Faculty Research Profiles


“Projects linking finance and East Asia fascinate me,” says Pat Schena, Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Business. Pat Schena’s professorship at Fletcher began in 2003, but his relationship with the school started in 1979, when he was a MALD student. Though his initial academic focus was on Asia, he discovered his second passion, finance, after he started his dissertation research at Fletcher.

In 1981 Schena’s intention was to write his dissertation on security studies, international politics, and Asian studies; a Fletcher fellowship in China sponsored by Shell oil reinforced this goal. After returning from China, Schena took a position in the International Treasury Department at Wang Laboratories in Lowell, and thus his passion for finance was born.

In addition to his work at Wang Laboratories, beginning in the mid-1980s, Schena began teaching finance part-time as he wrote his dissertation. It was then that he decided to combine his two specialties—finance and Asian Studies—in his PhD research. “In trying to do a finance-oriented PhD on Asia, the obvious choice for a focus was Japan,” he recalled, a country that in the late 1980s and early 1990s had the most developed business systems in East Asia. “In 1990, there was basically no such thing as Chinese corporate finance. If Google.com had existed then, searching ‘China and Finance’ might have given you two hits. China’s corporate system had not really been established yet.”

In 1990, Schena left Wang Laboratories and joined a small tech company. After the company was sold, the group founded iX Partners in 2000, the same year Schena received his PhD in International Finance from Fletcher. iX is an investment technology and services company.

Schena continues to explore his interest in East Asia as a Research Associate at Harvard’s Fairbank Center and as a Professor of International Business at Fletcher. His regular course offerings at Fletcher include “Foundations in Accounting and Corporate Finance” in the fall and “Corporate Finance and Banking: A Comparative East Asian Perspective” in the spring. His research focus is on corporate finance and Asian capital markets.

Schena most recently published a paper on foreign exchange management by Chinese corporations entitled “Measuring and Managing the Foreign Exchange Exposure of Chinese Companies: A Preliminary Assessment.” He is currently working on a revision to a paper on the role of relationship banks in the pricing of Japanese corporate bonds. Upcoming research includes working on a project scoped out on the geography of cross-listings by Asian firms.

Even while Schena works full time, he refers to teaching at Fletcher his “most serious commitment,” with dedication that is obvious to his students, who praise him for his availability and devotion.

“I believe that the key to effective teaching is to focus on application, i.e. to help students to see the application of ideas and concepts at work in the 'real world' and to ensure that students have the confidence to put what they have learned into practice as soon as they are comfortable,” says Schena.