Directory

Prof. Entela BENZ-SALIASI

Prof. Entela BENZ-SALIASI

Adjunct Associate Professor

entelabenz@ust.hk

Academic qualifications

  • 1999-2003: HEC - University of Lausanne, Switzerland: PhD in Financial Asset management and Engineering (FAME)
  • 1997-1999: Graduate Institute for International Studied (HEI). Geneva, Switzerland: MPhil in International Relations, International Relations, International Economics
  • 1997-1998: Oxford University (Linacre College), UK: Certificate of Studies in Finance
  • 1992-1996: University of Tirana, Albania and University of Macerata, Italy: BA in Finance & Banking

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • (Since 2016 - onwards)
    Founder and Managing director of Ipsum Opus Limited. 
    It is a cloud based software as a service (SaaS) platform that uses proprietary algorithms for job matching talents to the industry based on skills, experience and personality traits.
  • (Since 2012 - onwards)
    Consultant/ Advisor on Impact and ESG Investing.
    Set up the necessary methodologies to measure the impact component of investment. Identify, analyze, integrate and price social, environment and governance (ESG) factors into company's financials 
  • (Since 2008 - onwards)
    University of Science and Technology Hong Kong (HKUST), Department of Finance.
    Adjunct Associate Professor
    Lecturer for Fixed Income Securities and Rates Derivatives course, Investment Analysis courses, Sustainable Investing course for Master of Investment Management, Master of Financial Analysis, MBA as well as undergraduate level.
  • 2005-2007
    UBS Investment Bank HK, Fixed Income Department
    Interest Rate Derivatives Strategist
    Responsibility: Produced weekly trade recommendations and developed quantitative analysis for most of the Asia- Pacific fixed income markets
  • 2004-2005
    UBS Investment Bank HK, Fixed Income Department
    Credit Sales and Distribution for Asia
    Responsibility: Marketing and trading of government and corporate bonds
  • 1998-1999
    Fund of (Hedge) Funds, Longitude Investment SA, Geneva, Switzerland
    Financial Analyst
    Responsibility: Analyze and simulate various hedge funds trading strategies
  • 1996-1997
    Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Albania
    Department of Trading Supervision
    Responsibilities: Develop the necessary rules and the legal framework for traders and companies to be listed in the Stock Exchange

PUBLICATIONS

  • CLP Group: Environmental, Social and Governance Factors and Their Effects on Valuation (A), 2018, Entela Benz and Ellen Orr https://hbsp.harvard.edu/product/ST52A-PDF-ENG
  • CLP Group: Environmental, Social and Governance Factors and Their Effects on Valuation (B), 2018, Entela Benz and Ellen Orr https://hbsp.harvard.edu/product/ST52B-PDF-ENG
  • Venture investment contracts as baskets of real options. Cossin, Didier, Leleux, Benoît F., Saliasi, Entela. Journal of financial transformation, vol. 13, April 2005, p. 93-101
  • The liquidation preference in venture capital investment contracts: a real option approach. Cossin, Didier, Leleux, Benoît F., Saliasi, Entela. McCahery, Joseph A. (Ed.), Renneboog, Luc (Ed.) / Venture capital contracting and the valuation of high-technology firms, Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 318-33
  • Optimal Portfolio Policies of Levered Investor in Presence of Default Risk. Published 2003-02-01, Saliasi, Entela, Swiss Banking Institute Working Paper. http://www.econbiz.de/
  • A Theoretical Explanation of the Firm’s Hedging Policy. Published 2003-04-01, Saliasi, Entela, Swiss Banking Institute Working Paper. http://www.econbiz.de/
  • Understanding the Economic Value of Legal Covenants in Investment Contracts : A Real-Options Approach to Venture Equity Contracts, 2002-10-01, Cossin, Didier ; Leleux, Benoit ; Saliasi, Entela, Swiss Banking Institute Working Paper. http://www.econbiz.de/

Current Research Projects

Working papers: ESG factors in Asia: Development, Trends and Market Usage
It is now a fact that corporates, institutions, family offices and other investors are tilting their portfolio towards an impact portfolio that combines the traditional financial return with the environmental and social ones. As such the ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) driven allocations are gaining momentum. However, while most of ESG focused assets are becoming an established asset class in Europe and US, little of this activity takes place in Asia (excluding Japan and Australia). This research will look at the current market developments in Asia (and within Asia) and compare that to US and EU. Secondly, the research aims to address the predictive power of ESG on financial indicators such as P/E ratio, Sharpe ratio and Earnings. Possible implications on the use the ESG score for asset allocation, is to be discussed in this research.

Working paper: Climate risk tools, usage and implications
Climate risk is now recognized to be a significant risk to the businesses and society overall. Business is under pressure to report on how climate change affects their operations and financial performance. A more transparent disclosure will be beneficial to the investment community looking to transit to a low-carbon economy. However, measuring climate risk is not only difficult but also subject to the industry focus. In order to draw conclusions on climate risks, the industry (alongside IFC and World Bank) has developed some basic general measures. The very basic one relies on carbon emission disclosure. The problem with this measure is that is very narrowly defined and it is backward looking. Ceres has come up with another measure called CERES/COOKESG that captures both the textual context as well as the length of the disclosure. While not perfect it has already been used by few academic research with mixed success. The aim of this project is to provide a detailed analysis of the existing measures of climates risk and how are they being used from the industry and academia. The second part of the project should do an analysis of the sectors that are more vulnerable to climate and environmental risks. Part three of the analysis should focus on the implications of climate risk on equity and bond valuations (summary of various findings).

Working paper: How green are the green bonds?
Green bonds are bond whose proceeds will be used to fund in full or partially projects deemed to be green. Green projects have environmentally friendly objectives such as renewable energy, responsible waste management, green buildings, etc. So far green bonds offer same risk profile as normal bond and command a very limited premium (if there is) 2bps, due to the extra demand. This is not enough incentive to push for more green bond issuance. At the same time, we believe that there is an underestimation of environmental risk and transitory risk, risks that these instruments are due to hedge. The purpose of this research aims at clarifying the risk and return profile of green bonds.

Working paper: Green bonds in HK
This project aims to answer the following questions: What are the cost and the benefits of issuing green bonds. Is there a green bond premium in these bonds? Any expected and unexpected "halo" effect on the company brown (non-green) bond market? Is reputation gain and ownership diversification, justifying the additional cost of verification and monitoring?

RELEVANT TEACHING EXPERIENCE WITH UNIVERSITIES

Since 2008, Professor Benz-Saliasi serves as Adjunct Associate Professor at HKUST, Department of Finance. Teaching Investment Analysis, Fixed Income Securities and Sustainable Investing courses for both Undergraduates and Master level.

 

CONSULTING AND EXECUTIVE EDUCATION EXPERIENCE WITH COMPANIES/ ORGANIZATIONS

Alongside teaching, acting as consultant/advisor to various NGO or market players with focus on Impact Investing. On Sustainable/ESG Investing she has collaborated with entities such as Robecco Asset Management, Tencent and CLP (case study). In 2003 graduated with a PhD in Financial Asset Management and Engineering (FAME) from HEC – University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Also hold a MPhil in International Economics from HEI- Graduate Institute for International Studied, Geneva, Switzerland and Certificate of Finance from Linacre College, Oxford University.

 

INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE

Professor Benz-Saliasi worked as Interest Rate Derivatives Strategist for UBS Investment Bank Hong Kong. In her role as interest rate strategist, generated frequent trade recommendations covering Asian fixed income markets including Japan and Pacific region. Back in 1999, while working for the hedge fund industry, produced various research report covering explicit trade strategies. Prior to that, in 1996, helped create and establish the Department of Trading Supervision of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Albania.


LANGUAGES

  • Albanian (native speaker)
  • English (fluent and written)
  • French (fluent and written)
  • Italian (fluent and written)
  • German (intermediate level)
  • Mandarin (beginner)