As a Securities and Exchange Commission deputy chief economist, Kathleen Weiss Hanley has garnered praise for delivering “critical thought leadership” and spurring “rigorous economic modeling.”
This fall, the respected economic strategist and researcher returns to the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business finance faculty, which she served from 1994-1999. She arrives from the SEC with a colleague -- Associate Professor Gerard Hoberg, following his one-year sabbatical as a visiting financial economist.
“I am excited to return to the Robert H. Smith School of Business and to be part of its world-class faculty,” said Hanley. “My experience has given me a unique perspective on how regulation affects both the financial sector and capital markets, and bringing this perspective into the classroom will help better prepare our students for a changing business environment. I look forward to teaching and working with old and new colleagues."
Hanley returns in the wake of strong accolades. As Deputy Chief Economist and Deputy Director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA), she received the SEC’s 2013 Law and Policy Award for her analysis in SEC rulemakings and was part of a team earning the Commission’s 2013 Analytical Methods Award for its study of money market mutual funds.
“Her work strengthening (DERA’s) research program leaves an important and lasting legacy,” said SEC Chief Economist Craig Lewis. “Kathleen joined the division at a pivotal moment in its early growth, providing critical thought leadership and working with staff to integrate economic analysis more fully into the Commission's various activities, particularly rulemaking and risk assessment.”
Lewis’ comments are part of a recent SEC announcement of Hanley’s departure that lauds her work “to incorporate rigorous economic modeling and analytics into a wide variety of commission activities” and to “expand the division and its research activities and highlighting the value of high-quality research to SEC policymakers.”
Vojislav (Max) Maksimovic, the William A. Longbrake Chair in Finance, said Hanley’s and Hoberg’s return bolsters and exemplifies the thought leadership profile of Smith and its Center for Financial Policy. “Their insight will deepen our expertise of regulatory implications, while their CFP affiliation stands to incentivize researchers to focus on regulatory issues and help disseminate that knowledge to relevant agencies.”
Hoberg said his SEC work, in the Office of Quantitative Research in Hanley’s division, involved:
- Applying research in corporate finance, disclosure, and text analytics to practical applications
- Assessing the quality of disclosure law and quantifying the nature of systemic risk
- Providing analytics to improve the utility of information in the tips, complaints and referrals program
“The experience provided tremendous insight into how institutions work together and how financial law is created and critiqued,” he said. “This hands-on, institutional experience will improve the quality of my research, ensure its broad appeal and applicability to real problems, and enhance interactions with Smith faculty and students in many ways.”
Hanley said Hoberg’s work “has been a central part of the division’s development of risk assessment models using textual information. I look forward to working with him again and to partner with him to bring our shared experience to the Smith School.”
Appointed to her most recent SEC position in August 2011, Hanley previously served the Commission as a research economist from 1987-1988 and as a senior financial economist from 2005-2010. Between SEC stints, she was a Federal Reserve Board senior economist in addition to faculty service at the University of Michigan and the Smith School.