Dear Huebner Fellows and Friends,
As you may know, the S.S. Huebner Foundation has now completed its transition to Georgia State University and I was appointed by the Board as Executive Director in July. In an effort to keep Huebner Fellows and other friends of the foundation informed and engaged as we move forward, we will be sending out an email newsletter with news and updates on our work. We'll also include a profile of a past Huebner Fellow in each edition, which should provide a window into the impact of the foundation's work over the years. To start, the foundation gave financial and programmatic support to several outstanding programs over the summer and I'm excited to share our work in this area with you.
Huebner Foundation Programs
This summer, the third annual CEAR/Huebner Summer Risk Institute was held in Atlanta. The institute was sponsored by Georgia State University’s Center for the Economic Analysis of Risk (CEAR) and the S.S. Huebner Foundation for Insurance Education. This two-day program exposes Ph.D. students and interested faculty in risk and uncertainty to relevant cutting-edge models, tools, and theory. The audience was primarily comprised of faculty and Ph.D. students interested in the economics of risk who are located at colleges and universities that do not have access to specialized seminars and courses in these areas. Lectures were given by academic and industry leaders including Professor Ken Froot (formerly of Harvard Business School) who spoke about catastrophe insurance and catastrophe bonds and Anand Sathiyamurthy ( Suntrust Bank) who spoke about credit risk in the age of big data.
The third annual Huebner Doctoral Colloquium was held August, 7th in Boston in conjunction with the American Risk and Insurance Association conference. The colloquium brought together Ph.D. students with research interests in risk and insurance together with leading faculty in those areas. Participating faculty included George Zanjani, Martin Grace, Lisa Posey, and Mike Hoy. Students had the opportunity to discuss their dissertations and receive feedback from the faculty. Topics included index-based insurance contracts, the measurement of systemic risk, and income risk.
Huebner Fellow Alumni Profile
For our first alumni profile, we reached out to Philippe d' Astous. Dr. d' Astous was a Huebner Fellow while completing his doctoral work at Georgia State University (PhD, 2016) and is currently an Assistant Professor of Finance at HEC Montréal. He presented at the 2014 CEAR Workshop on Income Risk (Georgia State University) and 2014 Huebner Foundation PhD Colloquium (ARIA Seattle Meetings).
What drove your initial interest in RMI? How did you get into this field of research?
I got interested in RMI because I enjoyed thinking about risk and how it affects people. As a Master's student I met professors who were working in this field of research and I realized that the research questions could be very broad and interesting. I enjoyed the fact that it blended notions from the fields of finance, economics and insurance. I decided to apply to the PhD program in RMI at GSU because it is home to some of the best faculty in this field.
How did the Huebner Fellow program help you as a doctoral student?
The program helped me in various ways. It provided financial support that helped me travel to conferences and acquire data relevant to my research. Taking part in the Huebner Doctoral Colloquium also allowed me to meet with other RMI PhD students and get feedback on my research.
The Huebner Foundation's mission is to support doctoral work in risk and insurance. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing students in this field right now? What are the biggest opportunities?
The PhD program in RMI at GSU provides a thorough background on finance, economics and insurance. This allows students to get knowledge on fields that are related to risk management and insurance but that are sometimes overlooked. There are great opportunities to do interdisciplinary work and therefore broaden the field of RMI at GSU. Because RMI remains a relatively small field of research compared to finance and economics one challenge for RMI PhD students is to get recognition from researchers in related fields, such as finance and economics. The department at GSU has proven successful in meeting this objective.
Finally, the Foundation's Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors was held in August, under the leadership of Board Chair Rob Henrikson. It was a very productive meeting and I'm excited to share more about our strategic direction in the coming months. Please do not hesistate to reach out to me if you want to learn more about the current work of the Huebner Foundation, or support the exciting work of the foundation.
Stephen H. Shore
Executive Director, S.S. Huebner Foundation
R. Means Davis Professor of Risk Management and Insurance
Robinson College of Business; Georgia State University