For example, financial engineering was largely responsible for the development and use of derivatives like credit default swaps mortgaged backed securities that were blamed for the financial debacle in 2007-08.
According to Zvo Bodie, Professor of Management at Boston University, financial engineering is the application of science based mathematical models to decisions about saving, investing, borrowing, lending and managing risk. It refers to the strategies used by the company to maximize profits or other important performance metrics, for example: creating derivatives that address unusual risks faced by a party to a transaction, structuring a purchase or sale in a way that better addresses the interests of buyer and seller, and using new methods to compute the fair market value of new or existing financial instruments. Financial Engineering is a multidisciplinary field involving business knowledge, financial knowledge, statistics, mathematics and computation. There are a few analytic options that apply to the products and markets, so F.E’s must approximate all the time, and decide what complexities to ignore. Banks, Financial Institutions and Insurance companies hire financial engineers to design math models that lower financial risks and ensure better returns, financial engineers use modelling techniques such as simulations, convexity, duration, value at risk, linear programming and other quantitative techniques to determine future returns, loss scenarios etc. Financial engineers are well versed with topics such as calculus, statistics, along with finance, accounting and economics, they also have a strong background in risk management, modern portfolio theory, option theory along with their math and science backgrounds.
Differences between Mathematical Finance and Financial Engineering
Mathematical finance is a major part of computational finance and mainly uses arithmetic to find out solutions, however, financial engineering is concerned with solving financial problems using engineering principles, a financial engineer need to have a detailed awareness of financial economics and mathematical tools. Mathematical finance professionals mainly do the calculations on risk involved in a particular scenario; they measure risk using complex algorithms and data samples, they make use of engineering principles like mathematics, finance and computer models to make management decisions. A person who has detail knowledge on mathematical finance can work as mathematics modeller, financial statistician or quantitative analyst. Financial engineers are employed in Insurance companies, Banks, wealth management firms as analysts.