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Finance prof saw China’s rising star

Vistor Chow

Victor Chow, professor of finance, thought he'd like to be a doctor. 

Growing up in Taiwan, he often accompanied his grandparents to visits with their doctors, and young Victor thought of these medical professionals as "heroes."

Unfortunately, under the educational system, Dr. Chow did not have the option, given his aptitude test results that indicated he was more suited for other scholastic paths. Accordingly, in 1981, he received a bachelor's degree in natural resources from the Chinese Cultural University in Taipei, the capital.

Little did he suspect that in 1994 he would be teaching finance in West Virginia and would play a crucial role in creating the Center for Chinese Business at the WVU College of Business and Economics. 

Chow came to the United States in the mid-1980s and found his future in the study of finance. He earned a master's degree in finance at the University of Alabama in 1986 and his doctorate there in 1989.

He joined the WVU faculty that year and subsequently was a visiting professor in China at Fudan University in Shanghai, where he made many contacts among government officials and business leaders.

"Some of us in the College of Business and Economics recognized at that time that China would be a rising star economically and that there was a huge potential market that the United States could not ignore," he recalled. "China was just starting to open its doors in the late 1980s, and there was a lot of potential for educating students there on western business practices."

Along with Dr. William Riley and other faculty, Chow started a leadership training program that continues to this day.  The relationship with China this year alone resulted in 34 participants from Bao Steel Co. and the Tianjin Finance Bureau at WVU during the summer. In addition, this fall 12 students from Shanghai and Shaanxi Province are participating in the Center's leadership training program. Also six Chinese undergraduate students are attending classes and 20 are enrolled as graduate students.

"The Center has been very successful," Chow said. "I believe that a lot of people in China now know and understand West Virginia, too.  No one in China knew about this state before, but now many leaders speak positively about their experiences here."

Chow is one of two faculty who have attained Chartered Financial Analysts(CFA) status. He and Dr. Alexander Kurov have passed the rigorous examinations required, and Chow has also been teaching online courses for others pursuing the designation. 

At B&E, Chow teaches business finance, security analysis and portfolio management, banking firm management and executive financial education. His research interests are portfolio and fund management, income distribution and taxes, stochastic dominance and statistical modeling, and Asian-Pacific financial markets. He also does financial consulting and planning for international investments and trades between the United States, mainland China and Taiwan.

Chow met his wife, Becky, at school in Taiwan, and has two children: Emily, 24, a second-year dental student at WVU, and Eric, 22, who is in the College's MPA program.

In his spare time, Chow enjoys fishing, an activity he began as a youth in Taiwan.