Rossen Valkanov: Faculty Spotlight

Rady School of Management Celebrates the Graduation of 110 MBAs

With an economic fervor and entrepreneurial curiosity, Rady Finance Professor Rossen Valkanov has opened up avenues of research and teaching for the real-life applications of Financial Economics. Valkanov's long history with the Rady School of Management represents nearly a decade of academic growth congruent with the ever-changing environment that is the global financial market.

Valkanov obtained both his M.A. and Ph. D. in economics from Princeton University and began his teaching career at the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles and also taught at UC Berkeley's Haas School of business before coming to the Rady School in 2005. When Valkanov first joined the Rady School as an associate professor, he recalls the Rady School itself being a startup in its own right and was drawn by the same fascination that entrepreneurs seek.

According to Valkanov, "The prospects of starting something from the ground up, putting your vision in it, and creating something very tangible," was and continues to be a driving force in his professional teaching endeavors. His teaching methods have been recognized by Rady School MBA students who awarded Valkanov the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007 and 2012. In 2008, he received the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award awarded by the Graduate Student Association of UC San Diego.

His research revolves around the areas of financial econometrics, empirical finance and real estate. Currently, Volkanov is working on a number of topics, one of which is the role of complexity in designed financial instruments. This research seeks to examine the assumption that complex securities, such as mortgage back securities, can be understood by market participants, which isn't always the case. Valkanov is dissecting the role of complexity in designing, impressing and trading those securities.

As a professor, Valkanov aims to put his own bend on the typical rigid structure finance currently stands on by making learning much more interactive. He brings in real-world examples in order to motivate a discussion among students and to weave in some practical insights into the financial theories put forth.

Valkanov, along with seven other Rady School finance faculty members, will soon expand his student base outside of the MBA audience by teaching empirical finance and risk management in the Rady School's newly launched Master of Finance program.

When Valkanov is not busy teaching, he enjoys immersing himself in the active San Diego scene by playing tennis, scuba diving and spending time with his family.

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