Successful Luxembourg Conference Addresses Financial Volatility and Market Risk

News Story: August 1, 2012

Organized by SHU's Department of Economics and Finance as part of collaborative MBA program

At the conference in Luxembourg are, from left,
Dr. Lucjan Orlowski, Dr. Richard Levich and
Dr. Theoharry Grammatikos.

The Sacred Heart University Department of Economics and Finance recently conducted an internationally recognized conference in collaboration with the SHU MBA Luxembourg Program. The conference, titled “Market Risk and the Impact of Financial Volatility,” was held in Luxembourg.

Earlier this year, Sacred Heart University received a $45,000 grant awarded by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group Foundation. The grant was designed to allow Sacred Heart University Economics and Finance professors to carry out advanced research that would help financial market participants better understand financial futures behavior and, in turn, better manage financial risks.

The results of two studies were presented at the Conference. The first, by Dr. Kwamie Dunbar, assistant professor of Finance, and Dr. Abu Amin, assistant professor of Finance, focused on the nature and impact of market forecasting errors. The second study, conducted by Economics and Finance Chair Professor Dr. Lucjan Orlowski, examined volatility patterns relative to electronic trading. It was prepared in collaboration with Dr. Bluford Putnam, the CME Group Chief Economist and also an adjunct faculty and an Advisory Board Member in the Department of Economics and Finance.

“The competitive award we received from CME recognized the University’s ‘scholarly strengths and research accomplishments,’ ” said Orlowski, adding that the CME Foundation grant is supporting research aimed at investigating the relationships between market risk and the behavior of federal funds futures and the 10-year Treasury note futures. The Conference, he added, attracted ranking executives of New York and Luxembourg financial institutions, including SHU MBA program alumni and students.

In addition to the CME Foundation-sponsored research, there were other paper presentations and panel discussions, including a presentation by Dr. Dunbar and Dr. Thomas Schroeder (SHU affiliate faculty in Luxembourg); a panel presentation and discussion led by Dr. Orlowski that included presentations by Dr. Alfred Steinherr (Luxembourg MBA program director); Dr. Richard Levich (professor at New York University Stern School of Business and the Advisory Board member in the SHU Dept. of Economics and Finance); and Dr. Lucio Vinhas de Souza (managing partner at Moody’s Investor Services and Advisory Board member in the Dept. of Economics and Finance).

The keynote address was delivered by Klaus Regling, president of the European Financial Stability Facility. Regling’s distinguished stature and presentation, Orlowski added, contributed to the conference’s prestige and recognition in the Luxembourg financial community.

Additionally, for the two projects sponsored by the CME Foundation grant, the Department of Economics and Finance hired two student research assistants, Brian Benson and Bryan Harmon, who conducted a literature search and participated in the modeling efforts and empirical estimations of developed models. Benson is a senior double majoring in sports management and business administration, and Harmon, a junior, is double majoring in finance and economics. Both also are participants in the University’s John F. Welch Scholars Program. Harmon attended the conference and was actively involved with conference logistics.

“Overall, the conference was very well received and facilitated lively debates, discussions and post-conference comments,” Orlowski commented. “It also made a significant contribution to the reputation of our Luxembourg MBA Program in Europe, as well as increasing SHU’s visibility and image. We were able to successfully demonstrate the high quality and substance of the finance teaching curriculum and of SHU students and used this opportunity to better equip our students with important analytical skills that will strengthen their learning and competitive opportunities going forward.”