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Finance department’s 9th annual FSU SunTrust Beach Conference continues to draw the best minds in the field

Apr 24, 2017

As in past years, the Department of Finance’s ninth annual FSU SunTrust Beach Conference held in Sandestin attracted some of finance’s most respected researchers from top universities around the country.

“This is considered one of the most prestigious financial specialty conferences in academia because we consistently bring together some of the best minds in finance to discuss the most relevant and pressing topics in the field,” said William Christiansen, BB&T Professor of Finance and chair of the Department of Finance.

Christiansen, a major force behind the creation of the conference, which is funded through a grant from SunTrust Bank, said he saw the conference as an opportunity for FSU doctoral students and faculty members to interact with top financial experts and exchange and discuss their cutting-edge research. In several cases, the conference has resulted in collaboration among attendees on research and articles.

This year’s conference featured more than 50 participants who presented the latest research on such timely topics as persistent operating losses and corporate financial policies; employee stock options and mergers and acquisitions; collusion in markets with syndication; and institutional investor cliques and governance.

Keynote speaker Toni M. Whited, the Dale L. Dykema Professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, spoke about the misallocation of finance. She has taught in a wide variety of areas in finance, microeconomics and econometrics at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Her research covers the effects of financial friction on corporate investment, econometric solutions for measurement of error, corporate cash policy and corporate diversification, among other areas. Whited has published in top finance journals and won a Jensen Prize, an annual award given to authors of the best articles in corporate finance in the Journal of Financial Economics, and twice won the annual Brattle Prize for articles published in the Journal of Finance. She also has held several editorial positions at top journals.

“We are able to attract an impressive slate of speakers, like Dr. Whited and highly regarded panelists, based on the reputation of past conferences,” said FSU’s Don Autore, the Dean L. Cash Associate Professor of Finance, who organized this year’s conference. “This is an incredible opportunity for us to share knowledge in the field.”

FSU finance faculty members are widely recognized for producing high-quality, innovative research, and several are acknowledged worldwide as experts in their fields. Presently, the faculty’s work encompasses a variety of areas in finance, including corporate, portfolio management, capital markets, hedging, financial institutions, payment systems, behavioral, international and policy issues. Their research is enhanced through the department’s two centers, BB&T Center for Free Enterprise and the Gene Taylor/Bank of America Center for Banking and Financial Studies,as well as through its SunTrust Visiting Professor Speaker Series, BB&T Speaker Series and the FSU SunTrust Beach Conference. In addition to staying active in a wide spectrum of scholarly research, faculty members maintain a well-respected teaching reputation on campus, according to student evaluations and university commendations.

By Barbara Ash





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