• Aug 25, 2015 Coffee Hour with Professors Tan Wang and Qianqian Du
    During the monthly Coffee Hour on May 24th, 2015, Vice Dean of SAIF and Professor of Finance Tan Wang and Professor Qianqian Du shared with students their experiences and ideas in the industry.Professor Tan Wang once worked as a Guest Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. From 2003 to 2005, he was a visiting scholar for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the International Monetary Fund. Professor Qianqian Du obtained a Ph.D. degree in Strategy and Business Economics from the University of British Columbia School of Business. Her major fields of study include private equity, stock analysis, social networking and corporate governance.During the coffee hour, Professor Tan Wang discussed the importance of studying hard during the school years. He agreed that participating in internships under the current severe employment situation is beneficial for short-term goals, but the postgraduate stage is the only period for "getting down to academic pursuits”. He encouraged the students to take advantage of this stage to make preparations for long-term targets, reserve knowledge and develop dialectical thinking skills. Drawing on his experience in Tai Chi, Professor Tan Wang also interpreted the true meaning of life: “There is a knack, but the application of that knack depends on continuous accumulation day after day.”Professor Qianqian Du shared her experiences working in PE in the U.S. and put forward some ideas about investing in the Hong Kong Stock Market. In 2004, she wrote a paper concerning the development prospects of PE/VC in China that emphasized her strict requirements for the importance of asset allocation and industry insight. At that time, PE/VC was just getting started in China. Now, there are countless PE/VC firms in the country, but investment ability and negotiation ability remain uneven.After 80 minutes of communication, the students gained a higher-level understanding of the learning tasks and goals in the postgraduate stage and a more profound understanding of the modes and requirements of the PE/VC industry.
  • Aug 25, 2015 ELSA Social Responsibility Series: Financial Books and Movies
    On June 3rd, 2015, Mr. Alan Qiu shared interesting financial books and movies with the MF students. In the coming summer, most of the MF students will get an internship job. It’s great for them to read these books and watch these movies in their spare time.Alan recommended many good books designed for an advancement of business knowledge. The first one was Business Adventure which Buffett recommended to Bill Gates, and that Gates has called the most valuable commercial book on many occasions. He also said that The Ascent of Money by Harvard University Economist Nail Ferguson is the first choice for students who want to consolidate their foundation in the economy. It is worth mentioning that Alan recommended many works by Michael Lewis including Liar’s Poker and The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (the best book about the 2008 financial crisis). One of the prominent features of Michael Lewis’s works is his humor; his books describe numerous interesting ordinary people and everyday stories.As to movies, Alan recommended Boiler Room, Too Big to Fail and Wall Street (the original 1987 movie). These movies have tight and dense plots, truly reflecting the changeable life on Wall Street.As Einstein once said, “The difference between people lies not in their work time but in their spare time.” Motivated people try to improve themselves in their spare time, from small increments to abundance, thus they can run far ahead of those people who waste time in their career life. SAIF students are very busy in their study and work time, but if they can use their valuable spare time to read the books and watch the movies recommended by Alan instead of watching soap operas or playing computer games, they can learn something useful as they relax. The more knowledge and skills we acquire in normal times, the more we can contribute towards society in the future.In another aspect, most of the books and movies that Alan recommended aim at revealing the nature of finance and its huge influence on society and economy. Through reading these books and watching these movies, students can get an insight into the development of finance, the famous financial bubbles in human history and some moral dilemmas of financial regulation in the world today.Through vivid examples in commercial books and movies, students can attain a better understanding of the ability of finance to not only create fortune but also destroy it, and how the ethics and attainments of finance workers can directly impact the stability and prosperity of a nation. It’s more important to cultivate social responsibility based on professional ethics than to teach financial knowledge.
  • Aug 25, 2015 The Number of China CFA Candidates Explodes - What Happened?
    Whether the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exam held on June 6, 2015 was difficult or not, if you took it in Asia, you're already in the majority. According to the latest data from the CFA Institute, the Asia-Pacific region is keeping hold of its world-leading position in number of examinees. Furthermore, China accounts for the largest percentage: 29,689 Chinese students registered for the exam last Saturday with a year-on-year growth rate of 16%. In fact, this number ranks second in the world after the US. We interviewed Mr. Dawei Xie, Executive Director and General Secretary of the CFA Society Beijing, about his views on the CFA’s exploding popularity in China.Dawei Xie, CFAExecutive Director and General Secretary of the CFA Society BeijingQ: Why has the CFA exam become so hot in China?A: Actually its increase didn't just start one or two years ago. Over the past decade, the number of CFA candidates has maintained a high growth rate, which directly relates to the fast-developing domestic financial industry. As we know, what the CFA course teaches is not only investment-related professional skills, but also a kind of systematic and complete learning which is irreplaceable both at home and abroad. Currently, the domestic financial industry needs more and more professionals, and what these professionals need is systematic, professional and authoritative training. CFA meets this demand. So I think it’s very natural.Q: Many Chinese students don’t know how to choose between the certificates of CFA, MBA or Master of Finance. Do you have any suggestions?A: I think these three qualifications are quite different. Master of Finance and MBA are both degrees, while CFA is essentially a kind of personal learning outside school with a flexible learning schedule. It is suitable for some in-service workers, especially young people who have worked for two or three years and have plenty of time to take the course.Q: Do most Chinese candidates only choose the CFA Level I exam rather than Level II or III? If so, why?A: I don’t think so. People probably have such misconception because there are relatively few candidates registering for Level II. On general the number of people registering for Level II is small, since it is impossible for everyone to pass Level I and get qualified for Level II. This is an important reason. This phenomenon doesn't just exist in China.Q: What is the pass rate for CFA Level III candidates in China? And the dropout rate?A: In my impression, the CFA Institute can provide the pass rate data of all CFA candidates in the world, but it isn't specific to any particular country. As far as I know, the pass rate of Chinese candidates has no obvious difference from those of other regions in the world. It depends on the time and effort they put into their studies, not the country or region in which they live, and so does the dropout rate. When taking the Level I exam, many candidates could be studying for a master’s degree or only recently graduated, and they could be very busy or have other choices for their personal career development when they are able to register for Level II or Level III, and then it's natural to quit the exam. However, we've seen some impressive examples of people already in high positions in the industry completing the Level III exam. These are the people we admire.Q: Between international banks and local securities dealers, which one values this qualification more in China? Which one employs more CFA holders?A: I don’t think we can simply compare the two. Five or six years or even ten years ago, domestic institutes didn’t know much about CFA, so international banks valued it more. But in recent years, we've seen that domestic financial institutes - not just large banks and securities dealers but also many small, new foundations - have quickly accepted and valued CFA. These new foundations with few employees and on small scales give priority to CFA holders in recruiting staff. In my view, there's no great difference in the degree of recognition between these two kinds of institutions.Q: If someone really wants to obtain good professional development, is it necessary to pass all the three levels of CFA?A: I think it depends on one’s career development direction and decisions. Not everyone who passed all three levels has the same career development. As you know, from Level I to Level III, the CFA exams don't test you three times in the same aspect while enhancing the difficulty. On the contrary, each level covers knowledge and skills in different aspects, and matches a financial worker’s professional experience. For example, a fresh college graduate have to start as an analyst or assistant and do a lot of basic work, so he needs to know the contents of Level I; but if your work is related to investments and decision-making, you might need the knowledge and skills of Level III. Certainly, if you really want to work in a financial institution and enter a department or position related to investment management, I think it’s necessary to pass all three levels.Q: What’s the biggest reason for the failure of Chinese candidates to pass Level I? Can you offer them some good advice?A: I took the CFA exam, so I can tell you my personal experience. I think the biggest reason is lack of time and preparation. After all, it's quite difficult for those who have already been employed to engage in full time systematic learning for several months. Some institutions might support their employees to take this exam and offer them good conditions, but most people aren't so fortunate and they don’t have the time to read because of their busy work schedule. Actually, students have the same problem. Although they generally have more time, they are not sufficiently purposeful and may take too many exams to especially concentrate on CFA. In general, I think CFA is characterized by giving no chance to opportunists. The only possible way to pass the exam is by spending enough time to learn it systematically. I think that's the biggest problem.Q: Is there any situation in which you would advise a Chinese candidate against taking the CFA exam?A: Yes. If a student doesn't have a clear orientation of career development, I think it’s better to think twice. Of course, I won’t tell them straight out, “Don’t take the exam." I just think you need to decide what you really want. I heard that some undergraduates take as many qualification exams as possible because they have spare time from school. They think that more certificates means more choices for employment. In my opinion, certificates might not give them good choices if they don’t have a clear plan for the future. What if a student goes to an IT company after graduation? Then the CFA is useless to them.
  • Aug 25, 2015 With Dreams and Noble Sentiments - Graduate Representative of SAIF MF 2015 Nan D ...
    Nan Du, an SAIF MF graduate about to step into the field of private equity investment, is like a ray of colorful sunshine around you. His versatility and positive energy demonstrates that the so-called 'rational financial man' can be warm, endearing and energetic.Brief Introduction of Nan DuUndergraduate: Mathematical PhysicsMaster's: SAIF MFThe next step: Private equity fundI was attracted to SAIF by its humanistic atmosphereThe holder of an undergraduate degree in Mathematical Physics, Nan Du learned from Michael Powers when he was younger. From then on, he started to study economics and finance; his graduation thesisThe Rules of Testing the Square Root of Reinsurancewas published in the magazineAsia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance.Nan Du published a thesis when he was an undergraduate. He attributes this to his clear target and step by step consideration, which shows his rationality and calmness as a student majoring in science.Because of his clear target and rational judgment, Nan Du resolutely chose SAIF when facing a postgraduate recommendation program. “Since I wanted to learn finance, I wanted to go to the best place for financial development," he said. "The best place for financial development is Shanghai and the best institute for MF is SAIF. In fact, another important point to mention is SAIF's humanistic atmosphere, which especially attracted me and accorded with my dreams.”“My memories of the SAIF MF Summer Camp are still fresh. It isn't a formal interview in which you're enrolled when your scores and resume have been examined. Rather, it pays great attention to our comprehensive abilities, concerns, demands, attitudes and emotions. In the daytime, there are rich lectures and group activities such as visiting the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Securities Museum; in the evening, there are literature and art exchange activities, etc. Although the summer camp only lasted for four days, the design of showing both modern finance and human history and the way the teachers had of observing and assessing the students’ abilities through the activities themselves made me feel natural and comfortable.”In his two years in the SAIF MF Program, Nan Du deeply felt the considerate care that is close to our students’ needs. Several days after admission, the CDC (Career Development Center) held a series of lectures on career development for first-year graduate students. After that, the mentors conducted an individual interview with every student to get to know their personality traits, hobbies, future goals and so on. They used the students’ admission resumes to instruct them on how to modify them, what they lack, what adjustments are needed to tailor them to specific industries, which steps need to be prepared and what is most urgently required at present. While helping the students improve their strengths, the mentors would also teach them how to highlight their own advantages so as to attract employers.“The one-to-one instruction helps us to further clarify our career development goals and improve our employment success rate," he said. "As far as I know, among comparable institutes, SAIF is the only one capable of providing such considerate assistance and support.”Nan Du (first on the left) with his classmates, participating in the SAIF MIM in Hong Kong earlier this yearCarrying a public welfare program has always been my dreamBorn in an intellectual family, Nan Du has visited poverty-stricken areas and war-torn countries many times, in which he was deeply impressed by what he saw and heard. Influenced by his parents and the surrounding environment, he has been interested in social problems since he was young, always thinking about what he can do for society to make his life richer with greater value and meaning.He was active in organizing and taking part in public welfare programs held by the practice team of the Department of Mathematics when he was an undergraduate. After joining SAIF, he further cultivated and strengthened his awareness of social responsibility by studying the program's Extended Learning and Student Activities (ELSA) and SAIF LIVE.“The courses and activities developed by SAIF MF taught us lot, including how to combine financial knowledge and skills with practical business. This contributed to our improved understanding of public benefit and how to develop it more effectively.”Aside from taking internship at the Transit Labs, a social enterprise investment company established by his career mentor Ben Rudick, and taking part in early education programs for children and the microcredit schemes for rural workers, Nan Du also serves as a volunteer in such organizations as the Beijing Sun Village Children's Education & Consultancy Center and the Housing Base for Homeless Animals. To commend his contributions to social responsibility, SAIF MF awarded Nan Du the Leadership of Social Responsibility scholarship in 2014.This year, Nan Du and four other MF students formed the teleStory Team to establish a platform called teleStory that delivers audiobooks daily to children in poverty-stricken areas through cloud communication technology. It records fairy tale audiobooks in many different languages in the cloud, then uses the telephone to remind the children to read and listen to the fairy tales, effectively solving the problems of parents who cannot enjoy the parent-child reading time together due to illiteracy or absence. This program has been carried out in experimental units in China and will be generalized to other countries including India.The teleStory program stood out in the 2015 APAC Hult Prize Finals for its prominent creativity and feasibility, and successfully defeated 37 competitors from the University of Cambridge, the University of Pennsylvania and other famous universities to win the first prize. Next, the team will take part in the World Finals to be held at the New York Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in this September, where they will to compete for the $1 million prize for practical originality in social enterprises.“Actually, winning the prize is not our greatest concern," Nan Du said. "Of course, the prize will give us abundant funds with which to implement the program even better. But if we fail to win the prize, we'll carry on. For a public welfare program to endure, it must have the function of self-development and the ability to circulate constantly.”According to the plan, they will increase the number of users from 10,000 to 1,000,000 within 5 years in order to benefit a greater number of children in a wider range of areas. For that purpose, Nan Du and his partners have positively developed external public relations and publicity to attract support from far-sighted members of society. After being reported widely on social and public media, many warmhearted enterprises that value the promotion of public good came to their aid. Shanghai Ying Hua Fund provided RMB 300,000 as the start-up capital in the form of sponsorship and stock rights, and China Huamao Investment Co. Ltd. supplied 200 telephones for poor families that have no phones in their homes.At the beginning of June, the teleStory team went to Dawu County, a poor county in Xiaogan, Hubei, to officially carry out the testing program. They chose more than 20 families as the first batch and plan to carry out the program in villages, towns and mountainous areas after one month of optimization and adjustment. In July and August, they will go to Boston, America to take part in the seven-week 'accelerator' for entrepreneurial firms offered by the Hult Prize Committee, and then they will go to India to carry out program tests. In September, they will fight for the global first place in the 2015 Hult Prize …Facing a very tight calendar, Nan Du admitted that he can't always get everything done: “Although I've finished my schoolwork and papers, I have to work in my internship unit every day and be responsible for the management and operation of teleStory. A series of tasks including company registry, contacting sponsors and communicating with local education bureau makes me feel complex.” He hopes to involve more volunteers so as to boost the program together.At present, Nan Du is working as an intern at a foreign venture capital & private equity company in a primary market. Upon graduation, he will become a member of the company. “I've never thought about going to another company since I came here in 2014," he said, "because I'm certain that I want a job that suits my personality, is meaningful and produces value for society.”Nan Du with the teleStory Team that won the 2015 APAC Hult PrizeNan Du believes that enough money is enough, and any more is just a waste. He also believes that the most important thing in life is what we should and can do for society:“The private equity company I’m working for now also supports practical industry and helps start-ups through capital investment, which makes me feel very happy and meaningful," he said. "Many years in the future, maybe I will also engage in practical industry and run a company jointly established with a group of people who have warm and thoughtful hearts and want to use their power to contribute to the country and society.”Nan Du’s daily life is also interesting and colorful. He loves the arts and has performed in many cross talks and dramas; he is good at reciting and hosting, which has won him many awards; he also enjoys playing table tennis, playing football, running marathons and much more…Nan Du is painting the beautiful picture of his life with vibrant colours, and warming and inspiring the people around him.Nan Du (middle) takes part in a marathon with his classmatesFarewell words as a graduate“Open your eyes and don't be blinded by the things before you or let them make you give up your principles and dreams. When you plan your life goals, you should look longer and further and combine your plans with your interests and personality. Don't just follow others or exert yourself to the utmost. What is right for you is the best.” - Nan DuAbout SAIF MFThe Master of Finance (MF) program has been the flagship program at SAIF since it first matriculated students in the fall of 2009. Our mission is to provide the best and brightest young individuals with the academic knowledge and professional skills needed to succeed in the global finance industry.To achieve this mission, we provide students with a curriculum rooted in modern financial theory, that delivers sophisticated quantitative and analytical tools and imparts state-of-the-art practical knowledge and skills to meet the rigors of today’s finance profession. Furthermore, the MF program is committed to fostering exceptional leadership and communication skills, the highest levels of professionalism, and an exemplary sense of social responsibility.Official WeChat ID of SAIF MF: SAIF-MF
  • Aug 25, 2015 The 2015 Graduation Season - Dean of SAIF Jiang Wang’s Expectations of Graduat ...
    "China is undergoing the transformation of its development mode, from size-oriented to efficiency-oriented, from government-dominated to market-dominated, and from a development mode driven by the resource input to a sustainable development mode driven by innovation. You shall all be devoted to your own cause and look forward to future. You will have promising prospects!"On July 5th, 2015, Dean of SAIF Jiang Wang gave a keynote speech at the 2015 Graduation and Degree Awarding Ceremony of SAIF, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.Brief Introduction of Jiang Wang•Chair of the Academic Advisory Council at SAIF (Dean)•Chair Professor of the Mizuho Financial Group at MIT's Sloan School of Management•Researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research•PhD in Finance, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania•PhD in Physics, the University of PennsylvaniaAn excerpt of his speech follows:Today is especially worthy of celebration, because today we’ll witness the commencement of 320 MF, FMBA, FDOA students at SAIF.On behalf of SAIF of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, please allow me to extend our warmest congratulations to each of you who will graduate today, congratulations for your successful graduation after 2 or 3 years of persistent hard work at SAIF.I would also like to avail myself of this opportunity to extend our sincere congratulations and gratitude to the family and friends of our graduates for your constant encouragement and devotion to them in their diligent study process. They wouldn't have achieved such remarkable grades without your support!As we all know, China’s economy has undergone enormous changes in the last 4 decades, but what are the goals and ways of its further development? Actually, we and even the whole world are pondering this question.A common view at present holds that China’s economic development is stepping into the next new normal, but what is the new normal? Obviously it doesn’t simply refer to the GDP decreasing from a growth rate of 10% to 7%. It should be the transformation of the development mode. The new mode should be a sustainable development mode that changes from size-oriented to efficiency-oriented, from government-dominated to market-dominated, and from being driven by resource input to being driven by innovation. The key to assuring a successful transformation is to give full play to the decisive role of markets in resources allocation; this should also be supported by a modern and open financial system.To construct such a financial system as soon as possible is the historical opportunity that we are faced with, and SAIF emerges in response to such a need and an opportunity. Although SAIF is still in its early stages, it has a special mission, namely activating ideas and cultivating talent for the development of China’s modern financial business. Ideas are generated by talent.Over the last 6 years, a large group of senior professors from international senior business schools has gathered at SAIF to undertake this mission. We took the lead in providing MF, FMBA, FEMBA, FDBA and PhD. in Finance, which represent the most complete, fully international and specialized finance teaching programs. Because of the features of our programs, the most talented students are attracted here - students such as yourselves. Hence, I really want to take the opportunity to express my appreciation to all SAIF professors for transmitting wisdom and imparting knowledge to students, and thanks again for all the staff’s hard work.Of course, it is you, the students of the Class of 2015, who I appreciate the most. Thank you for choosing SAIF, thank you for growing with SAIF and thank you for bringing us triumphs marked by the successes you have already achieved and those you are yet to achieve.From now on, you should devote yourselves to your own causes and look forward to your future, which is brilliant. The financial sector in China is experiencing a fast historic reform which is reflected in at least three aspects:First, China’s economic transformation and national development strategy, driven by creativity, urgently needs specific and efficient financial support. The close combination of technology and capital is the key to successful innovation. From angle investment, venture capital, TE, risk control, listing, mergers and international expansion to capital operation, the whole life cycle of an enterprise needs financial support because a highly efficient financial market will provide innovation with an incentive mechanism, a development level and the spirit of risk aversion. Such finance demands achievements, especially innovation achievements. Moreover, the great developmental wave is coming into being in the field.Second, to meet the demands for further economic and social reform and development in China, we see the surging momentum of marketization and the liberalization of the entire financial system. On the one hand, we can see the further marketization of interest rates and the main asset prices. Certainly, the condition appearing in our stock market and the government’s corresponding action is an inevitable episode in the process. However, finally, we should still rely on the market to regulate the asset price system.On the other hand, the weakening of various thresholds, barriers and supervision results in unprecedented openness and explosive development in the financial service sector. The sudden rise of internet finance is a good example. If there is proper guidance and controllable risks, this tendency will surely bring a more ideal new normal to China’s finance.Third, through international trade, China’s economy has basically integrated into the global system, but China’s financial system is still dissociated it. Moreover, the stable opening of capital accounts is also an established goal which will lead to the relative combination and integration of China’s financial system and the global financial framework, greatly promote the integration of China’s financial system with the global financial architecture, promote domestic capital to go global and international capital to come in, and provide a broad space for investors to allocate their assets globally and evade risks.Therefore, this has greatly improved the efficiency and risk tolerance of the capital market. At the same time, it is also a basic condition for a series of strategic measures including the construction of the Shanghai International Financial Center, the construction of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, RMB Internalization, the Bricks Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and private funds.These historic reforms and developments highlight the urgent need for high-end innovative international financial talent and offer unlimited opportunities and space for all of you to show your talents. Thus, I believe the two years’ exercise that SAIF has brought to you will be greatly beneficial for your development! Since SAIF is itself an innovation, choosing SAIF shows your innovation awareness and your courage to blaze new trails.On seeing you set out and give full play to your talents, I am filled with excitement. I am excited for the historical opportunities that you will face and the historical mission that you will take on. At the same time, I feel proud of your future glory and SAIF’s ability to provide you with assistance.Please allow me to bless and thank every student graduating from SAIF today. Thank you for choosing SAIF, for shouldering the mission of SAIF and for making contributions to the spirit of innovation, the source of ideas and the further development of SAIF. I wish you all a bright future. Thank you all!About SAIF MFThe Master of Finance (MF) program has been the flagship program at SAIF since it first matriculated students in the fall of 2009. Our mission is to provide the best and brightest young individuals with the academic knowledge and professional skills needed to succeed in the global finance industry.To achieve this mission, we provide students with a curriculum rooted in modern financial theory, that delivers sophisticated quantitative and analytical tools and imparts state-of-the-art practical knowledge and skills to meet the rigors of today’s finance profession. Furthermore, the MF program is committed to fostering exceptional leadership and communication skills, the highest levels of professionalism, and an exemplary sense of social responsibility.