Dr R.M. (Roelof) Salomons, Chief Strategist at Kempen Capital Management, has been appointed as part-time Professor of Investment Theory and Asset Management in the Faculty of Economics and Business as from 1 January 2015.
Professor Harry Garretsen, Dean of the Faculty, about the chair: ‘The start of the new century has provided many challenges and institutional investment management has seen profound changes. Given the regulatory scrutiny, lower expected returns and increased attention to costs, it is to be expected that more change is forthcoming. This chair builds on those developments.’
Salomons is looking forward to his new job assignment. His ambition is to bridge the gap between theory and practice. ‘I strongly feel that there are synergies between them. Academia provides the theoretical base, forces us to take the long-term view, and teaches us to steer clear of the daily noise. Being an investor teaches you to take a step down from the ivory tower and see how theories work in practice.’
Salomons states that in his teaching, he hopes to bring across the passion for investing and the need to stay curious. ‘A financial economist can never be too curious.’
In his research, Salomons focuses on empirical finance and the link with institutions (banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers). ‘The ultimate way of knowing whether your analysis is correct is to see if markets are proving you right.’ His research will focus on the predictability of returns and the implication for asset allocation. In addition, he will focus on the best way to match assets and liabilities.
The Finance group within the department has a long tradition of research and teaching on Investment Theory and Asset Management. This chair will deal with investment management in general and focus specifically on institutions. As such, it can be seen as a continuation of the work done by Professor Robert van der Meer, who recently retired. Salomons wrote his thesis under his supervision and has (co-)lectured with him since 2006: ‘Though this is effectively a new chair, I feel honoured that the chair has the same name, focus area and responsibilities it had in previous decades. The symbolic metaphor of passing on the baton means a lot to me. The fact that Professor Elmer Sterken, the Rector, who was my other thesis supervisor, signed the appointment is the icing on the cake.’
Salomons graduated and received his PhD from the University of Groningen. His decision to return to academia and to Groningen in particular feels entirely logical: ‘I have always been committed to this University and this city. Since completing my thesis, I have been involved in the MSc programme in Finance. I have supervised theses and (co-)lectured students in the elective class on Institutional Investment Management. Moreover, my parents still live in this city. I was born and raised here. So even from a personal perspective, to some extent this feels like coming home.’
Roelof Salomons (Aduard, 1972) graduated in 1997 with an MSc in Econometrics and in 2005 received his PhD in Economics from the University of Groningen. His thesis on the equity risk premium and predictability of returns has resulted in several publications in academic journals. Since 2006, he has (co-)lectured on Institutional Investment Management at his alma mater. From 2012 until 2014 he also taught a postgraduate course on Fundamental Analysis and Valuation at VU University Amsterdam.
Salomons started his business career in 1997 as a portfolio manager with the Royal Philips Electronics Pension Fund. He joined Aegon in 1999, where he initially held similar responsibilities and was given responsibility for the Investment Strategy department in 2003. In 2007, he returned to the equity teams to lead the launch of Pelargos Capital, an investment boutique he managed from 2008 until the middle of 2012. Since 2013, he has held the position of Chief Strategist/Head of the Allocation Team at Kempen Capital Management. Salomons holds several advisory positions and is a CFA charter holder
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