OP Group Research Foundation’s Research Group on Financial Institutions
The research group studies financial institutions. The streams led by the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Vaasa cover contemporaneous and future challenges faced by banks. Research streams led by Aalto University scholars cover topics on non-bank financial institutions, investment funds (hedge funds in particular), mutual funds, endowment funds, business development companies, and peer-to-peer funding institutions.
The research group investigates the challenges faced by financial institutions in the context of global trends: the necessity of migrating into environmentally and socially sustainable consumption, the need to manage global exposures because of the intertwined global economy, the growing role of central banks, increasing macroprudential regulation, and many more. Group also organizes a seminar on financial institutions, relevant doctoral courses, workshops, and conferences. The research group also acquires and disseminates relevant datasets on financial institutions. Finally, the research group also aims for policy impact by developing practical implications for banks, investors, central banks, bank supervisors, and other regulators.
The Research Group
- Elias Rantapuska is an associate professor of finance (with tenure) at Aalto University, the Head of the Department of Finance, and the leader of a research group financed by the Academy of Finland. Elias Rantapuska earned his Dr.Sc. (Econ.) at Helsinki School of Economics in 2006. He has published in the leading finance journals, including Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Finance, and Journal of Financial Markets. His current research contributes to understanding the role of financial advisors and education in the take up of financial products by households. Elias Rantapuska has been a visiting scholar and professor at the Bank of Finland, BI Norwegian Business School, Erasmus University Rotterdam, HKUST, NYU, and Stockholm School of Economics. He is also very active in educating current and future bankers in executive education and consulting engagements.
- Juha Joenväärä is an assistant professor of finance at Aalto University. Joenväärä’s research is on empirical financial intermediation and sustainable finance. Together with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Juha has built the world’s largest hedge fund database used to conduct research and monitor systemic risk. He has published in top journals such as the Financial Analysts Journal, Journal of Quantitative and Financial Analysis, and Review of Finance. The best paper prize of the Financial Management Association Conference was awarded to his research in 2017. Bloomberg, CNBC, Financial Times, Forbes, Reuters, Vanity Fair, and several other media outlets have featured his research. He was a Visiting Researcher at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and the Centre for Hedge Fund Research at Imperial College London. He has written several industry reports and consulted a large pension fund when they built an internal “hedge fund.”
- Kari Heimonen is a professor at the University of Jyväskylä at the School of Business and Economics. Professor Kari Heimonen is the head of Jyväskylä International Macro and Finance Research Group (JyIMaF) in economics and finance at the University of Jyväskylä School of Business and Economics (JSBE) and a collaborator at the JSBE Banking and international Finance master program. He has a broad interest in international finance, foreign exchange, monetary policy, and topic related to the international open economy macroeconomy. Professor Heimonen's research activity deals with versatile topics in economics and finance and he has published in journals like Journal of International Money and Finance, Global Finance Journal, Open Economies Review, Empirical Finance, International Economic Journal, Review of Financial Economics, International Economics and Finance, Journal of Industry Competition and Trade. He has been an editor of the Finnish Economic Papers – the Journal of Finnish Economic Association 2013-2020 and acted in academic leading positions as a JSBE Research Vice Dean and the head of the faculty doctoral school 2008-2015, and the head of the economics department 2007-2013. He has been a visiting scholar at LSE, MIT, Hong Kong City University, Melbourne University, and the Bank of Finland.
- Sami Vähämaa is a professor of accounting and finance and the Head of the Finance Group at the University of Vaasa. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and a Research Fellow at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Professor Vähämaa has previously held visiting appointments at the University of Central Florida, the University of Manchester, Florida Atlantic University, Bentley University, Deusto Business School, and the European Central Bank. He currently serves as the editor of the Nordic Journal of Business, as an editorial board member of Corporate Governance: An International Review, and as a director of the Southern Finance Association. Professor Vähämaa has published over 40 articles in peer-reviewed finance, accounting, and business journals such as the Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Journal of Empirical Finance, Journal of Business Research, Accounting Horizons, Journal of Financial Services Research, and The Financial Review. His articles have received over 3,100 citations according to Google Scholar (h-index of 26; i10-index of 36), and in addition to academic journals, his research has been cited in the reports of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Bank of Japan, and the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. His research has also been featured in all main Finnish media outlets and in international media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Forbes.