As an undergraduate, Bob Muh got a firsthand lesson in how MIT fosters excellence beyond engineering and science.
“In high school I wanted to be a physicist. I was accustomed to being a top student, but as a Course 8 sophomore I was probably 24th of 25 in my class,” he recalls. So he transferred from physics into the School of Industrial Management, now the Sloan School, and “suddenly I could excel again.”
Muh, who supplemented his SB with MBA and master of philosophy degrees from Columbia University, built a distinguished career in finance. He held senior positions at several major firms before cofounding, in 1992, Sutter Securities, a San Francisco–based investment banking firm where he is CEO. He was recently elected to the board of governors of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the nongovernmental organization charged with overseeing U.S. brokerage firms. In addition, he is a trustee of the Culinary Institute of America and an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco.
At every step, Muh has maintained ties across MIT, including serving as Alumni Association president and on the Sloan School and Humanities Visiting Committees. After a stint as a member of the MIT Corporation, he became an emeritus life member. His experience chairing the humanities committee prompted his most visible Institute gift, which established the biennial Robert A. Muh Alumni Award in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS).
“The world recognizes MIT’s premier status in science and engineering, but that also extends into the HASS disciplines, where MIT is on par with anyone in the world. That’s the Institute mentality: whatever we do, do it with excellence,” he says. “HASS degree holders have made world-class contributions, and I enjoy shining a light on some of them.”
Honorees include former secretary of state George Shultz, PhD ’49; Sloan Distinguished Professor of Finance Robert Merton, PhD ’70; and internationally acclaimed cellist Carlos Prieto ’58.
Muh is still close to his Sigma Alpha Mu brothers Fred Kayne ’60 and Leon Borstein ’61. “Every year or so we take a boys’ vacation together—with our wives’ permission, of course,” he says. He and Kayne also raise trotting horses, including 1994 Breeders’ Cup winner Pine Chip.
Muh’s wife, Berit, whom he met when he was an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia, serves as CFO of Sutter Securities. They have two daughters: Carrie Muh ’96, SM ’97, is a pediatric neurosurgeon at Duke University Hospital, and Alison, a Brown graduate, recently completed a master’s degree in interior architecture.
How AI is reinventing what computers are
Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.
These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems
They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.
A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click
Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.
Surgeons have successfully tested a pig’s kidney in a human patient
The test, in a brain-dead patient, was very short but represents a milestone in the long quest to use animal organs in human transplants.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.