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Faculty installed to endowed professorships

Ron Kaniel, Joanna Wu, and Stephen Kates honored at recent ceremonies

Ron Kaniel
Ron Kaniel

Ron Kaniel is the inaugural Jay S. and Jeanne P. Benet Professor of Finance at the Simon Business School. 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 influence investment decisions and how they affect 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 Financial Economics, among others.

Kaniel earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science and a master’s in computer science from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received his PhD in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Kaniel joined Simon in 2011 from the Fuqua Business School at Duke University.

The professorship was established through a $1.5 million commitment 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 school’s National Council and Executive Advisory Committee and is a charter member 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.

Joanne Wu
Joanna Wu

Joanna Wu will be installed as the first Susanna and Evans Y. Lam Professor at the Simon School on May 15. Wu has been a faculty member at the University 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 Simon School 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 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 gift from Hong Kong native and University Trustee Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA) and his wife, Susanna. 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. Lam was recognized with the David T. Kearns Medal of Distinction in 2012 and the John N. Wilder Award in 2010.

Stephen Kates
Stephen Kates

Orthopaedic surgeon Stephen Kates ’89M (Res), director of the Geriatric Fracture Center, is the inaugural holder of the Hansjörg Wyss Professorship.

Kates and the professorship’s creator, Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss, were recognized by the University community on April 2.

Kates has created an internationally renowned geriatric fracture care program at Highland Hospital and has developed a model of care for the aging population that is emulated across this country and in several others. He has lectured extensively on geriatric fractures, system improvement, infections, and osteoporosis in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Wyss, born and raised in Bern, Switzerland, and now a resident of Wyoming, joined the Giving Pledge, a global initiative created by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates that encourages the world’s wealthiest individuals to commit to giving a majority of their wealth to philanthropy. His gift was made to support the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation’s clinical work and research related to geriatric fracture care, which is currently led by Kates in the department’s Center for Musculoskeletal Research.

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