Gift from Nationwide enhances Fisher’s research activities

Fisher College’s Department of Finance and Nationwide Insurance have developed new programs that will strengthen the link between academic researchers and business practitioners. As a part of a $1.08 million gift that supports both curricular and research work, Nationwide established fellowship programs for both faculty and doctoral student researchers.

The first Nationwide faculty fellow, Andrew Karolyi, the Charles R. Webb Designated Professor of Finance, will continue his research program investigating terrorism-related investing strategies and, specifically, the impact of terrorist attacks on corporations’ stock prices as a part of the year-long fellowship.

“It’s a natural matching of interests,” Karolyi said. “This is something that I’ve studied for quite some time and insurance companies face practical problems with regards to assessing such risk and its potential consequences in providing terrorism risk insurance.”

Karolyi’s study found that terrorist attacks targeting specific companies cost those firms an average of $401 million in stock value per incident. Karolyi and his former doctoral student, Rodolfo Martell, now a research analyst at Barclay’s Global Investors in San Francisco, studied 75 terrorist incidents around the world between 1995 and 2002 and found that the target companies saw their stock prices drop an average of 0.83 percent on the day of the terrorist incident.

Since being named the inaugural Nationwide Fellow late last year, Karolyi has had the opportunity to meet and discuss his research with Nationwide’s executives including, W.G. (Jerry) Jurgensen, chief executive officer and Larry Hilsheimer, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“This allows us to talk to experts on the front lines and, for me, it is a great learning experience,” Karolyi said.

The partnership between Fisher and Nationwide also established a new program to promote risk management research among doctoral students in the finance department. The Nationwide Young Scholars Program will award support to one doctoral student a year and provide opportunities for the select student to interact with Nationwide executives.