CAMRI Luncheon Forum
“Whistle Blowers, Opportunists or Market Manipulators?
The Case of Chinese Reverse Mergers”


Professor Charles M. C. Lee
Joseph McDonald Professor of Accounting at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University;
Wee Cho Yaw Visiting Fellow at the Department of Accounting, NUS Business School;
and Co-chair of the Accounting Department at the Guanghua School of Management, Peking University

Date Thursday, 17th January 2013
Time 11.45am to 2.00pm
Venue State Room at Valley Wing
3rd Floor, Shangri-La Hotel
Admission By invitation only

Presentation Slides / E-flyer



As short-sellers make headlines around the world, Professor Lee empirically examines if Chinese Reverse Merger firms (RMs), which tend to be small and illiquid stocks that are highly prone to default and/or bankruptcy risk, are inherently toxic or victims of somewhat overblown accusations by not so well-intentioned short-sellers. For example, China’s official news service claimed foreign short-sellers targeting Chinese companies listed in the U.S. are engaged in a "malicious act", primarily because many high-profiled research reports on RMs were first put out by short-sellers. While some RMs were genuine frauds, others are less clear. To put this open question to bed, Professor Lee examined all RMs that became active in the U.S. between 2001 and 2010 (both U.S. and Foreign), and compared them to a set of control firms from the same exchange for their initial financial health and subsequent performance. In the process, he addresses some important questions on US and Chinese laws, governance, and the business of investing in emerging market companies. Professor Lee’s research interestingly finds that the better performance of the RMs is largely due to the Chinese firms within the broader RM group. Contrary to popular media perception, he finds no evidence that Chinese RMs are systematically riskier, or more problematic. In fact, he will show that Chinese RMs are generally healthier than U.S. RMs at the initial reporting date, and that they continue to fare better than either their U.S. counterparts or the set of control firms from the same exchange.

About the Speaker

Charles M. C. Lee is the Joseph McDonald Professor of Accounting at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He is also co-Chair of the Accounting Department at the Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, and currently the Wee Cho Yaw Visiting Fellow in the Department of Accounting, NUS Business School. Professor Lee has been a faculty member at the University of Michigan Business School, the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor in Management and Director of the Parker Center for Investment Research at Johnson at Cornell University, where he received his PhD in 1990, and Visiting Economist at the New York Stock Exchange.  Professor Lee was also a Managing Director at Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which prior to becoming a part of BlackRock, was the largest institutional asset management firm in the world. As Global Head of Equity Research and Co-Head of North America Active Equity Strategies at BGI, Professor Lee had responsibility for US$300 billion in assets, and led the firm's world-wide active equity research team.  One who is considered a pioneer in the field of quantitative investing, Professor Lee was also jointly responsible for BGI’s North American active equity business and its flagship hedge fund. He currently serves as a founding partner of Nipun Capital, a boutique asset management firm that manages an Asian long/short equity market neutral strategy, which targets to deliver 10-12% returns with low volatility.  Professor Lee's research spans financial statement analysis, equity valuation, behavioral finance, and market microstructure. His research on market efficiency and informational arbitrage has won numerous honors and awards, and is widely published in leading academic journals. His teaching honors include two Business Week Four-Star Citations on Teaching Excellence. Most recently, his research interests have encompassed the investment environment in China and regulatory oversight of Chinese security markets.  In his early career, he spent five years in public accounting, the last three in the National Research Department of KPMG (Canada). Professor Lee also holds a Certificate in Biblical Studies from Ontario Theological Seminary, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

 11.45am  Arrival of Guests 
 12noon   Welcome & Networking Reception
 12.20pm  Guests to be seated
 12.30pm  Welcome Address
 12.40pm  Lunch is served
 1.15pm   Talk by Keynote Speaker
 2.00pm   End of Event

Contact Ms Chow Pee Fun of CAMRI on tel: (65) 6601 1047 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Supported by      


Wee Cho Yaw Endowment 

Department of Accounting