Investment Risks and Opportunities During a Pandemic:
Implications for Institutional Investors
This project will employ data on such epidemics as the 2002-2004 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the 2009 Swine Flu (H1N1), the 2012 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), and the current COVID-19 outbreak, and will try to answer such questions as:
- How do pandemics affect different industries and specific firms in those industries? What factors cause certain firms and/or industries to outperform or underperform (e.g., health care and online service providers versus transportation and tourism)? How can pension funds avoid/hedge the resultant risks and/or take advantage of related investment opportunities?
- Similarly, does the economic fallout of a pandemic vary by country? If so, can country specific factors (e.g., democratic vs. autocratic political systems, collectivistic vs. individualistic cultures, economic development, population density, quality of the health care system, etc.) be used to predict infection and survival rates and, relatedly, governmental actions (shutdowns, aid packages) as well as economic resilience? What implications do country-level variations in the disease spread and differential governmental responses have for institutional investors? That is, do ex-ante country characteristics and differential
John Molson School of Business, Concordia University
Thomas Walker is a full professor of Finance at Concordia University. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Walker worked in the German consulting and industrial sector at such firms as Mercedes Benz, Utility Consultants International, and KPMG. His research interests are in sustainability & climate change, aviation, corporate governance, and risk management and he has published over sixty articles in these areas. In addition, Dr. Walker has published five books on sustainable financial systems, emerging risks, sustainable aviation, environmental policies, and sustainable real estate in the past two years. He previously served as Director/Co-Director of the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, as Laurentian Bank Professor in Integrated Risk Management, as Chair of the Finance Department, and as Associate Dean, Research, at Concordia University.