Q&A with new Lang Chair in Finance Dr. Ilias Tsiakas
What impact do you hope to make with your research?
"Research is very important to me. It is the essence of academic work. In fact, it informs everything that I do as an academic.
My research is in the areas of empirical asset pricing, financial econometrics, international finance and climate finance. For example, I have worked on prediction and volatility in financial markets, the design of optimal portfolios, modeling risk and return across various assets, the study of currencies and foreign exchange risk, international capital flows, and the effect of climate change on financial markets.
I am currently funded by the SSHRC to explore the relation between carbon emissions and global financial markets. This research focuses on two themes: the financial effect of carbon emission regulation such as the adoption of cap-and-trade schemes; and the portfolio benefits of low carbon investments. Overall, the goal of this research is to evaluate the financial implications of our effort to address climate change.”
What does being named the Lang Chair in finance mean to you?
"I am deeply honoured to be named the first Lang Chair in Finance. I am also aware of the responsibility that comes with the Lang Chair, in terms of the leadership required in continuing to build finance research and programming at Lang.
My vision for this chair position is to help build a world-class finance program at Lang. This, of course, is a collective effort that involves the entirety of Lang and the Department of Economics and Finance, but I am eager to make a meaningful contribution by promoting research excellence in finance.
To become a global leader in finance education, we must continue hiring high-quality faculty, mentor younger faculty members and support our incredible undergraduate and graduate students. This includes providing day-to-day guidance to our PhD students in their efforts to produce high-quality research and help them find tenure-track academic positions."
How does your research contribute to Lang's mission of using business as a force for good?
"Finance research and finance education is essential in promoting business as a force for good. The main objective of finance education at Lang is to instil in our students the skills and the values that will enable them to become future leaders who will use business as a force for good.
It is not enough for our finance students to have an understanding of what drives wealth creation. We educate our students so that they can use finance as a tool for addressing important social issues such as climate change and social inequalities. In my view, making good financial decisions over long periods of time can be a powerful way of creating wealth for the greater good, in a way that mitigates social inequalities and hence be a force for good."