PURPOSE, PAST, and FUTURE
New Frontiers in Finance Conference is an event to honor Hans R. Stoll as Founder of the Financial Markets Research Center (FMRC) at the Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. The FMRC was established in 1987 with the expressed purpose of fostering and disseminating research in financial markets. Under Stoll’s leadership, the FMRC has prospered along many dimensions. The Center has provided research grants, organized and hosted research conferences, purchased and maintained important financial market data bases, and supported visiting faculty with commonly aligned research interests.
FMRC research conferences provide an important opportunity for academics, practitioners, regulators, and policy-makers to interface to discuss topical issues. Past conferences, organized by Stoll, have focused on a wide-range of topics including the Stock Market Crash of 1987, volatility and market structure, risk management, financial market reform, global market volatility, market quality, conflicts of interest in financial markets, and financial innovation. Past presenters have been key thought-leaders such as Paul Volcker, Bob Shiller, Mert Miller, Bill Brodsky, Peter Fisher, Thomas Peterffy, Gene Fama, Michael Jensen, Steve Ross, Bob Merton, Myron Scholes, Rene Stulz and Leo Melamed.
This year’s conference, organized by Robert E. Whaley, the newly appointed Director of the FMRC, promises to be no different. The issues are timely and the presenters are thought-leaders. There are a number of noteworthy and interesting facts about the research paper presenters in the New Frontiers in Finance Conference. First, three of the paper presenters, together with Stoll, were at the University of Chicago in the 1960s when the foundations of modern day finance were being laid. Gene Fama was a rising young faculty member. Dick Roll and Myron Scholes were graduate students alongside Stoll. All three researchers were under the influence of Merton Miller, and all three are presenting unpublished works illustrating their continued impact on the profession. Second, also presenting their current research are other leading lights. Cam Harvey and Rob Stambaugh are former editors of Journal of Finance (and coincidently students of Fama and Miller), and Joel Hasbrouck is a former editor of the Review of Financial Studies. Pete Kyle, also a Chicago economics graduate, has done foundational work in market microstructure and was recently selected as a member of the AFA Society of Fellows. Third, and perhaps what is most amazing, is that all of these finance researchers have been active over no less than three and for as many as five decades and continue to help set the agenda for the future.
Robert E. Whaley
Valere Blair Potter Professor of Management (Finance) &
Director, Financial Markets Research Center