Shanghai Honors VINS Director Robert Engle with Magnolia Silver Award

Robert Engle
Dec 5 2023

Robert Engle, the 2003 Nobel Laureate in Economics and director of the Volatility Institute (VINS) at NYU Shanghai, was awarded the 2023 Shanghai Magnolia Silver Award to honor his contributions to the development of Shanghai. 

robert engle magnolia award

Named after Shanghai’s city flower, the Magnolia Award was initiated by the Shanghai government in 1989 to recognize foreigners who have made outstanding social, economic, and cultural contributions to the city. 

Engle was one of 50 foreigners to receive the accolade this year. His fellow awardees were selected from the fields of commerce, finance, technology, education, and healthcare. He is also the sixth member of the NYU Shanghai community to receive the award.

Engle said he was very flattered to receive the honor. “I'm glad to learn that the city feels VINS, as well as my contribution to Shanghai, is worthy of this extraordinary award,” he said. “I think it's an affirmation of how much good work NYU Shanghai has been doing as well.” 

Engle first visited Shanghai back in 1985. “At that time, the main form of transportation was bicycles. People were in blue shirts and pants,” he recalled. “And then the next time I was here, they were on motorcycles. The next time I was here, the motorcycles were electric. Now, there are all cars, big, fancy, electric cars. It's amazing what's happened even just from this transition.”

robert engle magnolia award

Professor Engle with NYU Shanghai Chancellor Emeritus Yu Lizhong at VINS's Launch Ceremony

In 2014, when NYU Shanghai was just established, Engle brought his expertise in risks into research on the Chinese market and launched VINS. Over the years, VINS has been active in education, both at and beyond NYU Shanghai. “We have been actively working with honor students and getting people involved in our research projects,” he said, citing grants for VINS projects from major institutions, such as the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Union Pay. He added that VINS has also been organizing Society for Financial Econometrics (SoFiE) Summer School at NYU Shanghai for six years, which brings top students globally to have in-depth exploration in finance with leading scholars.

Robert Engle

Professor Engle at VINS's 2023 Annual Conference

Last month, VINS held its 2023 Annual Conference to honor Professor Engle's remarkable academic achievements and outstanding contributions to finance and econometrics, as well as his significant influence on NYU Shanghai’s academics. At the conference, Engle pointed to three main directions for VINS research: termination risk, carbon exchange, and sustainable funds in China. He encouraged students and researchers to participate in research projects related to these directions.