Chao Bian is a doctoral candidate in the finance department at the University of Texas at Austin. Chao received his B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and M.S. in Astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology. He also received a Master of Science in Computational Finance (MSCF) from the Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to joining the PhD program at UT Austin, he worked as a proprietary trader and portfolio strategist at Deutsche Bank AG in Hong Kong.
Chao’s research interests include theoretical asset pricing, real options, and mathematical finance. In his job market paper, he studies the relationship between corporate cash holdings and expected stock returns. Using a real option model, he shows that riskier firms tend to hold more cash internally when it is costly to raise external funds. Therefore, high cash holdings imply high, rather than low, future stock returns.
Mitch Towner is a doctoral candidate in Finance at the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics and Economics from Lewis and Clark College. He received his M.S. in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on how firm's financial structure decisions are impacted by the environment in which they operate, and the provision of corporate governance by shareholders through activist campaigns.