Hong Zou
Prof. Hong ZOU
IMBA Programme Director

3917 7785

KK 835


Joe Hong Zou is a professor of finance at University of Hong Kong. He graduated in Statistics from Fudan University, completed a Master degree in insurance & accounting with distinction (sponsored by UK insurer Aviva) and received a PhD in Finance from University of Wales (UK). He had six-year industry experience (four years in a local government and two years in an investment bank) and qualified the CPA and investment analyst exam. He previously taught at Cardiff University (UK) and City University of Hong Kong, and received the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) 2017/2018 IMBA teaching award, the 2019/2020 HKU-PKU EMBA Teaching Award, and the 2020/2021 & 2021/2022 & 2022/2023 FBE Faculty UG Teaching Reward in the University of Hong Kong. He was ranked as one of the HKU Scholars in the world’s Top 1% based on Thomson Clarivate Analytics’ Essential Science Indicators in the 10-year period (2008-2018) (2008-2018 湯森路透科睿唯安世界排名前1%的學者) (http://hub.hku.hk/local/top1pc/top1pc.jsp?year=2018). He is consistently ranked in the top 10% of Authors on SSRN by all-time downloads.

His research interests include corporate finance, corporate governance, risk management, financial services, and the Chinese financial market. He published 40 peer-reviewed journal articles in English and his research works appear in top finance journals (Journal of FinanceJournal of Financial EconomicsReview of Financial StudiesJournal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Management Science), top accounting journals (e.g., Journal of Accounting and Economics), top international business journals (e.g., Journal of International and Business Studies), top insurance journals (e.g., Journal of Risk and Insurance), and economics journals (e.g., Journal of Law and Economics). He won 8 international research awards (including the 2002 & 2003 Shin Insurance Research Awards at New York-based International Insurance Society (IIS), the 2012 Patrick Brockett and Arnold Shapiro research award given by the American Risk and Insurance Association (ARIA), the 2012 China International Conference in Finance (CICF) best paper award), the semifinalist for the best paper award at the 2017 FMA Annual Meeting in Boston, and the 2022 China International Conference on Insurance and Risk Management (CICIRM) hosted by Tsinghua University. He also published 17 journal articles in Chinese (e.g., Economic Research). His research works are featured in the Handbook of Insurance, the CFA Digest, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, the Columbia Law School’s blog on corporations and capital markets (Blue Sky), the NBER Working Paper series, the European Corporate Governance Institute – Finance Working Paper series, and two finance textbooks. He also coauthored FinTech cases Ping An OneConnect Virtual Bank (平安一賬通虛擬銀行 Data driven banking business) and Micro Connect (滴灌通 Solution to Micro and Small Business financing).

He once gave a lecture in the Lloyd’s of London, and received media interviews (e.g., Reactions, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the Financial Management magazine of AICPA-CIMA). He was a finance paper examiner of the professional qualification exams at the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) and Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS). He is a research fellow at the Center of China Insurance and Social Security Research, and is an associate editor for British Accounting Review – a flagship journal of the British Accounting and Finance Association (2021 CiteScore 7.3), an associate editor for China Financial Review International, and a former associated editor of Journal of Insurance Issues – the official journal of Western Risk and Insurance Association in the U.S., and was on the editorial board of China Journal of Accounting Studies, and Frontiers of Business Research in China (published by Springer) between 2010 and 2016.  He was a former independent director of the cross-listed Chong Qing Bank.

Research Interest
  • Corporate governance, novel investor protection, boards, directors’ and officers’ liabilities, litigation risk
  • Corporate risk management, hedging, and interactions with other corporate financial policies; emerging risk (e.g., ESG risk; cyber risk)
  • Loan contracts, cost of debt and equity, IPO
  • M&As, innovation
  • Financial institutions (including insurance companies)
  • Household finance
  • Financial reporting, disclosure, tax avoidance
  • FinTech
  • Chinese financial markets
Selected Publications
  1. Director liability protection and the quality of independent directors (with Masulis, Ronald, Shen, Sichen). 2024. Management Science, Forthcoming.
  2. Governance by one-lot shares (with Cao, Feng, Yuhai Xuan, Rongli Yuan). 2023. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Forthcoming.
  3. Liquidity effects of litigation risk: Evidence from a legal shock (with Oliviero, Tommaso, Park, Min). 2023. Journal of Law and Economics, Forthcoming.
    • Featured in Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog on corporations and capital markets.
  4. Do financial regulations shape the functioning of financial institutions’ risk management in ABS investment? 2020. Review of Financial Studies (with Chen, X.J., Higgins, E., and Xia, H.), 33(6), 2506-2553.
  5. Is Skin in the game a game changer? Evidence from mandatory changes to D&O insurance policies. 2019. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 68(1), 101225 (with Lin, C., Officer, M., Schmid, T.)
  6. Covenants, creditors’ simultaneous equity holdings, and firm investment policies. 2019. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 54(2), 481-512. (with Chava, S., Wang, R.)
  7. Directors’ and officers’ liability insurance and the cost of equity. 2016. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 61(1), 100-120. (with Chen, Z., Li, Z.)
  8. Directors’ and officers’ liability insurance and loan spreads. 2013. Journal of Financial Economics 110(1), 37-60. (with Lin, C., Officer, M., Wang, R.)
  9. The real and financial implications of corporate hedging. 2011. Journal of Finance 66(5), 1615-1647. (NBER 16622 Working Paper) (with Campello, M., Lin, C., Ma, Y.)
    • Summarized by Keith Black of CFA Institute in CFA Digest 42(1), 2012, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2469/dig.v42.n1.38)
    • Referenced in FINANCE FOR EXECUTIVES: A practical guide for managers. By Nuno Fernandes, 2014, NPV Publishing; ISBN-10: 9899885401; ISBN-13: 978-9899885400
    • Cited in INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, by Bekaert, Geert, and Robert Hodrick. Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  10. Chief executive officer incentives, monitoring, and corporate risk management: Evidence from insurance use. 2011. Journal of Risk and Insurance 78(3), 551-582. (with Adams, M.B., Lin, C.)
    • Referenced in Dionne, G. (Ed.). (2013). Handbook of Insurance. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  11. Directors’ and officers’ liability insurance and acquisition outcomes. 2011. Journal of Financial Economics 102(3), 507-525. (with Lin, C., Officer, M.)
  12. Friend or foe? The role of state and mutual fund ownership in the split share structure reform in China. 2010. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 45(3), 685-706. (with Firth, M., Lin, C.).
  13. The effectiveness of using a basis hedging strategy to mitigate the financial consequences of weather-related risks. 2010. North American Actuarial Journal 14(2), 157-175. (with Golden, L.L., Yang, C.)
    • 2012 American Risk and Insurance Association (ARIA) Patrick Brockett and Arnold Shapiro best paper award.
  14. Corporate ownership and equity risks and returns in China. 2008. Journal of International Business Studies 39(7), 1149-1168. (with Adams, M.)
    • Best paper award, Chinese Economic Association (UK) Conference, London, 2002
  15. Debt capacity, cost of debt and corporate insurance. 2008. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 43(2), 433-466. (with Adams, M.B.)
    • Referenced in Dionne, G. (Ed.). (2013). Handbook of Insurance. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  16. Corporate purchase of property insurance: Chinese evidence. 2006. Journal of Financial Intermediation 15(2), 165-196. (with Adams, M.B.) (lead article)
  17. Corporate risk and property insurance: Evidence from China. 2003. Journal of Risk and Insurance 70(2), 289-314. (with Adams, M.B., Buckle, M.J.)
    • 2002 Shin Research Award (US$3,000) at the International Insurance Society (New York-based) annual conference

Selected Revise & Resubmits

Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Business Ethics, Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Journal of Risk and Insurance, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Business, Finance and Accounting, Accounting Horizons

  Selected Publications in Chinese

  1. Wei, G., Xiao, Z., Travlos, N., and Zou, H. 2007. Independent directors’ background and corporate performance in China, Economic Research (经济研究), 52(3), 92-105.
  2. Xiao, Z. and Zou, H. 2008. Capital sturucture determinants and equity issuance preference of Chinese listed companies, Economic Research (经济研究), 53(6), 119-144.
Recent Publications












Do Financial Regulations Shape the Functioning of Financial Institutions’ Risk Management in Asset-Backed Securities Investment?

We show that installing stronger risk management into financial institutions—a proposal widely discussed following the 2008 financial crisis—is insufficient to constrain institutions’ exposure to investment with lurking risk, such as asset-backed securities (ABS). Regulations affect the functioning of risk management: risk management constrains institutions’ exposure to risky ABS when they face mark-to-market reporting combined with capital requirements; however, this role is considerably weaker when capital requirements are combined with historical cost accounting. We find suggestive evidence that financial regulations affect risk management functions through promoting risk managers’ efforts in uncovering ABS risk and curbing executives’ incentives to take excessive risk.

Case study of Luckin Coffee: reviewing directors’ and officers’ liability and protection

在美國納斯特交易所上市的中國最大連鎖咖啡店瑞幸咖啡,因在2019年第二至第四季度,虛報公司銷售額約22億元人民幣,以致股價在消息披露當天暴跌76%,市值損失了近48億美元。據悉,數家知名律師事務所(如Rosen Law Firm 和Federman & Sherwood)正為受損失的股東部署對瑞幸咖啡提起證券集體訴訟(Securities Class Actions)。那麼瑞幸的董事和高級管理人員將面臨什麼法律風險?

Is skin in the game a game changer? Evidence from mandatory changes of D&O insurance policies

This paper examines the incentive effects of a mandatory personal deductible in liability insurance contracts for directors and officers (D&Os). Exploiting a novel German law that mandates personal deductibles for executives, we document positive returns for affected firms around the first announcement of the plan to impose a personal deductible. We also find evidence of long-run effects: affected firms decrease risk taking in operational activities and financial reporting, and improve the quality of takeover decisions. Our study shows that the structure of D&O insurance contracts matters because mandating that D&Os have “skin in the game” appears to lead to real effects on firm value.