Dear KAFA Members, Friends, and Supporters:
I am sincerely hoping you have been healthy and safe, enduring this unprecedented pandemic that has been significantly changing our way of life with enormous uncertainty and forcing us to stay apart from each other. Nobody expected that such a pandemic would come during our life time, but by now about 3 million people around the world have been infected with COVID-19 virus, and more than 200,000 people have died so far in the U.S. alone. Fortunately, it is being reported that the effective vaccine would be given soon to the population in most need, though in limited supply, and eventually be widely available by next summer. We just hope that it will be the case so that we can go back to our normal life sooner than later and will never need to be in such an uncertain time again.
First of all, I am very pleased to announce that Professor Young Sang Kim at Northern Kentucky University has been elected as President Elect, who will join our next President, Professor Kiyoung Chang at University of South Florida to serve KAFA from October 2020.
Also please join me in welcoming our new executive officers and board members: Daewoung Joey Choi at Louisiana State University Shreveport, Joonki Noh at Case Western Reserve University, and Sehyun Yoo at Belmont University as members of the Executive Board, and Hoikwang Kim at the University of South Carolina as a member of the Paper Review Committee. I would also like to express my appreciation to our outgoing officers for their valuable contributions: Ji-Woong Chung at Korea University, Jongsub Lee at Seoul National University, and Hyuna Park at Brooklyn College - CUNY.
Thanks of course go to the generous financial support from the Financial News (FN), Shinhan Bank (SHB), D. K. Kim Foundation, and the Lee Family, and we can continue to recognize KAFA members’ outstanding scholarly achievements through various awards, including the FN-KAFA Eminent Scholar Award, D.K. Kim Distinguished Scholar Award, the SHB-KAFA Young Scholar Award, the FN-KAFA Top-Journal Paper Award, the SHB-KAFA Best Paper Award, the Dr. Bong-Soo Lee Memorial Scholarship, the FN-KAFA Doctoral Student Dissertation Award, and the SHB-KAFA Scholarships for Ph.D. Students. Such financial supports have been possible primarily owing to deep understanding of KAFA’s mission of Chairman Jae-Ho Jeon at FN, the CSR Team at SHB, Chairman Dong Koo Kim, and Chris and Paul Lee of the Lee family. I am so grateful to all of these philanthropical individuals and organizations that they have decided to continue their financial support of KAFA even during this pandemic so that we can give out awards to deserving scholars and Ph.D. students. With the recommendations from the Review Committee, we have selected the recipients of awards and scholarship and will announce their names and accomplishments during our annual business meeting in October.
KAFA leadership and other selected members have participated in the conference jointly arranged with the four Korea Finance Associations (KFAs) held annually in late May, and some of other KAFA members from the U.S. also participated in the Symposium organized together with the Korean Institute of Finance (KIF) around at the same time. Due to the global pandemic situations, the KAFA leadership has been modifying the nature of various activities. For example, we cancelled our trip to attend the 2020 Allied Korea Finance Association (AKFA) Annual Meeting. Two KAFA members whose papers were accepted for presentations and travel support from the U.S. also cancelled their trips. It was held in a hybrid format in August, and I attended only its morning virtual sessions due to the time difference. KIF and KAFA have also postponed its joint Symposium until 2021. Also, instead of visiting our sponsoring organizations such as Financial News, Shin Han Bank, Bank of Korea, and KIF, the KAFA leadership in the U.S. emailed our annual report to those organizations and the KAFA leadership in Korea instead visited some of them for luncheon meetings.
As you know, one of the most important KAFA events is held during the Financial Management Association Annual Meeting. This year, the FMA will be held in a virtual format, but KAFA will continue to offer two sessions (Session #19: Asia Finance and Session #328: Korea Finance). Professor Kiyoung Chang, President-Elect, will chair Session #19 for three papers presented by one KIF senior research fellow and two invited non-Korean scholars. I will chair Session #328 for three papers presented by three Bank of Korea research fellows. The details of the two FMA sessions organized by KAFA can be found in this newsletter. I would like to extend my special thanks to Dr. Woon Shin at Bank of Korea Economic Research Institute (BOKERI) and Dr. Sangho Sohn at KIF for their support and dedication to promoting our professional goals. Please note that KAFA will also convene its annual board meeting and business meeting on Zoom during the FMA on Friday, October 23rd.
At this point, I don’t expect that KAFA members in the U.S. will participate in person in the Conference on Asia-Pacific Financial Markets (CAFM) in December 2020 run by Korea Securities Association (KSA) as well as in the KAFA-KCMI Joint Seminar organized together with the Korea Capital Market Institute (KCMI), both of which are scheduled to be held in Seoul. Although partial travel supports from KSA and stipends from KCMI are promised for participating KAFA members from the U.S., the COVID-19 situations and the 2-week self-quarantine requirement in Korea would likely to force the KAFA leadership and members in the U.S. to skip its participation on the CAFM conference and have KAFA leadership/members in Korea participate in the KAFA-KCMI Joint Seminar. Decisions will be made by KAFA’s board in its annual meeting during the 2020 FMA and announced immediately.
KAFA has made a name impressively on the map in the academic world, particularly in finance. Many, many, non-Korean colleagues in our profession have been admiring our history and success, and of course such growth and accomplishments are mainly owing to the dedicated service of KAFA leadership, its board, review committees, and financial support from its generous sponsors. But, KAFA will surely continue to make even a bigger name among academic boards and societies for the years to come. As approved by the Board of Directors, KAFA has launched two, new exciting projects during 2019-2020. First, for the first time in the history of KAFA, it hosted a dinner during the ASSA meeting in San Diego in January 2020 for those scholars from KFAs and sponsoring institutes in Korea. Professor Kwangwoo Park (KAIST) and Dr. Sangho Sohn (President of KIF) and 14 others attended the dinner. Second, the KAFA has planned to launch its intermediary role between scholars who are aspiring to be visiting scholars and the U.S. and Canadian universities that are willing to be hosts for those aspirants. The details are now being ironed out between KAFA leaderships in the U.S. and Korea, but understandably its official launch has been postponed due to the pandemic. And other new business will emerge under the new leadership.
It was truly an honor and wonderful memory that I served for KAFA as President Elect and President for the last two years. At the same time, I am realizing that perhaps I may be remembered as the only KAFA president in its history who couldn’t hold the in-person KAFA annual business meeting with no dinner served for its members. I feel unfortunate and sorry but sincerely hope I will be the only one in the KAFA’s history book! Finally, I sincerely thank Professors Young Baek and Jung Chul Park, who have worked tirelessly as great team members and amazingly have agreed to serve for one more year as Treasurer and Secretary General, respectively, to make the transition for new President, Professor Kiyoung Chang, be smooth. With their support and dedication, KAFA will continue to be in really good hands.
I look forward to meeting with you on Zoom soon during the FMA and in the future IN PERSON conferences and KAFA meetings.
2019-2020 KAFA President
University of California, Riverside