Swiss Finance Institute @ EPFL

The Swiss Finance Institute @ EPFL has been created to foster research in finance and to develop a strong offering of programs in finance and financial engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The focus is on the areas within finance that have a natural interaction with mathematics, statistics, engineering, and science, namely, mathematical finance, financial econometrics, and entrepreneurial finance.

The Swiss Finance Institute @ EPFL participates in two teaching programs, The Master in Financial Engineering at EPFL, which is a highly selective 2-year master program, and The PhD in Finance, which is organized jointly with the Swiss Finance Institute and the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne.

The Swiss Finance Institute @ EPFL benefits from the institutional support of the Swiss Finance Institute, a private foundation created in 2006 by Switzerland’s banking and finance community in cooperation with leading Swiss universities, and from Swissquote, who endowed the Swissquote Chair in Quantitative Finance.

Marketing Mutual Funds

Marketing and distribution expenses are responsible for about a third of the cost of active management in the mutual fund industry. We develop and estimate a structural model of mutual fund marketing with learning about unobserved skill and costly investor search. Our estimates suggest that marketing is nearly as important as performance and fees for determining fund size. Eliminating marketing substantially improves welfare, as capital shifts towards cheaper funds and competition decreases fees. Average alpha increases as active funds shrink, and capital allocation becomes more closely aligned with manager skill net of fees. Declining investor search costs over time imply a reduction in marketing expenses and management fees as well as a shift towards passive investing, as observed empirically.

By: Nikolai ROUSSANOV, Wharton

Swissquote Conference 2018 on Machine Learning in Finance

The ninth annual Swissquote Conference on Machine Learning in Finance took place at EPFL on 9 November 2018. The conference featured current research and insights on machine learning in finance provided by leading experts from academia a