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Isenberg’s Hossein Kazemi Named Distinguished Professor in Finance

AMHERST — Hossein Kazemi, professor of Finance at the UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management, has been named the Michael and Cheryl Philipp Distinguished Professor in Finance. The appointment was approved by the UMass board of trustees. The endowed professorship was most recently held by Thomas Schneeweis, who retired in 2013.

In recommending him for the appointment, UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and James Staros, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, told the trustees that Kazemi has a long and distinguished record in research, service, and teaching.

“It is a great honor to be the second recipient of this chair and to follow in the footsteps of Tom Schneeweis, a highly respected and cited financial economist,” said Kazemi. “Michael and Cheryl have been strong supporters of the Isenberg School and its finance department by endowing this chair as well as providing the initial funding for the Center for International Securities and Derivative Markets (CISDM).” Kazemi thanked his colleagues and Mark Fuller, Isenberg’s dean, for their strong support.

In research, Subbaswamy and Staros note that, beginning in 1988, Kazemi published four papers on asset pricing models using alternative tests in top-tier journals. He did this as a sole author, something observers in the field have called “amazing.” Two of the papers were published in the Journal of Finance, one in the Review of Financial Studies, and one in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

In the early 2000s, when the Isenberg School acquired a large hedge-fund database, Kazemi turned his focus to hedge funds. He is currently the director of the CISDM, and he helped with the acquisition of the Morningstar CISDM Database. Kazemi helped establish the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Assoc., which helps promote education in the area of alternative investments and provides professional designation. He is also the editor of the Journal of Alternative Investments and is the founder of Alternative Investments Analyst Review, a practitioner-oriented journal.

Kazemi’s contribution to the establishment and leadership of the CAIA Assoc. is a rare accomplishment in academia, particularly business schools, Subbaswamy and Staros said. It leverages his knowledge in the area of alternative investment to create an organization that is dedicated to the promotion of professional development through continuing education, innovative research, and thoughtful leadership, and is an advocate for high standards of professional ethics.

In addition to his record in research and service, Kazemi has made contributions to the teaching mission at UMass Amherst, Subbaswamy and Staros said. He played an important role in revising the Isenberg School’s doctoral program, helping improve its quality and support of doctoral students and serving as Ph.D. program director from 1998 to 2002. Kazemi served on more than 30 dissertation committees and chaired 18 of them. Many of his former students have gone on to notable positions in academia and industry. Kazemi’s nomination for the appointment was also unanimously supported by four outside reviewers, all holders of endowed positions at comparable universities.

Kazemi joined the univeristy in 1986, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1992, and promoted to professor in 2004. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1977 at the National Iranian Oil Co. College of Accounting & Finance, his master’s degree in 1980 at Eastern Michigan Univeristy, and a doctorate in finance in 1986 at the Univeristy of Michigan.

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