The Inactivity in Active: A Worrisome Sign of the Times?


There is a robust discussion ongoing among academics and investors around the need for cost management in investing, providing appropriate solutions for retirement finance and the general underperformance of active managers, which has led to the bulk of “smart capital” flowing to passive strategies. At the same time a subset of believers in the industry argue that the absence of active investing can lead to the suboptimal allocation of capital, the lack of liquidity in capital markets, and more disquietingly, a reliance on passive investing can lead to the magnification of correlation shocks in periods of market stress. To discuss this and related topics, such as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing in Asia, “Fintech” disruptions to the investment industry’s business model, and the manner in which institutions, investors and academics should respond, the ABFER will bring together a panel of academic and investment experts to shed light on the issues and challenges - and address pertinent questions in the industry today.


  • Professor Joseph Cherian (Moderator)

    Professor Joseph Cherian (Moderator)


    Practice Professor of Finance andDirector of the Centre for Asset Management Research and Investments (CAMRI),
    National University of Singapore

    Joseph Cherian is Practice Professor of Finance and Director of the Centre for Asset Management Research & Investments (CAMRI) at NUS Business School, where he also serves on the School's Executive Education Board.

    Prior to that, Joe was Managing Director, Global Head, and CIO of the Quantitative Strategies Group within Credit Suisse Alternative Investments in New York, where he had direct responsibility for over US$67 billion in client assets managed to a quantitative discipline. While at Credit Suisse, Joe also served on the Global Executive Committee and various senior management, investments, and risk committees of the Asset Management division. Joe joined Credit Suisse in 2004 from Banc of America Capital Management, also in New York, where he was Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager of their asset allocation funds.

    Previously, he was an Associate Professor of Finance at Boston University. He has authored numerous articles for financial journals, and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Nipun Capital, a boutique hedge fund based in San Francisco. Joe has or had appointments at the Ministry of Manpower's CPF Advisory Panel, the Singapore International Mediation Centre's Panel of Technical Experts, the National Research Foundation's Early Stage Venture Fund Evaluation Panel, the SNEC/SERI Medical Director’s Advisory Council in Singapore, the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index (MMGPI) Steering Committee in Australia, and the Journal of Alternative Investments' Editorial Board in the US. He formerly served as a review board member of the Research Foundation of the CFA Institute, and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of net Decide Corp., a pioneering RoboAdvisory firm, Orissa Group, a pioneer in the development and dissemination of liquidity-based data and analytical products across multiple asset classes, and SKG Inc., all based in the US. Joe holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Finance from Cornell University.

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