Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Visiting Scholars - Institute of Regulation and Ethics

Dr Kara Tan Bhala
Dr Kara Tan Bhala

Dr Kara Tan Bhala - Visiting Research Fellow January 2015 - January 2017

PhD (Philosophy) University of Kansas, MA (Philosophy) University of Kansas, MA (Liberal Studies) New York University, MPhil (Management Studies) Oxford University, BS (Systems and Management) City University of London.

Dr Kara Tan Bhala has over twenty-three years of experience in global finance, much of which was gained through working on Wall Street. She has been a sell-side equity analyst, an equity sales person, a buy-side equity analyst, and a senior portfolio manager. From 1992-2001, Dr. Tan Bhala was a Managing Director of Merrill Lynch and the Senior Portfolio Manager of the Merrill Lynch Dragon Fund and Emerging Tigers Fund. At its height, the Merrill Lynch Dragon Fund was the second largest Asian ex-Japan mutual fund in the world, with assets over $1 billion. In 1993, the Fund was ranked number 3 among 177 global funds.

Before running the Dragon Fund and Emerging Tigers Fund, Dr. Tan Bhala was a portfolio manager with Fiduciary Trust International in New York, where she ran the Far East equity portion of the United Nations Pension Fund. Dr. Tan Bhala has lived and worked in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, and Washington D.C. She has played and worked in over forty countries.

Dr. Tan Bhala is the President and Founder of a think-tank, Seven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and Ethics (http://sevenpillarsinstitute.org), whose mission is to highlight and analyze issues of moral philosophy in global financial markets with a view to enhancing ethical practice and policy. Seven Pillars Institute is the world’s only independent think tank for research, education, and promotion of financial ethics. Dr. Tan Bhala also is the Editor of Moral Cents: The Journal of Ethics in Finance. She runs her own Asian financial markets consulting firm and has been a consultant for hedge and mutual funds based in Kansas City.

Academic Areas

  • Finance
  • Interests
  • Portfolio Management
  • Asian financial markets
  • Ethics in Finance

Current Activities

Chief Executive Officer, Seven Pillars Consulting, Member, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Member, Royal Society for Asian Affairs, Trustee, Bishop Seabury Academy, Lawrence, Kansas, Director, Friends of the Lied Board, Lied Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas, Director, Friends of Johnson County Disability Services, Kansas

Selected Publications

  • Asia: Rich in Problems and Prospects, ASIAN AFFAIRS: JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY FOR ASIAN AFFAIRS (LONDON), vol. XXX, pt. III, October, 1999, pp. 259-268 (lead article).
  • Twilight of the Despots, HARVARD INTERNATIONAL REVIEW, vol. XXI, no. 2, Spring 1999, pp. 22-26.
  • In Praise of Intervention, FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW, September 3, 1998, p. 29.
  • The Asian Growth Paradigm as an Investment Tool, HANDBOOK OF PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT, Frank Fabozzi (ed), June 1998, pp. 303-319.
  • Patterns of Asian Growth, ASIAN AFFAIRS: JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY FOR ASIAN AFFAIRS (LONDON), vol. 28, pt. I, February 1998, pp. 39-53.
  • Investing in the Stages of East Asia’s Economic Growth, THE FINANCIER, vol. 4, no. 3, August 1997, pp.6-17.
  • Hong Kong Reborn: Why Asia’s Big Test Case Will Succeed, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, January 9, 1996, pp. 18-19.
  • Malaysian Plantations, JAMES CAPEL SINGAPORE RESEARCH, August 1987.
  • Sime Darby Berhad, JAMES CAPEL SINGAPORE RESEARCH, February 1987.