Keynote Speakers

Annual International Conference on Emerging Financial Markets and Policy (EFMP 2023)

Professor Balasingham Balachandran

Professor Balasingham Balachandran joined Monash University, Malaysian Campus on 23 May 2023 as Professor of Finance and HOD – Finance Discipline.Prior to this he worked at La Trobe University, Monash University-Australia, the Victoria University of Wellington, and the University of Jaffna. Bala received Master of Social Science and PhD in Finance from the University of Birmingham, and Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from University of Jaffna. He has published several research papers in high quality journals (A* journals based on Australian Business Deans council): Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Financial Markets, European Accounting Review, Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, and Australian Tax Forum. Bala has played a significant role in his time at La Trobe University to achieve ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) ratings of 4 (above world standard) and 5 (well above world standard) for its Finance Discipline in 2015 and 2018, respectively.

Bala has led many successful research grants applications. Most notably, he secured funding of more than $600k from Australian Research Council. Bala’s insights into the empirical applications of corporate finance are evidenced by the media interest in his work as well as his expert opinion in the Supreme Court proceedings. Bala initiated and organized an international conference on Financial Markets and Corporate Governance (FMCG) in 2010. Bala received an award in appreciation of “outstanding initiative and work in bringing the FMCG conference into being and success” at the 4th FMCG conference held in NZ in 2013. Bala also received Founders Award at the 10th FMCG conference in Sydney in 2019 for “founding the FMCG conference in 2010 and outstanding contributions to research mentorship and developing research culture over the past 10 years in Australia and New Zealand”. Bala is serving in the editorial boards of Pacific Basin Finance Journaland Pacific Accounting Review.

Professor Lalith Samarakoon

Lalith Samarakoon is a professor of finance and the Chair of the Department of Finance of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Previously, he served as a professor of finance at the Bauer College of Business of the University of Houston, Alabama A&M University, and the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka, where he was the Head of the Department of Accountancy and Financial Management.

Samarakoon’s primary area of research is international finance and economics, with a particular focus on emerging markets. Recipient of research grants and awards, Samarakoon has published numerous scholarly articles on asset pricing, market efficiency, the macroeconomy and stock prices, corporate finance, and financial crises including the eurozone debt crisis and the U.S. subprime crisis. His current work focuses on monetary policy and asset bubbles, international transmission of economic and financial crises, and global economic and financial policies. Samarakoon is the editor of the Journal of Emerging Financial Markets and Policy. He is a Global Business Research Fellow.

Samarakoon teaches Global Finance Policy, Global Economics, and Financial Management, and serves as the Director of China and Vietnam study-abroad programs. He has also authored four books on securities markets and received the Melcher Award for Teaching Excellence from the University of Houston.

As an International Financial Economist, Samarakoon has consulted with the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, Asian Development Bank, and the Japanese International Development Agency for nearly three decades in financial sector development. He has extensive business experience in financial services, particularly in investment banking, fund management, and securities industries. Most recently, he served as the Secretary-General and the Chief Economist of the National Economic Council of Sri Lanka in charge of economic, finance sector, development, and policy matters.

Samarakoon received his Ph.D. in Finance with a concentration on International Finance and Economics from the University of Houston, MBA with Finance specialization from the University of New Hampshire, and B.Sc. in Business Administration with First Class Honors from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. He is also a Fellow Chartered Accountant and a Certified Financial Analyst.

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Prof. Manjula K. Wanniarachchige
Executive Secretary
Sri Lanka Finance Association
Department of Finance
Faculty of Management and Finance
University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka