coins. I also perform capital modeling that is similar to traditional banks for reserve and solvency purposes. My role also involves estimating and quantifying the market risk in structured loan deals.

Why did you make a career change?

Before switching to the crypto industry, I worked in the traditional financial industry for 10+ years. I completed an internship in 2018 that was focused on building prop trading strategies for cryptos, and the more research I did in this area, the more exciting it was to me. I am curious to see where this possible new mechanism of social credit will lead us.

What are the top skills for success in your role?

Besides strong modeling skills, the role requires independent thinking and analytical skills in addition to being able to successfully present your ideas. The ability to communicate effectively and securing resources to implement your ideas is also important.

What are the most fulfilling aspects of your job?

To some extent, I have the freedom to choose the research topics that I am interested in and I have team members with all of the required skill sets to complete the projects. This gives me great satisfaction in my work when we see our final deliverables helping the company's business.

How did the MSCF program prepare you for your career?

I received solid mathematical knowledge and analytical skills from MSCF both during and after my time in the program. Last summer, Professor Steve Shreve instructed me with a very detailed derivation of the pricing formula for inverse-option products after I sent him a paper and had difficulties getting the same result shown in that paper. I can't be more grateful for what MSCF has granted me. It's my honor.

I also learned diligence, responsibility, and professionalism from our professors at MSCF and I strive to be like them in these ways.

What career advice do you have for current MSCF students?

It may take some time to figure out the role that is best for you. There are a lot of opportunities in the finance industry and in many other industries such as technology and healthcare. MSCF provides you with data analysis and logical thinking expertise that can be applied to many different industries. Try to connect with people from different industries to understand what they are doing. Take a long-term view of your career selection and development. Lastly, be patient and always have an open mind to all possible opportunities.