Real-World Business

The career of Finance Professor Jot Yau, PhD, CFA reflects a knack for reading global financial market trends.

Written by Tracy DeCroce
Photography by Yosef Kalinko
January 31, 2017

The career of Finance Professor Jot Yau, PhD, CFA reflects a knack for reading global financial market trends. The former accounting and investments professional was specializing in derivatives, for instance, before they were household words. Such practical experience informs his teaching at the Albers School of Business and Economics where Yau’s amalgam of theoretical and practical experience reflects one of the school’s academic pillars.

“It fits our model,” says Dean Joseph Phillips. “We have adjunct and full-time faculty who are here because of their practical experience. We also have traditional PhD faculty who have significant professional experience. There are all kinds of ways faculty bring that applied experience to bear.”

Yau did not set out to teach. After earning his MBA in the United States, he planned to resume his investments career in his native Hong Kong. But a political shift changed the course of his life. Upon learning that Great Britain would transfer sovereignty over Hong Kong back to China, Yau decided to earn his doctorate and stay in the U.S.

Today the Chinese economy, specifically Dim Sum bonds, is a centerpiece of Yau’s scholarship. Dim Sum bonds, named after the popular cuisine in Hong Kong, are bonds issued outside of mainland China but denominated in the Chinese currency. Yau has incorporated them into one of his introductory courses. It is another example of how he offers more than business theory for his students.

“We have to change our curriculum in response to what is happening in today’s financial markets,” Yau says. “Investments should be taught with insights and practices. We cannot stay in the Ivory Tower.”