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Faculty

The professors and lecturers from the practice world are accomplished teachers with extensive experience in academia and knowledge of best practices in the world of finance. They have done research and taught in some of the most respected universities and business schools in Europe and North America, bringing the latest theories, models and strategies to the classroom. Guest lecturers from the business world complete the picture. Here a list of some of the USI professors teaching in the Master in Finance.

Alberto Plazzi

Director of the Master in Finance

Alberto Plazzi is a Professor of Finance at USI Lugano and a Faculty member of the Swiss Finance Institute. He holds a PhD in Finance from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. His academic research is on Empirical Asset Pricing, Hedge Funds, Real Estate, and Financial Econometrics. At USI, he teaches Risk Management and Financial Intermediation (Master programme), Quantitative Methods for Finance and Empirical Asset Pricing (PhD programme). He is an associate editor of the Journal of Empirical Finance (editorial board).

Giovanni Barone-Adesi

Giovanni Barone-Adesi is a professor of finance theory at USI. He studied electrical engineering as an undergraduate at the University of Padova. Later he received an MBA and a PhD from the Graduate Business School at the University of Chicago, specialising in Finance and Statistics. Before moving to Lugano he taught at the University of Alberta, University of Texas at Austin, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and City University. His main research interests are derivative securities, asset and risk management. He is the author of several models for valuing and hedging securities. Especially well-known are his contributions with Whaley to the pricing of American commodity options and his filtered simulation approach to the measurement of market risk, developed while advising the London Clearing House.

Francesco Franzoni

Francesco Franzoni is Full Professor of Finance in the Faculty of Economics. He holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bachelor and Master degrees from Bocconi University. He joined USI in September 2007. His research spans different areas of empirical asset pricing. His interests lie especially in institutional investors and their effects on asset prices. His work has been published in the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, and Journal of Financial Economics, among other international journals. At USI, he teaches Capital Markets and Financial Modeling in the Master program and Empirical Asset Pricing in the PhD program.

Gruber Peter

Peter Gruber has a PhD in Physics from TU Wien and a PhD in Finance from the Università della Svizzera italiana. He has joined USI in 2008.  His research interests include the economics of volatility, econometrics with non-standard data sets and high performance computing. Dr. Gruber teaches numerical methods with MATLAB and R at USI and in St. Gallen.

Loriano Mancini

Loriano Mancini received his PhD from the Università della Svizzera italiana, Faculty of Economics, in 2004 with a PhD thesis in financial econometrics. In 2004-2005 he was research fellow at the Operations Research and Financial Engineering department at Princeton University. In 2005-2007 and 2007-2009 he was, respectively, senior researcher and assistant professor at the institute of finance at the University of Zurich. From 2009 to 2017 he had been assistant professor at the Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL. From August 2017, he is associate professor at USI. His research interests are in financial econometrics. His recent research focuses on volatility and liquidity risks, stability of interbank markets, financial aspects of insurance companies, and statistical analyses of corporate cash flows. His research has appeared in various international journals such as Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of the American Statistical Association, and Journal of Econometrics. He is associate editor of various academic journals such as the Journal of Financial Econometrics. At USI, he teaches courses at bachelor, master and PhD level.

Eric Nowak

Full Professor of Financial Management and Accounting at USI since 2003, Eric Nowak studied at the Universities of St Gallen and Bocconi in Milan and completed his PhD at the University of St Gallen in 1997 after a research period at the University of Chicago with a fellowship of the National Science Foundation. Subsequently, he was assistant professor of finance at Goethe University Frankfurt, where he received his venia legendi in 2002. Eric Nowak was visiting professor at the Universities of Hohenheim, COPPEAD Rio de Janeiro, CEIBS Shanghai, and Witten/Herdecke, a fellow of the Center for Financial Studies (CFS), an affiliate member of the Swiss Finance Institute (SFI), and adjunct professor at the Université de Luxembourg School of Finance (LSF). He has published in the top journals of fields as diverse as finance, entrepreneurship, and business history, among them the Journal of Finance,the Journal of Business Venturing, and Business History. He was the national coordinator for the European Research Network ‘Regional Comparative Advantage and Knowledge Based Entrepreneurship’. During his sabbatical academic year 2010-11 he was the Rock Center for Corporate Governance Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. Since 2016 he is the Director of the Master in Financial Technology and Computing (FinTeC).

Laurent Frésard

Laurent Frésard is Professor of Finance at the Università della Svizzera italiana and has held an SFI Senior Chair since 2017. Before joining the faculty in Lugano, Professor Frésard was a member of the faculty at the University of Maryland and prior to that at HEC Paris. Professor Frésard’s papers have been published in leading academic journals and he has received a number of grants and awards. His research interests lie in empirical corporate finance, with a focus on the interactions between product market competition and corporate policies, and the determinants and consequences of international cross-listings. He teaches introductory and advanced corporate finance at the master level, as well as empirical corporate finance at the PhD level.

Paul Schneider

Paul Schneider is Associate Professor of Finance at the Università della Svizzera italiana and has held an SFI Junior Chair since 2015. He obtained his PhD in Finance from the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Professor Schneider is a regular speaker at leading academic conferences in finance and his papers have been published in top finance journals. His main research areas are asset pricing and empirical finance. In recent research, Professor Schneider raises the question of knowing whether it pays to be an optimist in a trading environment. He has been teaching computational finance, term structure modelling and financial risk management from the Bachelor to the PhD level.

Patrick Gagliardini

He studied at the Polytechnical School in Zurich (ETHZ) where he graduated in Physics in 1998. In January 2003, he received a PhD from the Faculty of Economics of USI for a thesis in Econometrics. In 2003, he has been a visiting fellow at the Laboratoire de Finance-Assurance of CREST (Paris) with a SNSF research grant. Between 2004 and 2006, he held an assistant professor position at the Faculty of Economics of the University of St. Gallen. Since 2012, he has been full professor of Econometrics at USI. His research interests focus on econometrics and financial econometrics. He has published research papers on topics such as large panel factor models, nonparametric estimation, the Generalized Method of Moments in asset pricing, time series analysis, and credit risk. He teaches courses in Introductory Econometrics (Bachelor), Financial Econometrics (Master), Econometrics (PhD) and Time Series Analysis (PhD, together with prof. Fabio Trojani).

Antonio Mele

Antonio Mele is Professor of Finance and holds a Senior Chair with the Swiss Finance Institute. He joined USI in 2011 after serving as a faculty at the London School of Economics for nearly a decade. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Paris, and his expertise covers a variety of fields such as capital market volatility, the interlinks between asset prices and business cycle developments, or the functioning of capital markets in contexts with information networks or Knightian uncertainty.

Antonietta Mira

Antonietta Mira is professor of statistics. She is the principal investigator on several projects at the Swiss National Science Foundation and a member of multiple scientific committees representing her areas of expertise: Bayesian statistical models and efficient Monte Carlo simulation algorithms and theory. Her current research focuses on data science and methodological and computational statistics, both of which have a clear interdisciplinary scope across social science, finance, economics and industry. Antonietta holds a PhD in Computational Statistics (1998) and a Master’s in Statistics (1996) from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, US. She also has a Doctorate in Methodological Statistics from the University of Trento (1995), Italy, and earned her Bachelor’s in Economics, summa cum laude, from the University of Pavia, Italy. Her work has been published in over 50 scientific articles and books.