Prof. Dr. Thorsten Hens

Steering Committee

Thorsten Hens (born December 19, 1961) is a Swiss economist and finance academic born in Germany. According to the Handelsblatt ranking, measured by life-time achievement, Hens is among the top 20 economics professors in the German-speaking area (Germany, Switzerland and Austria). Hens is Swiss Finance Institute Professor of Financial Economics and member of the directorate of the Department of Banking and Finance at the University of Zürich. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen and a permanent guest professor at the University of Lucerne.

His research areas are—among others—evolutionary and behavioral finance. In researching how investors make their decisions, Professor Hens draws on work in Psychology and applies insights from Biology in order to understand the dynamics of financial markets. He was one of the pioneers of evolutionary finance and cultural finance, where he conducted the first large-scale international test on risk- and time attitudes (INTRA).

His consulting experience includes application of Behavioral finance for Private Banking and evolutionary finance for asset management. He studied at the University of Bonn and at DELTA in Paris, and previously held positions at Stanford University and at the University of Bielefeld.

Research Topics

Related Publication

  • 2020–“Escaping the Backtesting Illusion”, joint with Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppe and Mathis Woesthoff, Journal of Portfolio Management, Vol. 46(4), 124-138.
  • 2015–“Risk Preferences Around the World”, joint with Mei Wang and Marc-Oliver Rieger, Management Science, Vol. 61(3), pp. 637-648, 2015

Related Presentation

Related Teaching

  • Module responsible for the courses Fintech, Blockchain and the course Regulatory Challenges in Finance.

Related Project

  • Fintrech – in particular robot advisory
  • Asset Management with crypto currencies

Connections with industry

  • Co-founder of the UZH-HSG-spinoff company Behavioral Finance Solutions.