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Faculty of Law Chair for Law & Finance

Curriculum Vitae

Kern Alexander (1968) is Professor of International Financial Law and Banking Regulation at the University of Zurich.  He is the author of many research articles and books, including most recently Principles of Banking Regulation (Cambridge University Press, 2019)Brexit and Financial Service (co-author, Moloney et al, Bloomsbury, 2018), Global Governance of Financial Systems (co-author, Oxford Univ Press 2005), and Economic Sanctions: Law and Public Policy (Macmillan 2009). He has authored research reports and commissioned reports for the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank on banking regulation and environmental sustainability. His path breaking report, Stability and Sustainability in Banking Reform: Are Environmental Risks Missing in Basel III (Cambridge, 2014) was the first study of the interrelationship between banking regulation, environmental sustainability, and climate change. His report has been widely cited and has spawned a growing area of research that analyses the relationship between law/regulation, finance, and sustainability. He is the Founder of the Research Network for Sustainable Finance and a co-editor of Sustainable Finance: Law, Regulation and Governance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press UK), and Central Banking and Sustainability (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK).

He was Specialist Adviser to the UK Parliament’s Joint Select Committee on the Financial Services Act 2012 and was Adviser to the UK Serious Fraud Office on the LIBOR investigations and prosecutions (2013-2019).  He advised HM Treasury on economic policy and financial regulation and advised HM Foreign and Commonwealth Office on international and UK economic sanctions.  He has given invited oral and written evidence on many occasions to the UK Parliament’s House of Commons Treasury Committee and the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs and House of Lords Committee on Europe about European and UK banking and financial market regulation.  He also gave invited evidence on UK economic sanctions policy to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs in 2006 (chair Lord Wakeham) that was widely cited in the Committee’s Final Report.  His public service also includes Member of the Expert Panel on Financial Services for the European Parliament (2009-2014) and Subject Matter Expert in Banking Regulation and Resolution for the European Court of Auditors (2016-2019). His academic work and parliamentary evidence is cited extensively in British and European Parliamentary reports. He comments regularly for the BBC and Bloomberg on UK, European and Swiss banking and financial regulation issues. He is a Member of the Bar.

He was the Chairman of the Department of Commercial, Corporate and Financial Law from 2017 to 2021.  Since 2015, he has taught the Principles of Financial Regulation course at the University of Cambridge and is a Director of Studies at Queens' College.  He has taught and advised board members and senior management of major multinational banks on executive education programmes for over 20 years and is Lead Lecturer of the Understanding the Regulatory Environment course at the Barclays Compliance Academy at the University of Cambridge.  He is Co-Director of the Oxford Bank Governance Programme. He was educated at the University of Cambridge where he read economics and law, M.A., M.Phil. (Honours), and PhD (Law), and Cornell University, A.B. (magna cum laude) in Economics and History.

Impact on Research

His book Global Governance of Financial Systems: the International Regulation of Systemic Risk (Oxford University Press, 2005, Co-Author) was cited as the first study to identify weaknesses in the regulation of bank capital and systemic risk in derivatives markets before the 2007 / 2008 financial crisis. In addition to academic publications, he also authored major reports commissioned by the European Parliament, including ‚Financial Supervision and Crisis Management in the EU‘ (2007), ‚Clearing and Settlement in the EU‘ (2009) and ‚Crisis Management, Burden Sharing, and Solidarity Mechanisms in the EU‘ (2010). He has also advised the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs on the regulation of the mis-selling of financial products. He has advised central banks and governments on monetary law and financial regulation. In 2010, he advised the European Parliament (EP) on the creation of the European Supervisory Authorities and the European Systemic Risk Board. In January 2012, he submitted a report to the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs critically examining the implementation of EU bank remuneration rules. His commissioned report for the European Parliament, entitled 'An Orderly Restructuring of Sovereign Debt in the European Union', (September 2010) also proposed the use of collective action clauses (CACs) in all EU sovereign bond contracts. His proposal for CACs was included in the European Union Council of Ministers' resolution of December 2010 that EU states should use CACs in sovereign bond contracts from 2013.

He has taught financial regulation, UK corporate and financial law, microeconomics, international economics and international trade law at the University of Cambridge, Queen Mary University of London and the University of Warwick. He was educated at Cornell, Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Risk Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Senior Research Fellow in Financial Services Law and Regulation at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at the University of London. He also advises European banking institutions on corporate governance, risk management and environmental sustainability. For over fifteen years, he has taught continuing education courses in banking regulation and governance at many major banks around the world. He is Academic Programme Director for the Barclays Bank Compliance Programme at the University of Cambridge Center for Compliance and Trust.