Alan L. Zhang

Alan L. Zhang

Assistant Professor of Finance

Florida International University

I am an Assistant Professor of Finance at Florida International University. My research broadly focuses on FinTech, investments and corporate finance, with a particular interest in analyzing unstructured textual data and big data on mutual funds, hedge funds and corporate disclosures.

My research has been accepted for publication in Review of Financial Studies and Journal of Accounting Research, and has been presented at prestigious conferences, such as the AFA, NBER Economics of AI Conference, NBER Big Data and Securities Markets Conference, CICF, FIRS, and RCFS Winter Conference. It also has been featured on Bloomberg, CNBC, Financial Times, The Guardian, NBER Digest, Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog, and Oxford Business Law Blog.

Download Alan’s Curriculum Vitae.

Google Scholar

SSRN Author Page

Interests
  • FinTech: Machine Learning, Textual Analysis
  • Investments: Hedge Funds, Mutual Funds
  • Corporate Finance: Disclosures, Behavioral Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions
Education
  • Ph.D. in Finance

    Georgia State University

  • M.S. in Finance

    Johns Hopkins University

  • B.A. in Economics

    Xiamen University

Research

Publications

 

What’s New

 

Working Papers

  • Uncovering Mutual Fund Private Information with Machine Learning

    • Mutual fund managers disclose matarial information in their disclosure to fund shareholders, which can be captured by state-of-the-art natural language processing (NLP) algorithms and helps identify skilled fund managers.
    • Presentations: Conference on Financial Innovation at Stevens Business School, Winter Conference on Machine Learning and Business at University of Miami, Latest Advances in NLP at Technische Universität München, FMA 2022, MFA 2023
       
  • Managerial Risk Assessment and Fund Performance: Evidence from Textual Disclosure, with Sean Cao and Baozhong Yang

    • We use state-of-the-art NLP tools to extract mutual fund managers' risk assessment from their narrative discussions, which predicts their future risk-taking and fund performance.
    • Featured on Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog
    • Presentations: CICF 2021, 2022 Global AI Finance Research Conference, 35th Australasian Finance and Banking Conference, China Fintech Research Conference, MFA 2023
       
  • Artificially Intelligent Analyst Sentiment and Market Behavior, with Vidhi Chhaochharia, Alok Kumar, and Ville Rantala, invited for dual submission, Review of Financial Studies

    • A neural-network-based analyst sentiment captures the aggregated non-predictable errors in analyst forecasts, which varies with macroeconomic information, and helps create a profitable trading strategy.
    • Presentations: 12th Miami Behavioral Finance Conference, FIRS 2022, Machine Learning in Finance Conference at University of Florida, Research in Behavioral Finance Conference 2022
       
  • FinTech Mergers, with Joanna Wang

    • FinTech firms become increasingly attractive targets in corporate takeover markets. FinTech deals improve value creation to combine firms and generate spillover effects to peer firms.
    • Featured on Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog
    • Presentations: China Fintech Research Conference, AsianFA, Eastern Finance Association 2023
       

Selected Work in Progress

  • Can Mutual Fund Investors Identify “Smart Money?” with Vikas Agarwal
  • Do Hedge Funds Know Which Hedge Funds are Good?

Coverage for Research

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