Aaron Brown on Gambling, Poker and Trading

Aaron Brown is an executive director at the investment bank Morgan Stanley. He has spent many years on Wall Street in trading and risk management, and also in academia as a Professor of Finance. Besides trading and risk management Aaron Brown has devoted a large part of his life to poker. He has recently published a very interesting book on the topic: “The Poker Face of Wall Street”. Aaron Brown is a columnist for Wilmott Magazine, in 2005 he received the Wilmott Award as the “Educator of the Year”.

I had been invited to Aaron Brown's home for dinner but he never told me that he played poker until one day he sent me an early manuscript of his book. Was it that he did not want to take my money? Or could it simply be that he found it easier to win money from Nobel prize winners than option traders?

Haug : Where did you grow up?

Brown: I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. In those days, no one came to Seattle on purpose. It was a place people ended up because they got stuck on the way to somewhere else. There was a heavily Scandinavian element, from the high suicide rate to the intensely liberal social/conservative individual outlook. I was fascinated by the rest of Seattle: the Asian culture, the international sailors and the remnants of the Old West. I hear it's a lot different now.

Haug: When did you first become interested in math and quantitative finance?

Brown: I always loved math, statistics and gambling. I came to finance ...

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