Dr. Oumar Sy laughs when he says it has taken him two decades and many attempts to be published in the Financial Analysts Journal. That’s why he and his co-author, Dr. Najah Attig, a fellow professor in the Faculty of Management, are ebullient their research article, "Diversification in Hard Times," was chosen for the prestigious Graham and Dodd Scroll Award.
The international award, created in 1960 to celebrate the impact of Benjamin Graham and David Dodd on investment practice and knowledge, has frequently gone to academics in elite American institutions. Drs. Attig and Sy have wide smiles when they both say they couldn’t be prouder.
But Dr. Sy says it’s "even more special" than raising their profile. Administered by the CFA Institute, the non-profit that governs the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, the award is a nod from practitioners in the field. The positive reception of their research in the global investment community underscores its significance in providing guidance to the practice of international diversification strategies, adds Dr. Attig.
Pushing the boundaries
Dr. Attig says they should have realized the article was doing well when the CFA Institute published an “In Practice” piece of their work to provide a practitioner’s perspective. Their research demonstrates that international diversification is the most effective way to reduce risk during systemic shocks in the global stock markets. It’s contrary to what many investment professionals have believed.
Dr. Sy says collecting the data and processing it took almost three years. He adds, “The editorial team was supportive but very tough in making sure we used the most up-to-date data and most up-to-date methodologies.” Dr. Attig adds that their fastidious oversight pushed them to innovate and further contribute to methodological practice.
Dr. Attig, who joined the faculty from Saint Mary’s University in 2022, says one reason he wanted to be at Dalhousie was to facilitate collaboration with Dr. Sy and other colleagues. This award, he says, “motivates us to continue pushing the boundaries of financial research.”
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