Innovator Article

New Finance Symposium Focuses on Hedge and Mutual Funds

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by Jacqueline Romo

Assistant Professors Ayako Yasuda and Roger Edelen recently teamed up to organize the UC Davis Symposium on Financial Institutions & Intermediaries 2011, a one-day conference that brought more than two dozen leading scholars and practitioners to Gallagher Hall on April 1.

This first annual event focused on the nexus of mutual and hedge funds, drawing on the expertise at the School. “Roger and I picked a topic that not only showcased the GSM finance faculty, but one that would encourage engagement from practitioners and academicians alike,” explained Yasuda. “This invitation-only event brought together people knowledgeable about intermediaries from very different perspectives.”

Participants included top faculty experts in finance, economics and banking from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Dartmouth College, Babson College, Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Panelists involved in mutual and hedge funds included Alan Seigerman of Forward Funds; Shane Shepard of Research Affiliates; Peter Algert of Algert Coldiron Investors; and Craig Dandurand of CalPERS, the nation’s largest public pension fund.

Alumnus Joncarlo Mark ‘00, a former senior portfolio manager at CalPERS who attended the symposium, said hedge funds are receiving much more attention and scrutiny from investors. “It’s refreshing to see that the GSM is on the forefront of hosting events like this—a venue where practitioners share their perspectives and experiences with academics working on cutting-edge research in this field.”

The symposium encouraged lively and candid exchanges across professional boundaries that led to many new insights and considerations. “This was an intensively interactive forum,” explained Edelen. “As researchers, we want to know what is happening with professionals who are on the ground dealing with these investment funds every day.”

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