Simon Malian was elected a 2015 Sir Robert Gordon Menzies Scholar and went on to complete a Master of Science in Computational Science and Engineering at Harvard University. Simon’s work sits at the intersection between economics and computation.
Simon was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He began his career at IBM Business Consulting Services, where he improved a predictive stock analytics system for a major department store, and later helped develop the prototype of an online banking platform for Australia’s largest bank. Simon went on to work for Westpac Banking Corporation, where he was employed across the company’s institutional banking and life insurance departments. He was later appointed as an Advisor to the Chief Information Officer and worked on the bank’s Economic Profitability Management initiative, which developed algorithms measuring the success of the bank’s financial products.
Simon then worked for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, where he created tools and systems to support financial planning, life insurance, and stock broking needs for a range of clients. He was appointed as a Project Manager within a high-profile program established to respond to allegations of fraud, and developed a risk analytics solution that enabled internal auditors to identify high-risk client advisers.
Simon then pursued an opportunity to work on the Australian Government’s National Broadband Network Initiative. The initiative sought to reform Australia’s telecommunications industry by providing fast, affordable internet access to the country’s residents, regardless of their location. During this post, Simon contributed to the development of financial information systems that handled over $12 billion in industry payments, helped design systems that overcame installation challenges, mentored teams of staff, and led the development of business cases.
Simon is also passionately committed to facilitating social entrepreneurship. In 2004, he established a charitable foundation that provides technological and management consulting services for the not-for-profit sector. Ten years after the foundation’s conception, Simon’s online service has helped over 2,500 organisations in 50 countries, with tasks such as volunteer development, online presence and fundraising. Eager to help as many organisations as possible, Simon began to explore methods for improving the foundation, and came to realise that its organisational model was a constraining factor. He decided to start a new foundation, called Golden Hint, which employs a distinctive client-to-client support model. The name is inspired by the belief that providing expert advice (hints) can prove pivotal (golden) in transforming ideas into results.
Simon was awarded a Bachelor of Information Technology with Distinction from the University of Technology, Sydney as a co-operative scholarship student. He went on to the University of Sydney Business School, completing a Master of Commerce with Merit, double majoring in Finance and Accounting. Simon’s interest in wealth management led him to complete an Advanced Diploma in Financial Services (Financial Planning). Over the years, Simon has amassed a diverse mix of professional qualifications in fields ranging from project management to business analysis.
Whilst his career has been based in Australia, Simon has travelled extensively throughout Asia, and enjoyed occasional trips to Europe. He is looking forward to living in and exploring North America more extensively during his time at Harvard. Simon speaks Armenian fluently and in his spare time he enjoys fine arts and collecting computer gadgets.