New Center Gets on the Road with Tollway Study
Management Researchers to Tackle a Wide Variety of Financial Strategy Issues
Jan. 19, 2009
The University of Texas at Dallas School of Management’s newly established Center for Finance Strategy Innovation (CFSI) has recently finished tackling an issue of great importance to every motorist in Texas.
The Texas Legislative Study Committee commissioned CFSI to review Texas highway finance policy. The resulting study, “The Legislative Study Committee Report on the Private Participation in Toll Projects,” has brought praise from such state government watchers as Quorum Report, which called the CFSI review “a fascinating read.”
Lead authors of the report were CFSI co-founder Elizabeth Jones, an adjunct member of the school’s finance faculty who has 24 years experience in the finance industry, and David Epperson, the center’s resident fellow and a strategy and operations consultant.
CFSI founding director Dr. David Springate said the toll projects report fits well with the purpose of CFSI, which is to bring together thought leaders from academia, industry, and the financial community with public officials and policy experts.
“The financial world is changing rapidly and going through a period of unprecedented disruption,” said Dr. Springate, a longtime member of the school’s finance faculty.
“Finance strategy is becoming increasingly intertwined with risk management, corporate governance, and day-to-day business operations,” he said.
Dr. Springate said he decided to start CFSI after local business executives supported his idea for a clearinghouse of thought in this area on the relationship of regional and global financial issues.
Because it acts as an exchange for ideas from many sectors, much of CFSI’s work is multi-disciplinary in nature. For example, the center is currently dealing with two projects involving finance strategy and environmental issues. One project is related to the U.S. furniture industry’s concerns with environmental, social and economic sustainability. The second deals with valuing carbon credits and understanding carbon trading market dynamics.
Assisting on both projects is School of Management faculty member Dr. Francisco Szekely, an expert on environmental and corporate sustainability.
Dr. Springate said that in addition to its other work, CFSI is serving UT Dallas students and recent graduates with structured opportunities to start new ventures, a field in which both he and Ms. Jones have extensive recent experience.
“The center’s focus is on solving problems in today’s chaotic financial world. It represents a focal point of expertise that can be deployed to address many of the issues arising in the current economy,” he said.