- Four Generations of Asset Pricing Models and Volatility Dynamics (2007)
- The scope of this diploma thesis is to examine the four generations of asset pricing models and the corresponding volatility dynamics which have been devepoled so far. We proceed as follows: In chapter 1 we give a short repetition of the Black-Scholes first generation model which assumes a constant volatility and we show that volatility should not be modeled as constant by examining statistical data and introducing the notion of implied volatility. In chapter 2, we examine the simplest models that are able to produce smiles or skews - local volatility models. These are called second generation models. Local volatility models model the volatility as a function of the stock price and time. We start with the work of Dupire, show how local volatility models can be calibrated and end with a detailed discussion of the constant elasticity of volatility model. Chapter 3 focuses on the Heston model which represents the class of the stochastic volatility models, which assume that the volatility itself is driven by a stochastic process. These are called third generation models. We introduce the model structure, derive a partial differential pricing equation, give a closed-form solution for European calls by solving this equation and explain how the model is calibrated. The last part of chapter 3 then deals with the limits and the mis-specifications of the Heston model, in particular for recent exotic options like reverse cliquets, Accumulators or Napoleons. In chapter 4 we then introduce the Bergomi forward variance model which is called fourth generation model as a consequence of the limits of the Heston model explained in chapter 3. The Bergomi model is a stochastic local volatility model - the spot price is modeled as a constant elasticity of volatility diffusion and its volatility parameters are functions of the so called forward variances which are specified as stochastic processes. We start with the model specification, derive a partial differential pricing equation, show how the model has to be calibrated and end with pricing examples and a concluding discussion.
- Optimal Portfolios for Executive Stockholders (2010)
- In this work, we develop a framework for analyzing an executive’s own- company stockholding and work effort preferences. The executive, character- ized by risk aversion and work effectiveness parameters, invests his personal wealth without constraint in the financial market, including the stock of his own company whose value he can directly influence with work effort. The executive’s utility-maximizing personal investment and work effort strategy is derived in closed form for logarithmic and power utility and for exponential utility for the case of zero interest rates. Additionally, a utility indifference rationale is applied to determine his fair compensation. Being unconstrained by performance contracting, the executive’s work effort strategy establishes a base case for theoretical or empirical assessment of the benefits or otherwise of constraining executives with performance contracting. Further, we consider a highly-qualified individual with respect to her choice between two distinct career paths. She can choose between a mid-level management position in a large company and an executive position within a smaller listed company with the possibility to directly affect the company’s share price. She invests in the financial market including the share of the smaller listed company. The utility maximizing strategy from consumption, investment, and work effort is derived in closed form for logarithmic utility and power utility. Conditions for the individual to pursue her career with the smaller listed company are obtained. The participation constraint is formulated in terms of the salary differential between the two positions. The smaller listed company can offer less salary. The salary shortfall is offset by the possibilityto benefit from her work effort by acquiring own-company shares. This givesinsight into aspects of optimal contract design. Our framework is applicable to the pharmaceutical and financial industry, as well as the IT sector.