Financial Risk Management and its Behavioral Pitfalls – an Introduction


Date & Time:July 17, 2019  10:00 - 11:30a.m.

Venue:SEM320 Meeting Room


Inviter:Peiyao Shen


Tens of thousands of years of evolution have made man an excellent risk manager. Unfortunately, mankind’s genetically encoded risk management fails in finance – and most spectacularly so. In fact, it turns out that man is very able to manage intuitively most everyday risks – and actually does so on a daily basis – while he is not prepared at all to handle financial risks. The reason for this is our behavioral conditioning which is on a fundamental level at odds with the statistical implications of risk in finance. Behavioral Finance addresses this very basic disconnect between mankind’s genomic imprinting and financial risk management, illustrating possible solutions to avoid the pitfalls associated with it.

In this seminar, we will introduce risk in general and contrast it to risk in finance. For both “kinds” of risk, we will outline how man manages them. Finally, we will discuss the behavioral biases most important in finance and understand their origin as well as ways to overcome them.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Jan-Alexander Posth is a senior lecturer at the Institute for Wealth and Asset Management at the ZHAW School of Management and Law. He has more than 12 years’ of professional track record in the financial industry, where he gained extensive expertise as a risk manager, quant and portfolio manager. Starting at Deutsche Postbank as a credit risk manager, Jan-Alexander moved on to Landesbank Baden-Württemberg where he built up the quant infrastructure for the structured credit trading division and led the fund derivatives trading desk. Joining STOXX Ltd. in 2012, he was responsible for the development of smart-beta equity indices and multi-factor models before becoming Head of Research and Portfolio Management at Tom Capital AG in 2015. Jan-Alexander holds a PhD in theoretical physics.