Finance Department Hosts First International Risk Conference

Henry Chen '15 MSFRM, Senior Consultant at Ernst & Young, speaks at the first annual International Risk Conference (Katherine Ruiz/UConn School of Business)
Henry Chen ’15 MSFRM, Senior Consultant at Ernst & Young, speaks at the first annual International Risk Conference (Katherine Ruiz/UConn School of Business)

Industry Experts, Alumni, Prospective Students Attend UConn’s First International Risk Management Conference in Shanghai

In an effort to expand and reinforce the international reputation of the School of Business, especially its finance programs, UConn held its first International Risk Management Conference in Shanghai, China, on Aug. 11.

Professor Chinmoy Ghosh, the head of the Finance Department, said it is a bold and unusual decision for one university alone to sponsor a seminar in a foreign land. It is one of many factors that makes UConn distinctive and helps attract a strong interest among international students.

“UConn’s financial risk management program and reputation has grown tremendously over the last six years, bringing in students from all over the world and especially from China and India,” Ghosh said.

“In addition to hosting alumni and faculty, we are also promoting UConn’s prestigious brand to even larger and further away audiences around the world. At the moment, graduate students are flocking to UConn to become part of Husky Nation and to receive a remarkable education.”

The all-day conference, with a theme of “Current Challenges in Finance,” took place at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre. Shanghai was chosen as the venue due to a growing number of UConn alumni based in the area.

International Risk Conference

“It is especially gratifying to hold our first international finance conference in China, as it is symbolic of the strong commitment that UConn, and in particular our MS in Financial Risk Management (MSFRM), has to our growing community of alumni, students and business and academic friends in China,” Ghosh said.

Katherine Ruiz, an alumni relations coordinator for the School of Business, said there was a great turn out for the event. Among the dozens of participants were alumni, newly admitted students and their parents and financial professionals.

“We raffled off UConn School of Business hats and did the UConn chant, which was nostalgic for some in the room.” The event was preceded by an alumni event the evening before.

UConn has hosted an annual Risk Management conference since 2012, however, this is the first event outside Connecticut.

Speakers at the Shanghai conference included Gabriel Wildau, bureau chief for the Financial Times, and James Lin, senior manager at Ernst & Young. Wildau discussed key financial issues in the world today, and Lin discussed up and coming risk management tactics.

Jud Saviskas, executive director of the UConn’s risk management programs, said that Lin’s speech really stood out to him.

“[His] comments seemed to very succinctly address financial challenges in China,” he said.

Ruiz was impressed with Wildau’s speech, and said that he gave “an engaging talk about the future of China’s economy.”

There was also a panel of alumni at the event, discussing their work experiences upon returning to China after graduating. The panel was moderated by Jiajia Chen, international program manager at the UConn School of Business.

“The panel discussion mainly focused on discussing their work experiences once back in China and they all gave valuable advice to incoming students,” she said. “We are very proud to have such a great group of supportive and enthusiastic alumni. We’re happy to see how successful they have become and how obviously they want to support and give back to the program.”

“The alumni panel discussion about their careers back in China was impressive for its candor and its guidance for the audience,” Saviskas said, adding that he was also impressed by the student participants at the conference. “Some had traveled a long way to attend this one-day program.”

Ghosh said that this conference accomplished a great deal for the School of Business.

“Bringing together UConn alumni in China promoted a sense of familiarity and ‘family’ showing its dedication and commitment to the present and future of the school and its alumni.”

Ghosh said that the School of Business is already planning its second international conference in 2018, this time in Beijing, China.