I am a PhD candidate in finance at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2014-Present). Prior to joining the program, I worked as an Asia research analyst and headed Korea research of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) at MSCI (2012-2014). With my team based in Singapore, I produced research and vote recommendations on publicly-traded companies in the region for ISS’ clients, who are the largest institutional shareholders worldwide. Prior to joining ISS, I majored in asset management at KDI School of Public Policy and Management (2009-2010), industrial engineering and operations research at Pennsylvania State University (2007-2009), and industrial and information systems engineering at Ajou University (2002-2007). While at Ajou, I took two years off to serve in the Republic of Korea Marine Corps as an intelligence and communications specialist. I retired as a sergeant.
My current research focuses on (both theoretical and empirical) corporate finance and governance. In my second year, I developed a new modeling framework, with which one can characterize 3 heterogeneous players who are subject to not only personal incentives but also biases. It therefore overcomes limitations of existing preference-based modeling frameworks such as optimization (Grossman and Hart, 1983) and game theory (Nash, 1951), with which one can model only up to 2 ex-ante heterogeneous players who are subject to personal incentives, but not biases. Using the framework, I for the first time provide a scientific definition of governance as a system of governance mechanisms (GMs), the necessary and sufficient conditions governance (and GM) must satisfy, and a common measure for the quality of governance (and GM).
Using the modeling ingredients supplied by the framework, I have developed theories of outsider entrenchment, board diversity, and external GMs. I’m also testing empirically direct implications of the framework and predictions of the theories I have developed using the framework. Starting in my third year, I also have been working on two coauthored projects, which explore determinants and consequences of formal CEO succession planning, and a non-coauthored project on hedge-fund activism and mergers.