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Meet Incoming Professor of Finance, Fan Chen

March 23, 2016
Dr. Chen will join Merrimack in the fall, coming from the National Central University in Taiwan where he is currently a visiting research professor.

After receiving his undergraduate degree in business administration in his native Taiwan, Fan Chen spent five years working in financial markets. He came to the United States in 2001 to continue his education, on a path that has taken him to Glendale, Ariz. (for his M.B.A. at Thunderbird School of Global Management), Boston College (for his M.S. in finance), Louisiana State University (for his Ph.D. in finance), and teaching positions at the University of Mississippi and Quinnipiac University. He will join the Girard School’s Department of Accounting and Finance in the fall.

You worked as a credit analyst for International Bills Finance Corp. and as a research analyst for the Taiwan Futures Exchange. Tell us how your professional experience informs your teaching.

I did an internship at a financial institution that involved trading government and corporate bonds and conducting credit analysis for publicly traded companies. The solid training from my internship taught me well and sparked my interest in the financial markets. I started a full-time job after college at the derivatives desk which involved designing derivatives products for the institution and retail clients. Those valuable industry experiences strengthened my knowledge of the capital and money markets. They are particularly helpful when I advise students because I can better help them to connect their strengths to the industry needs. 

While I enjoyed being in the industry, I also realized the value of getting additional degrees that could help my career. I came to the U.S. in 2001 to pursue my M.B.A. and M.S.F. degrees. Right after that, I decided to apply for a Ph.D. program so I could have choices either in academia or industry. I had fallen in love with research and being in the classroom, bringing the latest information from the financial markets to the classroom to engage my students and stimulate their interests.

What are you doing as you spend this academic year back in Taiwan as a visiting research professor at National Central University in Jung-li City?

I have been in the States for 15 years. I thought it would be nice to bring my family back home so we could enjoy four generations living under the same roof. My first child, a son, was born in May 2015. He loves the attention from his grandparents and his great-grandmom. I am also working on a few research projects with several co-authors from Taiwan. A current working paper entitled, ‘Geography competition in the mutual fund industry,’ has been drafted and will be presented in a few research seminars at Universities here in Taiwan. I am also working on a project that investigates private placement where participants are mutual fund and hedge fund companies.

As much as I miss New England, I really can’t complain, because the winter here in Taiwan is like being in Florida. When the temperature touches 45 degrees, people will shut down here.  

How does your research interest connect you to New England?

In my research, I investigate conflicts of interest among financial institutions. I focus on two participants, the mutual funds and hedge funds. I spent the past several years in Connecticut (the hedge fund capital of the world) and want to come to Boston (the capital of the asset management industry). Of course, it is no harm to be closer to my favorite Boston Red Sox. And, even though I got a degree from Boston College, I will have no trouble rooting for the Merrimack ice hockey team. 

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