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 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 38 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), 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 (2020 CiteScore 5.577), an associate editor for Journal of Insurance Issues – the official journal of Western Risk and Insurance Association in the U.S., and is on the editorial board of China Journal of Accounting Studies. He was also on the editorial board of Frontiers of Business Research in China (published by Springer) between 2010 and 2016.

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
  • “Liquidity Effects of Litigation Risk: Evidence from a Legal Shock (with Oliviero, Tommaso, Park, Min). Journal of Law and Economics, Accepted.
  • “Risk Communication Clarity and Insurance Demand: The Case of the COVID-19 Pandemic” (with Feng, Jingbing, Xu, Xian). Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 2023, 104562.
  • “Serving Multiple ‘Masters’: Evidence from the Loan Decisions of a Publicly Listed State-Owned Bank Around a Massive Economic Stimulus Programme” (with Yuan, Hongqi and Zhou, Yiyuan), Journal of Corporate Finance, forthcoming.
  • “Political Costs and Corporate Tax Avoidance: Evidence from Sin Firms” (with Wang, Cong, Wilson, Ryan J. and Zhang, Shuran), Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 2022, 41(1), 106861.
  • “Managerial Liability and Corporate Innovation: Evidence from a Legal Shock” (with Guan, Yuyan, Zhang, Liandong and Zheng, Liu), Journal of Corporate Finance, 2021, 69, 102022.
    – Featured in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.
  • “What’s in a Name? The Valuation Effect of Directors’ Sharing of Surnames” (with Tan, Youchao, Xiao, Jason and Zeng, Cheng Colin), Journal of Banking & Finance, 2021, 122, 105991.
  • “Do Financial Regulations Shape the Functioning of Financial Institutions’ Risk Management in Asset-Backed Securities Investment?” (with Chen, Xuanjuan, Higgins, Eric and Xia, Han), The Review of Financial Studies, 2020, 33(6), 2506-2553.
  • “Is Skin in the Game a Game Changer? Evidence from Mandatory Changes to D&O Insurance Policies” (with Lin, Chen, Officer, Micah, and Schmid, Thomas). 2019. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 68(1), 101225.
Selected Revise & Resubmits

Management Science, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of American Taxation Association

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.