The FIRN PhD Student Brown Bag Network Committee is hosting fortnightly Brown Bag Seminars during 2021 targeted to Finance PhD students from our member institutions. 

Each seminar* consists of an informal presentation of research at all stages, followed by a discussion and a Q&A session. This provides a great opportunity for PhD students to practice and get relevant skills for their upcoming career as well as create valuable connections with potential future colleagues. Presenters and discussants will receive certificates that accredit their contribution. The participants will also have a chance to win a $100 random prize at the end of the year.

If you would like to present your current research work or serve as a discussant, please fill out the EOI form. Additionally, registration is required for all seminar participants. Registration can be done by clicking on the link below each seminar you would like to attend. All sessions are held via zoom and a zoom link will be sent to those who register.

HDR students are also encouraged to register here to receive updates about incoming seminars and events. If you need further information, please contact the FIRN PhD Student Brown Bag Network Committee by email via

*Brown Bag Seminars are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month between 11:00-12:00pm (AEST).

Upcoming Brown Bag Seminars

Tuesday 10th August, 11am (AEST)
Presenter: Zijin Xu (Vivian), PhD student, University of Melbourne
Title: The Loss-leader Pricing Strategy of Mutual Fund Families

Abstract: Why do some funds charge low fees? This study provides a family-level perspective by studying one specific pricing strategy whose traces are mostly found in anecdotal evidence. The loss-leader strategy refers to the cases where fund families advertise below-competitive level price for selective funds in the hope to lure investors into the family and profit from other funds they purchase in the family. This paper provides empirical evidence that the fund families strategically set low operating expenses for some of its member funds. Both univariate and multivariate analysis support this finding. The results of flow tests show that loss-leader funds bring positive net flows to themselves and overall family but doing so at the expense of their same-category “sister” funds in the same family. Strategic pricing is due to flow incentives whose trace can be found in the characteristics of loss-leader funds and loss-leader families. Smaller funds, younger funds, index funds and funds with lower turnover ratio are more likely to be chosen as loss-leader funds while families with more funds under management and bigger in size are more likely to implement the loss-leader strategy. Performance tests show that the loss-leaders only enjoy superior performance during their loss-leader periods but fail to outperform their sister funds in the same family during non-loss leader periods. This study also proposes a method to identify loss-leader funds which jointly examines the performance effect and advertisement effect on net flows.
Discussant: TBA
Moderator: Farhan Shazia, PhD student, Monash University
register here