RMIT-Q Group Finance Symposium 2022

RMIT Q Group Finance Symposium 2022 presents the 2022 symposium themed on sustainability and long-term stability in the financial markets.

The economic recovery in 2022 has been tied with the development, widespread deployment of COVID vaccines, and the rise of new variants. Yet global markets are faced with new challenges including high energy prices, war and supply chain pressures leading to higher inflation. Investors are  faced with volatile markets and the difficulty of making investment decisions based on predictions of where markets will go as well as the enduring benefits of diversification and flexibility.

The Finance Symposium 2022 is themed around sustainability and long-term stability in the financial markets, which brings together RMIT’s top finance academics and industry leaders to explore, unpack and discuss the challenges that the global markets are faced with and discuss the growing areas of research that needs ongoing attention in financial markets and the economy. This year we will hold a full-day face-to-face event held in the RMIT Green Brain (with the option of virtual attendance).

Event Details

Session 1:  9:15am – 10:45am
Panel Discussion: Current Macroeconomic trends and Financial Markets

Join a panel discussion with Professor Jonathan Batten, Professor of Finance, RMIT, Mark Aarons, Head of Investment Risk and Absolute Returns, VFMC and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Centre for Quantitative Finance and Investment Strategies, Monash University, and Shahana Mukherjee, Consultant, Macro & Quant Analytics, Frontier Advisors. The panellists will focus on the current macroeconomic trends and financial markets.

Break
10:45am - 11:00am

Session 2: 11:00am – 1:00pm
Break Out Session: Future in Financial Markets

Join Dr. Michael Wang, Lecturer in Finance, RMIT, Dr. My Nguyen, Senior Lecturer in Finance, RMIT, and Dr. George Nassios, Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Escala Partners, presenting their research on topics on ESG and value creation, Mean reversion in financial markets and ESG Media Reputation and Banking System Stability Around the World. We look forward to you joining us to explore, unpack and discuss the future of financial markets and the economy. 

Break
1:00pm – 2:00pm

Session 3: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Keynote Speaker: Sustainable Investment & markets.

Join Michelle Cameron, Head of Sustainable Finance and Investment, Asia, Refinitiv. Refinitiv is an American-British global provider of financial market data and infrastructure. The company was founded in 2018 and is a subsidiary of London Stock Exchange Group.
Michelle will be discussing on sustainable investment & markets.

Break
3:00pm – 3:15pm

Session 4: 3:15pm – 4:15pm
Keynote Speaker: Modern Trilemma: Regulation, Sustainability and Volatility.

Join Scott Bennett, Head of Quantitative Investment Solutions, APAC at Northern Trust Asset Management, who will give a keynote address on Modern Trilemma: Regulation, Sustainability and Volatility.

Drinks and Networking: 4:15pm – 5:30pm
Please join us in networking drinks - Major sponsor Refinitiv (London Stock Exchange Group)

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Organisers

Professor Banita Bissoondoyal-Bheenick

Head of Department, Finance

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University

Professor Banita Bissoondoyal-Bheenick is currently the Head of Department- Finance in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing. She is an internationally recognised researcher in the field of financial markets and institutions and an experienced academic with nearly 20 years of extensive educational experience. She has successfully maintained her profile through significant contributions through several grants, quality publications and distinguished research outputs.

She currently serves on committees and editorial boards, including the RMIT Philanthropic Investment Committee, College of Business and Law gender and Equity reference Group for careers, Women Research Network as well as she is the Associate Editor and Subject Editor of international finance journals including International Review of Financial Analysis, Global Finance Journal and Journal of International Financial Markets, Money and Institutions.

Dr Oscar Tian

Vice President and Melbourne Chair, Q Group Australia

Senior Actuarial Manager, Insignia Financial

Dr Oscar Tian is a Senior Actuarial Manager at Insignia Financial, as well as the Vice President and Melbourne chair of the Q Group Australia. He is also actively involved in research as a Senior Lecturer at Monash Centre for Quantitative Finance and Investment Strategies, Industry Fellow at UNSW ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, and Associate Editor of ANZIAM (Australia and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Journal.

Presenters

Session 1 : Panel Session

Professor Jonathan Batten

Professor of Finance, RMIT University

Jonathan A. Batten is Professor of Finance at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, and an Honorary Professor in the Discipline of Management at the University Sains Malaysia. Prior to these positions he was a Professor in Finance at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Monash University, Australia, Seoul National University, Korea, and University Utara Malaysia. He was also an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia and the East China University of Science & Technology, Shanghai, China. He is the managing editor of the Journal of International Financial Markets Institutions and Money, co-editor of Finance Research Letters, and senior editor of Elsevier’s highly ranked Emerging Markets Review. Prior to working in academia, he held senior treasury and risk management consulting positions with several institutions including Bank of Tokyo, Credit Lyonnais, IBM Consulting and Reuters Ltd.

portrait of mark aarons

Mark Aarons

Head of Investment Risk and Absolute Returns, VFMC and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Centre for Quantitative Finance and Investment Strategies, Monash University

Mark Aarons joined VFMC in 2018 and is currently Head of Investment Risk and Absolute Returns.  His risk role encompasses risk analysis, portfolio construction and defensive overlays.  He also heads-up the Absolute Returns team which covers Hedge Funds, Private Credit and Emerging Market Debt (circa 20% of VFMC’s FUM).  Mark is a member of the Investment Leadership Team and investment committee.  He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Centre for Quantitative Finance and Investment Strategies at Monash University.    

Prior to working at VFMC, Mark was global Head of FICC Structuring at the National Australia Bank from 2010 to 2017, where he built a leading institutional derivatives structuring and sales business in both Australia and the UK.  Mark also spent four years in London with NAB working in both market risk and in front office on a rates trading desk. 

Mark holds Bachelor degrees in Law and Science (both with Honours) from Monash University and a PhD in Mathematics jointly from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics and the Free University of Berlin, Germany.  Mark is also the co-author of a book on securitisation swaps which was published by Wiley Finance in 2019 and has published several finance papers. 

portrait of shahana mukherjee

Shahana Mukherjee

Consultant, Macro & Quant Analytics, Frontier Advisors

Dr. Shahana Mukherjee is an Economist and a member of the Capital Markets and Asset Allocation team at Frontier Advisors. As a former Assistant Professor of Economics and an Assistant Director, Economist at Moody’s Analytics, she has extensively covered the largest economies in the Asia-Pacific region. She has over ten years of research experience in applied macroeconomics, with a focus on trade and investment in Emerging Asian economies.

Session 2: Break Out Session

portrait of michael wang

Dr Michael Wang

Lecturer of Finance, RMIT University

Dr Michael Wang is a Lecturer of Finance at RMIT University. His research expertise covers three main themes. The first is the application of blockchain technology in financial systems (e.g., DAO – Democratic Autonomous Organization; Decentralized Funds Management; Pricing Issues in Crypto-assets; CBDC and Commercial Banks’ Depositing Model). Secondly, Michael has had solid experience in ESG research at both academic and industry level. He has conducted many joint research projects with industry stakeholders. His research work in ESG focuses on the long-term value creation for financial investors by integrating the ESG capitals into business entities’ strategy and business model. Michael’s third research interest relates to Machine Learning methods in Financial and Economics studies.  Michael’s research outcomes have been widely presented at prestigious Australian and International conferences, including FIRN annual meeting and CICF (China International Conference in Finance), and published at the Journal of Corporate Finance (ABDC – A*).

portrait of my nguyen

Dr My Nguyen

Senior Lecturer in Finance, RMIT University

Dr My Nguyen is a Senior Lecturer in Finance at RMIT University. Her research interest includes topics in banking and corporate finance, specifically on banking competition, ownership, bank efficiency, corporate cash holdings, stock market liquidity and policy uncertainty. She published several papers in recognised domestic and international journals including Journal of Corporate Finance and Journal of Banking and Finance. She has won several competitive academic and industry grants amounting to $300,000. Her papers have also won several best paper awards at well-recognised international conferences. 

portrait of george nassios

Dr. George Nassios

Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Escala Partners

Dr. George Nassios is a member of Escala’s Direct Investment Group and holds the role of Chief Product and Strategy Officer. The role allows George to combine his experience in capital markets and advising family office groups in considering what direct opportunities might have merit as an investment and what economic environment would be conducive to such investments.  

Prior to joining Escala, George was Chief Investment Officer with Deutsche Bank’s Australia Private Wealth Management division, as well as serving as Bennelong and Yulgilabr family groups CIO. He also held senior roles as Director and Head of Debt/equity origination within 2 major Australian banks and was a Director of Corporate Finance at BNP Paribas (Aust). He also spent some 3 years in market risk where he was Head of Quantitative, Analytic and Policy team at NAB market and operational risk division.

A qualified actuary, holding a PhD in mathematical modelling, George believes the key ingredients to any investment approach is to understand the investment opportunity both on a quantitative level and a qualitative level and match this with a client’s need for income, and/or capital returns, but also taking into account a clients investment horizon and how economic conditions may change such settings.

George is also an active member of the Deakin Finance and Business School Advisory committee, the RMIT Business Economics and Marketing Advisory Committee and the CSIRO’s RiskLabs Advisory Committee.

Session 3: Keynote Speaker

portrait of michelle cameron

Michelle Cameron

Head of Sustainable Finance and Investment, Asia, Refinitiv

Michelle Cameron is the Head of Sustainable Investment and Finance Sales, Asia at Refinitiv. In her current role, she is responsible for Sustainable Investment, Data, and Analytics solutions, and helps clients make sustainable investment decisions through Refinitiv’s suite of solutions. 

Michelle moved to Asia, settling in Sydney after a stint in Bangkok, to take up leadership roles in client-facing teams within Service, Customer Engagement, and Account Management functions. She specialises in buy-side client workflows and solutions. Michelle joined Reuters in the UK in 2001; during this time, she was leading large teams of content professionals and managing strategic initiatives.

Michelle is a part of various industry bodies and networks supporting the growth of integrating sustainability practices across the financial community. She has completed her executive MBA degree specialising in Sustainable Business and has since then been passionately advocating the role businesses should play in contributing to the creation of a sustainable future.

 

Session 4: Keynote Speaker

Scott Bennett

Head of Quantitative Investment Solutions, APAC, Northern Trust Asset Management

Scott Bennett is Head of Quantitative Investment Solutions, APAC at Northern Trust Asset Management where he leads a team of quantitative analysts to design and deliver investment solutions for institutional investors. Scott is responsible for developing and delivering factor-based investment insights and solutions for institutional and retail clients throughout the Asia Pacific region. He has extensive experience conducting factor-based research including integration of ESG factors into equity portfolios.

Prior to joining Northern Trust, Scott was Director, Equity Strategy & Research at Russell Investments where he was responsible for the research and development of Russell’s systematic equity strategies. In this role, Scott leads a team of four senior research analysts who were responsible for over $45 billion in AUM across single factor, multi-factor, factor timing, ESG and portfolio completion strategies.

Scott has undertaken research on various topics including ESG, equity factors, trading costs, quantitative risk management and performance evaluation, which have been published in several academic journals. In 2010 won the JASSA prize for best paper for his work on Active Share across Australian equity managers.

 

Campaign Coordinators

Sarah Corso
Executive Support Officer, RMIT University
Email: sarah.corso@rmit.edu.au

Professor Banita Bissoondoyal-Bheenick
Head of Department, Finance
Email: banita.bissoondoyal-bheenick@rmit.edu.au

 

Upcoming events

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.