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Tasty Baking Co. on Friday was given a last-minute reprieve and will not have to make debt payments until at least the summer. The company also received millions of dollars in government aid. Still, the situation “is not promising,” said Jonathan Scott, a professor at Temple’s Fox School of Business. When the company announced that it was considering a potential merger or sale because of its $100 million debt load, Scott said, “What went through my mind is, I wasn’t sure how much longer they had to remain as an independent company.”

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Jan. 14, 2011

Tasty Baking Co. on Friday was given a last-minute reprieve and will not have to make debt payments until at least the summer. The company also received millions of dollars in government aid. Still, the situation “is not promising,” said Jonathan Scott, a professor at Temple’s Fox School of Business. When the company announced that it was considering a potential merger or sale because of its $100 million debt load, Scott said, “What went through my mind is, I wasn’t sure how much longer they had to remain as an independent company.”

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Nov. 19, 2010

Contrary to popular belief, the big challenge facing small businesses isn’t a dearth of lending. Jonathan Scott of Temple’s Fox School of Business said that, between 1993 and 2008, the portion of small businesses that didn’t want to borrow was roughly 43 percent. Since then, the level has risen to 53 percent. “Part of that is due to the uncertainty about the economy,” Scott said. “When you ask these firms ‘What’s the most important problem?’ they say it’s the economy. It’s not the credit; it’s the top line issues.”

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Friday, September 17, 2010
Media Contact: Brandon Lausch, 215-204-4115, blausch@temple.edu

A Fox School of Business professor has been appointed to serve as an independent director on the board of the Federal Home Loan Banks’ Office of Finance.

Dr. Jonathan A. Scott, an associate professor of finance at the Fox School, will serve a three-year term as an Office of Finance independent director and, along with the other independent directors, function as the audit committee for the board.

Jon Scott

The board of directors was recently reconfigured by a new regulation released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in April, and board appointments were announced in July.

“As part of the audit committee, I will gain a number of insights regarding financial reporting, especially regarding fair value, which is a very hot topic among financial institutions today,” Scott said. “My hope is that this experience will allow me to be a more effective instructor in our Executive MBA program, as well as for our MBA private-equity class.”

The newly created independent director position serves two main purposes: to ensure the FHLBanks Office of Finance is issuing debt in the most effective way possible and to make certain that the combined financial reports from the 12 FHLBanks are transparent and understandable to investors.

The board of directors previously consisted of three members. The new Federal Housing Finance Agency regulation expands the board to a group of independent directors along with the presidents from each of the FHLBanks.

Scott, who served as a senior finance executive at FHLBank of Dallas for seven years before joining the Fox School in 1991, is one of the five appointed independent directors who will comprise the audit committee and meet six times per year.

The other appointees are H. Ronald Weissman, chair of the audit committee of the board of Encore Capital Group, Inc.; J. Michael Davis, a former board member of the FHLBank of Topeka with 40 years of experience in the financial services industry; Kathleen Crum McKinney, chair of the Furman University Board of Trustees with more than 32 years of experience in public finance; and Walter H. Morris Jr., who has more than 30 years of experience at Ernst & Young.

Of the appointees, Scott is the only academic. At Temple, he is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including a 2010 Great Teacher Award, which is considered the university’s highest honor.

– Maria Zankey

Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

Media Contact: Brandon Lausch, 215-204-4115, blausch@temple.edu

Where one might see a closet stuffed with mismatched clothes, Jimmy Lam sees a business opportunity.

Lam is one of five Philadelphia high school founders of I.D.K., a fictional company – at least for now – that offers a $2.99 application for smart phones so users can index their clothing and then mix and match with the touch of a screen.

Lam and his business partners presented their entrepreneurial venture on Aug. 4 to a panel of Fox faculty judges during the culmination of a summer program between the Fox School of Business and Philadelphia Futures.

Now in its second year at Fox’s Alter Hall, 35 rising juniors from city high schools gathered for four weeks to learn about entrepreneurship and to conduct research for their own business ideas.

Supervised by Associate Finance Professor Jonathan Scott, who serves as academic director of the Fox Honors Program, the students spent about a third of their time in the technology-rich Capital Markets Room researching competitors, scouting rental rates, forecasting revenues and analyzing start-up costs.

The seven student teams also studied unmet needs in their target markets, budgeted for advertising and devised taglines to help sell their businesses. I.D.K., for example, stands for “I Don’t Know.” The company’s tagline: “Because life is complicated enough!”

Other ventures included a fashion boutique, hair studios, a guitar store, a day care and a pizzeria.

The Fox School’s partnership with Philadelphia Futures is the first business component in the nonprofit’s year-round curriculum, said Nada V. Stevens, the organization’s academic director. Philadelphia Futures prepares city students from low-income families to pursue higher education through mentoring, academic enrichment and other programs.

“This program is part of our core urban mission, and it allows us to reach out and share our unique business expertise and network,” Scott said. “The opportunity to partner with Philadelphia Futures is an ideal way to expose these students to an opportunity they might not otherwise get, as well as acquaint them with Temple and the Fox School.”

Naima Bell, a junior at Paul Robeson High School for Human Services, said the program introduced her to new technology and showed her that “entrepreneurship is a business, but it’s also fun to do.”

– Brandon Lausch

The Fox School of Business and WHYY recently teamed up to host “Navigating the Internet for Better Financial Planning,” a program aimed at helping participants better evaluate online financial planning tools.

The Feb. 27 event was open to WHYY members and ran from 10 a.m. to noon in Alter Hall’s Capital Markets Room, which includes an array of financial software, dual-screen workstations and LCD displays and projection screens that can feature customizable stock data.

The program offered attendees hands-on evaluation of a number of Internet resources to help them ask the right questions about residential mortgage financing, retirement planning and investing.

Dr. Jonathan Scott, associate professor of finance and academic director of the Fox Honors Program, coordinated the event, relying on eight Fox honors students to help program participants navigate the Web. Those honors students made all the difference, he said.

“The program involved navigating between three different Web sites as well as returning to the financial calculator home page in Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance,” said Scott, who is also managing director of the Owl Fund, a hands-on investment management experience for students. “My experience in these computer lab settings is that no two people work at the same speed, and inevitably someone falls behind and becomes frustrated. Fortunately, the honors students were there to immediately help with any questions about what I was doing.”

The program addressed three areas where the Internet can help in financial planning: mortgage-related calculators, retirement-planning calculators and retirement investing.

For mortgages, attendees evaluated points versus no points, refinancing and 15- versus 30-year maturities. An in-depth use of Bloomberg’s retirement calculator helped everyone understand the factors that need to be considered in having enough money for retirement.

Participants also learned about risks and returns of retirement investing using tools from Vanguard and Morningstar. Throughout the program, participants were able to ask questions that covered a wide range of topics related to investing.

“Terrific,” WHYY member Gail Kaempf said in her description of the event. “Helpful in having a better understanding about finances and [Internet] tools to help. This makes me more confident in being self-sufficient rather then at the mercy of others!”

For photos of the event, click here

The Department of Finance in the Fox School of Business at Temple University is ranked No. 4 nationally in the research rankings released by Academics Analytics on the scholarly production of professors at research universities in the United States.The department chair, Ken Kopecky, cited the importance of the work of recent hires, Associate Professor David Reeb and Assistant Professor Connie Mao for earning this distinction.However, he also stressed that the ranking is not based solely on the productivity of a few faculty members but is broadly based across the entire department.

“The ranking methodology was designed to recognize the productivity of the average faculty member, both in terms of the number of articles published and perhaps more importantly the number of citations accruing to those articles. We have been fortunate that the department’s presidential faculty have been very productive as a group.”

Professor Reeb is known for his work on family-run firms and on the structure of corporate boards and has published several articles in the Journal of Finance. Professor Mao, known for her work in corporate finance and on the valuation effects arising from the dissemination of information across international markets, has published in theJournal of Finance and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.Professor J. Jay Choi, the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Finance, who is an expert in international finance, recently published in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.In the banking area, Professors Elyas Elysiani and Kopecky have both published in the Journal of Banking and Finance while Associate Professor Jonathan Scott published in the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.In the asset pricing area, Associate Professor Anne Zissu recently had two papers published in the Journal of Derivatives and Professor Manak Gupta published in the Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting.The real estate area is part of the finance department. Professor Paul Asabere, who is an expert on real-estate public policy issues and Professor Forrest Huffman, an expert on taxation in real estate markets, have published joint papers inReal Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and the Journal of Real Estate Research.

Said M. Moshe Porat, dean of The Fox School, “I am pleased and proud that Academic Analytics has recognized the research of Fox School’s finance department. This ranking helps complete a banner year of top rankings for The Fox School. The recent hiring of Professor David Cummins from Wharton, an expert in financial institutions, will further enhance our research productivity.”