• Aug 30, 2017 Identifying 'gray rhinos' key to reducing their risk
    Identifying ‘gray rhinos’ key to reducing their risk It's only recently that the term "gray rhino" entered the lexicon of the economic world, but what it indicates — large and obvious risks that are often neglected — has always been around. In China's case, the "gray rhinos" could stem from shadow banking, the real estate bubble, high leverage at State-owned enterprises (SOEs), local government debt and illegal fundraising, according to the Office of the Central Leading Group on Finance and Economic Affairs, China's top economic policymaking office. Identifying "gray rhinos" is important in dealing with them. How can we guard against a certain risk if we don't even acknowledge its existence? The US subprime mortgage crisis was a typical example of failing to recognize the "gray rhino." Before the crisis, many people were aware that there was a problem with subprime mortgages, but combined with the inattention of regulatory bodies to this problem, some were inclined to believe that the problem would somehow go away, which proved to be wishful thinking. The "gray rhinos" threatening China are well-known to the public, which has heard numerous warnings from various experts. Take the real estate bubble as an example. It's apparent to many that the current state of China's economic development can hardly sustain high property prices in major cities for long. However, since the real estate sector is a pillar industry of the economy, any attempt to prick the bubble may trigger a crisis and have a negative impact on the overall economy. Therefore, deflating the bubble without pricking it is a delicate, long-term balancing act for the government. While the real estate bubble seems relatively urgent and severe, it should be pointed out that shadow banking has played a crucial role in the formation of almost all the "gray rhinos" in China, contributing not only to the bubble in the property sector but also to SOEs' high leverage. But shadow banking itself is not the real cause of the problem, and a proper understanding of the origin of "gray rhinos" is needed to address the risks. The rise of the shadow banking sector is driven by financing needs that cannot be met through either the formal banking system or the capital market. China's banking system has developed unevenly and it is not completely market-driven. The inadequate incentive structure in the financial system keeps lenders from serving the needs of all enterprises and consumers. China's financial imbalances and excessive liquidity have also contributed to the growth of shadow banking, as excessive liquidity has failed to flow into the real economy and has instead circulated in the financial system. This situation has in turn exacerbated the real estate bubble, SOEs' high leverage, excess local government debt and other risks. Addressing such risks without pricking the bubble requires a delicate balance of measures, meaning that decision-makers need a high level of wisdom to steer the whole economy. An "iron fist" approach should be avoided or it may risk triggering a new crisis. For instance, when China's securities regulators cracked down on margin financing outside the brokerage system in June 2015 to reduce mounting risks in the stock market, their action backfired as it stoked market fears and led to plunges in stock prices. With high leverage seen as a source of financial risks, some are concerned that the deleveraging process will cause a slowdown in economic growth, which may generate new risks and cause new crises. Such worries could be justified if China's economic environment remained stuck in the past, when financial institutions and SOEs relied heavily on excess liquidity and high leverage. To break out of this cycle, China must further facilitate the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as innovative companies. That requires strong policy support from the government, such as lowering the entry barriers to key industries for non-SOEs and reducing the tax and regulatory burdens of SMEs to improve their profitability. Capital always seeks the highest returns, so if SMEs improve their revenues and profits, capital will naturally be drawn into them and keep liquidity from flowing out of the real economy. To defuse China's "gray rhinos," authorities need to control risk and reduce leverage in traditional sectors, while at the same time providing incentives to guide capital into SMEs and innovative industries that will be the new drivers of continued economic growth.
  • Aug 04, 2017 China's wealth managers join forces to tap family office growth
    China's wealth managers join forces to tap family office growth Chinese wealth managers are increasingly teaming up to penetrate the top-end family office business sector in China in order to serve the burgeoning number of super rich, say industry insiders. More wealth managing institutions, including banks, trusts and wealth management firms, are making the foray into the family office business at a time when it is still in the early stages in China. With a long history in the US and Europe, family offices are organisations run on behalf of a high net worth family with the goal of wealth preservation and transferring wealth to future generations. Typically, they are composed of private bankers, asset managers and lawyers who take care of investments, taxes, trusts and legal matters. Unlike in overseas markets – where a single family office, or those only serving a single wealthy family, are more common – in China there could be a larger number of multifamily offices, or organisations serving a number of ultra high net worth families, according to Wu Fei, an associate professor at the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. "We've seen a growing trend where local family offices are outsourcing their non-core business, or choosing to join hands with professional services providers in specific segments," said Wu. He said it could be too demanding and costly for a single institution to offer all types of services required by a high net worth family by their own staff. In these cases, the work can be outsourced in cooperation with other firms, including tax planning, family education and charity contributions. Financial institutions sometimes even need to team up with niche service providers for tailor-made services, such as booking a journey on a private jet, visiting Ivy League universities in the United States, and obtaining VIP tickets for a pop-star concert. More than half of family offices on the mainland were set up in 2015 and 2016 to tap the emerging market, according to a study led by Wu in cooperation with consultancy FOTT. Most of their assets under management are worth less than 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion), according to the study, which surveyed 35 multifamily offices in China. Family trusts, a popular arrangement for wealth preservation and inheritance, could be a common service, or first step, offered by businesses aiming to penetrate the family office market, though not all are required to include the service. In China, only licensed firms can operate as trustees, driving wealth management businesses to team up with trust firms. Beijing-based CreditEase Wealth Management has joined hands with five trust firms both onshore and offshore, including mainland China based Chang'an Trust. Through the partnerships, CreditEase makes use of the trust structure to offer customised wealth management solutions, said Dillon Hale, head of family office for CreditEase and a member of its global asset allocation committee. "The business shows good signs of growth since operations started in late 2015, with 50 cases in the pipeline," he said, adding that he expects projects to grow 50 per cent in value each year in next three years before ultimately expanding it to a full service family office in the long run. The proliferation in number of super-rich is luring financial institutions and professional services providers like accountants and lawyers into the family office sector. In 2016, China was home to 1.58 million high net worth individuals who have at least 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) in investable assets, and the number is expected to grow 18 per cent to 1.87 million this year, according to a joint report from Bain and China Merchants Bank. Their combined investable assets of 49 trillion yuan in 2016 are projected to rise to 58 trillion yuan this year.
  • Aug 04, 2017 Color of money: what’s green, what’s not?
    FORGET the 50 shades of grey. What counts in China’s world of finance are all the nuanced shades of green and an alarming lack of blue. With smog choking the skies over many Chinese cities and Beijing once again shrouded in a pall of pollution last week, the government initiative to push investment in clean energy and environmentally friendly projects is gaining traction. Under guidelines issued by the central government in late 2015, Chinese banks are encouraged to provide credit for green investments, private funds are urged to become involved in saving the planet and company bonds that are classified as green get higher priority in the approvals process. China last year became the world’s largest issuer of "green bonds," accounting for nearly 40 percent of global issuance. The market value of those bonds swelled to US$36.2 billion from nothing a year earlier. Some market players described the growth rate as "zero to hero." But that does raise some questions. What is green and what is now? It’s an area of considerable grey. The European Investment Bank and World Bank, which started issuing green bonds in 2007, drafted the Green Bond Principle in 2014 — setting forth criteria now used as a common global standard in defining "green" investment. "The green bond market is like a baby," said Tzu-kuan Chiu, a professor at the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, who studies the sector. "It will show great growth when it’s still young and small. But if you look deeper into the projects involved, you will find we still have a lot of work to do, starting with the definition of 'green.’" That’s a pivotal point given the rapid growth in the sector. The global green bond market grew from about US$3 billion in 2012 to US$81 billion last year, with China as the main driver. Ma Jun, chief economist of the research bureau at the People’s Bank of China, told a forum last month that the momentum of green finance will continue this year. "China requires three to four trillion yuan of green investment annually to push the initiative," Ma said. "The central bank is the primary pusher." Last year, 53 green bonds were issued by 33 different entities in China, including eight clean-coal projects issued by the Industrial Bank of China and two bonds involving the China Three Gorges Corp, operator of world’s largest power station. "According to the global standard, large dam projects and chemical materials projects such as coal are not eligible to be labeled as green," Chiu said, "There’s no difference between clean coal and dirty coal to foreign investors. Coal is coal." About a third of China’s green bond issues, or US$12.6 billion, doesn’t fit the global definition of green, according to the Climate Bond Initiative and the China Central Depository & Clearing Co. The central bank’s Ma admitted that controversy over the definition does exist, but he said the standard here needs to be put in the context of realities in China. Coal, for example, accounts for two-thirds of China’s energy consumption. "New energy technology is expanding very rapidly," Ma said. "In talking about energy saving and emissions reduction, we should focus on supporting clean coal technology. If we achieve a breakthrough there, we are likely to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide by 70 to 90 percent." Companies wanting to issue bonds are naturally keen to adopt a liberal definition of green. They argue that projects need to be assessed on how they improve the overall environment. "Many companies want to lift their environmental credentials by issuing green bonds to finance their conversion from polluting to clean energy factories," said Xu Ping, business director of the clean energy department at Q-TZG Leasing Co. "Others are just seeking a quicker channel for fundraising." The demand for "green" certification in debt issues is spawning a booming business in third-party rating services. Major players include the big four accounting firms, think tanks and consulting companies. Those services certified almost 87 percent of the green bonds issued last year, with Ernst & Young accounting for nearly half, according to data compiled by China Lianhe Credit Rating Co. That compares with about 60 percent of applicants in the global green bond market getting certification. Adding to headaches for the green bond market is the wariness of some investors toward such investments. For one thing, it is still not very clear how some long-term green projects will make money, especially when most banks and other investors prefer shorter-term products amid profit pressures. "At the end of the day, a green bond is a financial product," said Yasumasa Shimizu, chief executive officer of Shanghai-based consulting firm Sustainable Technology of Ecology. "Investors won’t look too closely at how green it is, but they will assess its value as an investment and its return on profit in 10 years or 20 years." The average yield of a five-year green bond is about 4.2 percent, up to 0.4 percentage points lower than other bond products of the same duration, according to a joint report by the Climate Bond Initiative and the China Central Depository and Clearing Co. "Some projects have exaggerated their true outlook for financial returns because they are guaranteed by local or provincial governments for political reasons," Shimizu said. Bank of China, the last big domestic green bond issuer, sold US$3 billion of green debt in three tranches, including one in US dollars and another in offshore renminbi. Other issuers include renewable energy companies, city transport systems, a local government financing vehicle in Anhui Province, automaker Geely, property developers and the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Chiu said green assets are more suitable for long-term investors, like insurance companies and pension funds. But in the Chinese market, investors aren’t likely to consider the value of social returns. The central bank and the National Development and Reform Commission, which oversee the issue of green bonds, are striving to cultivate market appetite for such debt. The incentives include interest subsidies, lower-cost loans, the establishment of national green development funds and the promotion of emissions trading. Will it work? "Policies don’t make a meal if investors won’t come to the table," Chiu said. "There needs to be an appetite for green assets." Still, money is expected to swirl around the sector for years as new instruments are designed to promote the green initiative. Shimizu said one of the promising tools is asset-backed securities, whereby companies can use the first phase of a project as collateral to raise funds for subsequent phases. Others say the green agenda should be expanded. For example, bike-sharing businesses might be counted as green. "In terms of green investment, there’s a gap between financial and social returns," said James Chang, financial service consulting managing partner with PwC China. "It’s hard to satisfy both aspects at the same time."
  • Jul 10, 2017 Prof. Qian Jun on the Trends and Characteristics of Offshore M&A by Chinese ...
    A tender offer from China National Chemical Corporation for Swiss Syngenta, the largest pesticide company in the world, officially concluded recently, which means this $43 billion takeover, one of the largest offshore M&A cases engaged by a Chinese corporation, can be delivered once all review and approval processes are finalized. Qian Jun, Professor of Finance at SAIF and Vice Director of China Academy of Financial Research, illustrated three trends and characteristics of offshore M&As by Chinese companies. First of all, many enterprises, especially in traditional industries, are conducting diversified cross-industry M&As. Although diversification has become a major trend, it is necessary to be cautious. Second, with massive M&As and asset allocation across the world in recent years, Chinese enterprises have changed to capital exporters from capital importers as assets, technology, market and industry layout become the targets of such M&As. In the process, country risk evaluation and differences in corporate culture should be alerted. And third, a wave of transnational M&As was formed among Chinese enterprises in 2016. By the first quarter of 2017, the demand continued to increase while it was hit by the difficulties in capital outflow. Recently, as both the foreign exchange reserves and exchange rates are stabilizing, there is no doubt that the tide of offshore M&As would recover if the market remains steady.
  • Jul 10, 2017 How Do Institutional Investors Beat the Market? Prof. Chi Yeguang at SAIF Wins A ...
    Institutional investors in China outperform the market on an ongoing basis! With the adjustment of market risk factors, the total return of stock funds is 6.5% higher than market average. After deducting expenses, it is still 4.75% higher, which is widely different from the US market. How do they make it? A study of Chi Yeguang, Assistant Professor of Finance at Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University shows that it is related to the composition of investors as well as the information advantages of institutional investors in China. His thesis named Private Information in the Chinese Stock Market: Evidence from Mutual Funds and Corporate Insiders about the effectiveness of the secondary stock market in China, based on an analysis of positions and returns of 400 actively managed and stock funds from 2003 to 2015 as well as an in-depth research on the stock holdings of major shareholders of listed companies, won the first prize of CFA Best Paper in the 29th Australasian Finance and Banking Conference CFA Institute Research Award in late 2016. According to Prof. Chi, the effectiveness of a secondary market depends on the distribution of information and pricing. First, an effective market should distribute relevant information to all market participants. And second, market participants should be able to analyze the information accurately and influence asset pricing through trading. However, Prof. Chi found that Chinese retail investors fall behind institutions in both areas. First, in terms of information gathering, institutions could gain first-hand information due to their huge database while for retail investors the information flow is much slower. Second, in regard of information analysis, institutions can hire financial experts to analyze the information and trade stocks while retail investors are behindhand. Thus, it is natural for institutions to defeat retail investors and beat the market as the market is dominated by retail investors in China. Still, the profile of China’s stock market is improving on a vertical basis. On one hand, the performance of stock funds is falling with a total decrease of 1.3% over the past decade. On the other hand, the predictability of share prices through what significant shareholders are buying is decreasing in recent years.
  • Jul 10, 2017 SAIF’s International Module of “Finance and Innovation” Concludes in Bosto ...
    SAIF’s international module of “Finance and Innovation” was successfully held in Boston between February 13 and February 17, 2017. A total of 37 participants from MBA and MF programs attended the module under the guidance of Prof. Charles Chang. Themed Finance and Innovation”, this module explores the financial and business ecosystems both in China and in US, through classroom lectures and overseas practices. It aims at expanding the international vision of the participants and their understanding of global financial innovation. At Sloan School of Business of MIT, the participants studied and discussed the theme with three professors. Prof. Chunk Kane, on the ground of entrepreneurs, shared his opinions on investment and entrepreneurship with real-world cases. Prof. John Gran analyzed the key success factors for popular startups in Boston. Prof. David Birnbach demonstrated the benign ecosystem that facilitates innovations in Boston. Prof. Wang Jiang, Chairof the Academic Council of SAIF, also interacted with the participants at MIT. At Harvard Business School, Prof. William R. Ken conducted a “lean startup” case study for the participants. Through classic examples and consilience of knowledge, he guided the participants to share their own views in the classroom. In Boston, the participants also visited the reputable Rose Park Advisors, Cambridge Innovation Center, MIT Startup Exchange, Cooley LLP Law Office and Owner IQ Company, where they exchanged views with the executives, venture capitalists and star entrepreneurial project directors.
  • Jul 10, 2017 Five Experts Talk about M&A at Lujiazui SAIF Forum
    At the Lujiazui SAIF Forum held by Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University on April 22, over 300 experts and scholars on economics, law and regulation gathered to share their research achievements and real-world cases, and explore the challenges in domestic and overseas M&A practices.. Pan Jie, Associate Dean of SAIF, and Ms. Guo Zhiying, Deputy Director General of Lujiazui Financial City Development Bureau, both delivered a speech on behalf of the organizers. Then, Mr. Li Xunlei, Chief Economist of Zhongtai Securities Co., Ltd. and Qilu Securities Asset Management Co., Ltd. and Vice President of China’s Chief Economists’ Forum, delivered a keynote speech of “Economic Trends and Opportunities in China”. Prof. Qian Jun of SAIF and Vice Director of China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR), shared about the new trends of worldwide M&As among Chinese companies. Furthermore,Xiao Kai, professor of the School of Law, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Financial Commissioner of Shanghai Procuratorate made a speech on the “criminal and legal risks in financial innovation”. In a panel discussion, three guest speakers, namely Li Xunlei, Prof. Qian Jun and Prof. Xiao Kai, along with Mr. Cai Mingpo, Chairman of Cathay Capital PE, and Mr. Wang Ziming, President of Greenland Group M&A Centre, discussed and explored the innovations and risks in M&A.
  • Jul 10, 2017 Prof. Chen Hong and Prof. Zhang Anmin Win A Place in Most Cited Chinese Research ...
    Prof. Chen Hong and Prof. Zhang Anmin of Shanghai Jiao Tong University Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) were among the most cited Chineser researchers, according to a list of Most Cited Chinese Researchers in 2016 published by Elsevier recently. This proves once again the powerful research strength and originality of the SAIF faculty.The two professors have made outstanding academic contributions, and enjoyed remarkable influence in their respective fields of research. Prof. Chen Hong is a full-time Professor of Management Science at SAIF, whose profile is available throughhttp://en.saif.sjtu.edu.cn/content/show/103-25.html. Prof. Zhang Anmin is a full-time professor of Management Science at SAIF. Please click thelinkfor more details about him.The list of Most Cited Chinese Researchers is based on Elsevier’s Scopus Database of. Scopus, the world's largest database of peer-reviewed academic papers, which makes it possible to analyze and rate scholars as it provides mass information about literature, authors and research institutes related to scientific research.This year, 1,776 researchers in 38 disciplines from 227 Chinese institutions were included in the list, 79 of whom come from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
  • Jul 10, 2017 Wu Jinglian at SAIF·CAFR Lecture: Real Issues on Reform
    On April 16, 2017, Leading economist and renowned professor Wu Jinglian addressed on the “real issues in China” at the SAIF·CAFR Distinguished Speaker Series. During the event, his studies and methodology on Chinese reform, as well as his new book, named Chinese Reform Trilogy, attracted nearly five hundred participants. The event was co-organized by Shanghai Jiao Tong University Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) and CITIC Press Group Shanghai Office. In Prof. Wu’s view, China’s reform started from the 8th CPC National Congress in 1956. In the next 60 years, China has encountered hardships and problems, while making remarkable achievements as well. He explained that “we need to summarize experience and lessons, specify the research methodology on China’s economy and stand on a new historical point to promote China’s reform.” What are the real issues in promoting the reform? As Prof. Wu mentioned, the root cause must be figured out. There is no shortcut to reform. The only solution for China is to build a market-oriented and legalized society. In a panel discussion hosted by Qin Shuo, a famous media professional, Prof. Chang Chun and Executive Dean of SAIF; Yan Hong, Professor of Finance; Prof. Lu Ming from Antai College of Economics and Management; and Prof. Weisen Li from School of Economics, Fudan University, conducted an intensive debate on the topic and answered questions from the audience. The participating experts agreed that a sound strategy is to promote reform in an all-round manner.
  • Jun 19, 2017 SAIF Master of Finance Program Ranked #1 in Asia
    June 19th, 2017, Shanghai – The Master of Finance (MF) Program of the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) at Shanghai Jiao Tong University has been recognized as one of the best in the world, according to a ranking by the Financial Times (FT) published today. In FT's 2017 tabulation, SAIF's MF program was ranked #1 in Asia and #14 globally, jumping 14 slots from last year when it participated in the ranking for the first time. In terms of value for money, SAIF was ranked #1 in Asia and #7 in the world. Since its inaugural publication in 2011, the FT ranking has been considered one of the most hailed benchmarks in the world. It rates business schools and their MF programs on 17 criteria in two key domains. The career progression domain, weighing 58% in total, is derived from a survey among alumni after three years of graduation. The other domain focuses on the diversity of business schools and their MF programs, which is collected from survey questionnaires. This year, 60 business schools from all over the world made the ranking list, including 6 entrants from Asia. Besides SAIF, other entrants from the Chinese mainland were the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, and the Lingnan College at Sun Yat-sen University (ranked 17th, 18th, and 56th respectively). According to FT, SAIF distinguishes itself in the following rankings: "Employment at Three Months" (#1 in the world), "Faculty with Doctorates" (#1 in the world), "Salary Increase" (#5 in the world), "Salary Today" (#7 in the world), "Value for Money" (#7 in the world), "Career Progression" (#1 in Asia), and "International Course Experience" (#1 in Asia). "The fact that the SAIF MF program outperforms many of its worldwide peers and tops the podium of the Asian league is a recognition of SAIF's model of talent development based on superior standards, international experience, and specialized professional training. It also marks a new leap towards our goal of becoming a world-class financial institute," said Prof. Chang Chun, Executive Dean of SAIF. One of the flagships at SAIF and taught in English, the two-year full-time MF Program is characterized by an atmosphere of open-mindedness, international vision, and a cutting-edge teaching approach supported by simulation labs. Consistent with the teaching system at MIT and other elite business schools in the world, its curriculum and courses are designed to link the trends of the financial sector to the reality of both domestic and international markets. "Thanks to world-renowned professors, outstanding classmates, and a set of specialized and forward-looking courses, I acquired financial expertise in a systematic manner and developed my international vision at SAIF, which has paved my way to realizing my financial career dream," said Chen Xiaoguang, a SAIF MF 2014 alumni who is currently a researcher of Huatai-PineBridge Investments. "The tough two years spent at SAIF MF were intense and stressful, but they were probably one of the best investments in my career and personal development." Committed to becoming the predominant MF program in China with an international reputation, SAIF MF progressed rapidly since its initiation eight years ago, and has gained remarkable awareness in the market. With an accumulative average acceptance rate of less than 5%, its participants come from leading universities and colleges in China and across the world. Highly preferred by the market, SAIF MF graduates boast a remarkable employment record of 100% with a starting salary that leads the pack in China. Take the MF graduates in 2016 as an example. Their employers include: JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, CICC, Citic Securities, Tencent, Hony Capital, Bain & Company, Boston Consulting, China Merchants Bank Head Office, Haitong Securities, Fosun Group, and other top financial institutions and corporations both inside and outside of China. Their starting salaries were RMB 284,000 on average, with the median of RMB 230,000 and the highest at RMB680,000. MF 2014 graduates covered in FT's survey this year reported an average salary today, three years after graduation, of nearly USD $112,000, which is among the highest of all the listed business schools. In order to better serve the market need for high-caliber financial professionals with an international vision, the SAIF MF Program is about to expand its enrollment, starting this year. The cohorts will be doubled from the current 40 participant to about 80 per year. The recruitment of distinguished international students will also be enhanced. "SAIF MF is committed to training and fostering world-class financial professionals who are experts of modern financial theories and techniques as well as operations and practices of the financial sector both in China and across the world. Moreover, we are also keen to develop exceptional leadership and communication skills, the highest levels of professionalism, and an exemplary sense of social responsibility in our students," said Prof. Zhan Jiang, Associate Professor and Co-director of SAIF MF Program. "Meanwhile, we will strive to seek innovations and breakthroughs in regard to international exchange programs and curriculum design." SAIF was established in 2009 as part of the renowned Shanghai Jiao Tong University with the goal of supporting the development of Shanghai into a global financial center. It benchmarks against leading finance departments and business schools worldwide. Over the last eight years, SAIF has successfully launched a comprehensive portfolio of programs that specialize in finance, including the Master of Finance (MF), MBA, EMBA, DBA (Doctor of Business Administration), Ph.D./Ms-Ph.D. and Executive Education (EE) programs, among which SAIF MBA, EMBA and DBA programs are the first pioneers in China. Furthermore, SAIF has developed international partnerships with over 20 world-class business schools, including MIT, Stanford, and Wharton. Today, SAIF has built up a "Dream Team" of financial faculty comprised of over 60 Chinese professors with an overseas background, including: six scholars listed in China's Thousand Talents Plan, another six in Shanghai's Thousand Talents Plan, and four Changjiang Scholars. Meanwhile, SAIF also holds a leadership position in academic research and knowledge creation in China. In parallel to SAIF, the China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR) is an open research platform and top-class think tank of international standards committed to introducing cutting-edge financial theories and models into China, while focusing on policy and applied theoretical research in relation to China's financial reform and development. It has generated a number of major research findings, attracting both domestic and international attention. In February 2016, SAIF became one of the youngest business schools to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). In January 2017, according to the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report 2016 published by the University of Pennsylvania, SAIF made it into the list of the Top 100 Think Tanks to Watch for the 3rd year in a row, beating all of its peers in China to win 31st place. Over the past eight years, SAIF has cultivated nearly 1,700 outstanding graduates, who have excelled in the financial markets of China and around the world, shaping a rising community of SAIFers.