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Source: Jane Chen, 785-532-6844,
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415,

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009


MANHATTAN -- An article co-authored by Xuanjuan "Jane" Chen, assistant professor of finance at Kansas State University, has been named the best feature article published in the journal Risk Management and Insurance Review in 2008.

The award was presented by the journal's professional organization, the American Risk and Insurance Association, for "Intangible Assets and Firm Asset Risk Taking: An Analysis of Property and Liability Firms." The article, which appeared in the spring 2008 edition of the journal, was co-written by Chen with Tong Yu and Henry Oppenheimer, both from the College of Business Administration at the University of Rhode Island, and Bingxuan Lin, also from the College of Business Administration at the University of Rhode Island and from the Xinhua School of Finance and Insurance at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in China.

The authors were recognized at the annual meeting of the association Aug. 4 in Providence, R.I.

Risk Management and Insurance Review publishes respected, accessible and high-quality applied research, well-reasoned opinion and discussion in the field of risk and insurance. The journal's feature articles section includes original research involving applications and applied techniques. A committee is appointed annually to select the best feature article that appeared in the journal in the previous year.

In their paper, Chen and co-authors analyzed how the incentives to protect intangible assets affect asset risk-taking behavior of property and liability insurers. Intangible assets facilitate insurers' capacity to retain existing business and attract new clients. They concluded that their results support the view that insurers' incentives to protect their intangible assets lead to an inverse relation between intangible assets and asset risk.

"Consistent with the view that highly levered firms may go for broke, asset risk of highly levered insurers is less elastic to intangible assets than that of lower-levered insurers," Chen said. "An additional notable finding of our article is that tangible factors like firm size and capitalization increase insurers' appetites for asset risk taking."

Chen is the first person from K-State to receive the best feature article honor from the American Risk and Insurance Association.

"This was surprising and encouraging news to me," she said. "I think one reason I got this award is that I have great co-authors who are devoted to research. Another reason is that the topic is an open yet fundamental issue in insurance."

While proud of the recognition, Chen said she thinks there are still issues unsolved in the award-winning paper.

"I am continuing the exploration on the franchise value effect and other interesting topics in insurance, such as insurer portfolio allocations," she said.

Chen earned her doctorate from the University of Rhode Island in 2005. She served as an assistant professor of finance at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington before joining K-State in 2007. At K-State, She has taught intermediate corporate finance and cases in finance. Her research interests include empirical asset pricing, risk management and insurance. Her work has been publication in the Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Financial Intermediation, Journal of Risk and Insurance and others.

The American Risk and Insurance Association is dedicated to advancing knowledge in risk management and insurance, as well as enhancing the career development of its members.