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Simon Faculty to be Installed in Endowed Professorships

Simon Faculty to be Installed in Endowed ProfessorshipsSimon Faculty to be Installed in Endowed ProfessorshipsSimon Business School

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Ron Kaniel will become the inaugural Jay S. and Jeanne P. Benet Professor of Finance on May 7, 2014, at an invitation-only installation ceremony in New York City. Kaniel’s research interests are in asset pricing, financial intermediation with a focus on portfolio delegation, and investments. Among other things, his scholarship has enhanced the understanding of how fund managers’ incentives impact funds investment decisions and how they impact security prices, the information contained in trading volume for predicting returns, and how herd behavior in financial markets can be rational. Kaniel has published articles in the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, and Journal of FinancialEconomics, among other prestigious academic outlets, and his work has been cited multiple times in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post. He earned a BSc in mathematics and computer science and an MSc incomputer science from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a PhD in Finance from the Wharton School. Kaniel joined Simon in 2011–2012 from the Fuqua Business School at Duke University. The professorship was established through a $1.5million gift from Jay S. Benet ’76S (MBA), vice chairman and CFO of The Travelers Companies Inc., and his wife, Jeanne, in support of The Meliora Challenge. A longtime supporter of Simon Business School, Benet is an actively involved member of the National Council and Executive Advisory Committee and is a charter member at the Benefactor level of the George Eastman Circle, the University's leadership annual giving society. In recognition of his career accomplishments and his service to the University, he received the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Joanna S. Wu will be installed as the first Susanna and Evans Y. Lam Professor on May 15, 2014, at a ceremony at 4:15 Gleason Hall, Room 318/418. The installation is open to the Simon community. Wu has been a faculty member at the University of Rochester since 1999. Her research spans the areas of international financial reporting, the behavior of financial analysts, management compensation, voluntary disclosure, and mutual fund performance. Her work has been published in the Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Finance, Journal of Accounting Research, and Accounting Review, among others. Wu has been named to the SimonSchool Dean’s Teaching Honor Roll numerous times. She is an editor of the Journal of Accounting and Economics. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in international economics from Peking University in Beijing, China, Wu earned both a master’s in economics and a doctorate in business administration from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business. The Lam professorship was established through a $1.5 million giftfrom Hong Kong native and University Trustee Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA) and his wife, Susanna, to strengthen the School by supporting a faculty member who is both an excellent scholar and teacher in a specific field. Lam is senior vice president of wealth management and senior portfolio manager at UBS Financial Services Inc. His wife, Susanna, is a certified public accountant and an accomplished Chinese opera singer and performer. Lam serves on the Simon School’s National Council and Executive Advisory Committee, is a member of the University’s Los Angeles Regional Cabinet, and with his wife, is a charter member of the George Eastman Circle at the Benefactor level. For his many contributions to the University, Lam was recognized with the David T. Kearns Medal of Distinction in 2012 and the John N. Wilder Award in 2010 recognizing his significant achievements in business, public service, and education and his commitment to making the University "Ever Better."

"We congratulate Ron Kaniel and Joanna Wu on their well-deserved academic appointments and are deeply grateful to the Benets and the Lams for their generosity and enabling us to recognize these outstanding members of the Simon faculty," says Dean Mark Zupan.

The Benet and Lam Professorships are two of the ten new professorships that have been established at the Simon School through the generosity of alums and friends as part of The Meliora Challenge. Nine professorships existed at Simon prior to the Meliora campaign.


Simon offers a rigorously quantitative, economics-based approach to decision-making in one of the most diverse student communities of any business school in America. Our degree programs inspire a new level of clarity: about how analytical frameworks drive success in business; about what it takes to collaborate and manage in the contemporary, global workplace; and about professional growth and goals.


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