Business and Management

Business Finance (BF) research seminars

Business Finance (BF) seminars take place on the following Thursdays. Click on the seminar title for more information about each seminar and the speaker(s).

Upcoming seminars

No items are currently available.

Past seminars

Spring term 2018
19 April
Corporate Investment, Financing, and Payout Decisions under Uncertainty: Evidence from UK Panel Data
Victor Murinde (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)


We investigate interactions among corporate investment, financing, and payout decisions under uncertainty, using a panel of UK-listed firms. We model these corporate decisions within a simultaneous equations system where we treat each decision as endogenous, but allow for their contemporaneous interdependence, as implied by the flow-of-funds framework. We find that the effect of uncertainty on corporate investment is positive and significant, while those on debt financing and dividend payouts are significant and negative. Accordingly, firms facing greater uncertainty appear to investment more, and fund the increased investment by resorting to internal finance by cutting dividends rather than resort to external finance by issuing new debt. Further, we divide the entire sample into two groups, namely financially more constrained firms and less constrained firms, in order to explore the sensitivity of our results to the financial constraints. We find that the simultaneity among the three corporate decisions is more pronounced for firms which are financially more constrained, while the effect of uncertainty is more significant for firms which are financially less constrained. It appears that financial constrains are the possible channel through which corporate decisions are jointed determined, and less constrained firms react to uncertainty more aggressively than more constrained ones. Overall, our results offer new insight into the complex interdependence of corporate behaviour by UK-listed firms, under financial constraints and uncertainty.

Autumn term 2017
26 October
Initial Public Offerings on the UK when-issued market
Arif Khushed (University of Manchester)


We examine the determinants of an IPO firm’s choice to trade on a when-issued market and find that better quality firms are more likely to trade on this market. Our ‘what-if’ analysis shows that for companies that choose to have when-issued trading, the actual offer price is almost 25% higher than it would have been had these firms chosen not to trade on this market. We interpret this higher offer price as a ‘rent’ that investors pay to acquire shares of such companies. Interestingly, this rent is paid mostly in those IPOs in which retail investors are allowed to participate.


Arif Khurshed is a Professor of Finance at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. He graduated from the University of Delhi and received his PhD from the University of Reading. Arif is known for his academic and professional work on Initial Public Offerings, venture capital and share repurchase programmes. He has published his research in several leading finance journals and has authored a book on ‘The mechanics and performance of initial public offerings’. His research has been widely covered by the national and international press. Arif has been an external consultant to the UK stock market regulator, The Financial Conduct Authority and the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA). He is on the editorial board of the British Accounting Review.

30 November
A Test of Bayesian Reasoning Using Bookmaker Odds on Professional Tennis Matches
Christos Mavis (Surrey Business School)


We conduct a field test of Bayesian reasoning, examining whether people form expectations by placing a larger weight on signals that are more informative with lower process variance. To test this notion we analyze subjective probabilities inferred from odds offered by bookmakers on the outcomes of professional men's tennis matches, exploiting variation in process variance related to the format with which tennis matches are played. Specifically, in some tournaments a player must win more sets to win the match. Since higher-skill players are more likely to win these longer matches, bookmakers should respond more strongly to skill-related signals for these matches. We find that bookmakers are not fully sensitive to variations in process variance, thus underreact when setting odds for higher-skill players for longer matches. This result is robust to inferring subjective probabilities from odds offered by professional bookmakers, or odds achieved on a person-to-person betting exchange. The resulting biases in expectations appear to be costly to bookmakers. Results from various robustness tests, including a laboratory experiment and a placebo test using women's matches where all matches are played in the same format, support out conclusions. Overall, our analysis suggests that deviations from Bayesian reasoning due to process variance neglect influence real-life economic decisions.


Christos Mavis is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Finance in the Surrey Business School in the University of Surrey. He graduated from the National Kapodistrian University of Athens with a BSc degree in Economics. Christos holds an MSc degree from Durham Business School in the field of Corporate and International Finance with distinction. He completed his PhD in the area of Corporate Finance and, more specifically, in Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) at the ICMA Centre in the University of Reading. Christos is the Programme Director of the MSc in Corporate Finance and he is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Christos' main interests lie in merger waves, CEO turnovers, public vs private takeover targets, and CEO acquisitiveness and their impact on shareholder value creation. His research is presented every year in prestigious North American and European Conferences and his most current work was published in the European Journal of Finance. Christos currently teaches Topics in Finance and has previously taught Corporate Finance, Portfolio Management, and Microeconomics.

Spring term 2017
9 March
New approaches in estimating and selecting financial models: concepts and applications
Dietmar Maringer (University of Basel)


Applied and empirical work in finance involves a substantial amount of optimization. Sometimes, this is obvious (e.g., in portfolio optimization); sometimes not quite so (e.g., in estimation problems). However, standard software struggles surprisingly often: realistic constraints or favorable selection criteria and objectives quickly defy the usual assumptions underlying many optimization routines, and reported results are not necessarily reliable. Non-deterministic heuristic search routines, on the other hand, are flexible enough to deal with such demanding problems. This talk presents underlying concepts, discusses advantages and disadvantages of such methods, and demonstrates applications to financial modelling and decision making.


Dietmar Maringer is professor for computational economics and finance at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He studied computer science, business, and finance in Vienna, Austria, and Cambridge, UK. He held positions at Universities in Austria, Germany, and the UK, interrupted by an executive position in the financial sector. His research approaches financial problems with computational methods, mainly from machine learning, computational intelligence, and simulation. Typical applications include portfolio optimization, risk management, model selection, estimation, and different aspects of high-frequency trading.

16 March
Personal insolvency: trends, demographics and research areas
John Perrett (Head of Statistics, Strategy and Change Directorate, The Insolvency Service)


Personal insolvency has evolved over the last 30 years, from a framework primarily aimed at providing debt relief for traders, to one where householders’ debts are the driving factor. The growth of individual voluntary arrangements as a means to deal with consumer debt means they now account for over half of personal insolvencies. About one in 500 adults entered insolvency in 2016, but the rate of personal insolvency varies by location, age, gender and type of insolvency.

The Insolvency Service records information about insolvency for case administration purposes and to fulfil statutory obligations. There are opportunities to use these data further for research purposes, to help the Insolvency Service extract more value from its data.


John Perrett is is Head of Statistics at the Insolvency Service. His team produces Official Statistics on personal and corporate insolvency in England & Wales, and analyses management information on insolvency to aid the agency’s decision making. John’s career in the Government Statistical Service has included analysis of pay and workforce data in the public sector, and producing statistics relating to cases in the Crown Court.

30 March
Judgement Day: Algorithmic Trading in the Swiss Franc De-Pegging
Francis Breedon (Queen Mary, University of London)


A key regulatory question raised by the rapid growth of algorithmic trading (AT) is the response of such trading in extreme situations. Using FX data with a precise identification of AT, we show that AT contributed to deterioration of market quality during the de-pegging of the Swiss franc on January 15, 2015. AT significantly reduced net liquidity supply, increased volatility and worsened price efficiency in the crucial currency pairs (EURCHF and USDCHF). The opposite applies for human traders. However, AT sustained the liquidity provision in other currency pairs.


Francis Breedon is Professor of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary, University of London. His research is primarily focussed on foreign exchange markets ranging from detailed FX microstructure and trading to broader FX policy questions. He also has extensive industry experience both as an FX strategist and as an FX consultant to a number of Hedge Funds, Investment Banks, Central Banks and Ministries of Finance.

1 June
Peer Pressure in Corporate Earnings Management
Markus Schmid (St Gallen University)


We show that peer firms play an important role in shaping corporate earnings management decisions. To overcome identification issues in isolating peer effects, we use fund flow-induced selling pressure by passive open-end equity mutual funds as exogenous shocks to firms’ stock prices. Managers respond to such exogenous price shocks by adjusting earnings management policies. We then measure individual firms’ reactions to changes in earnings management at peer firms as a result of such exogenous price shocks. The documented peer effect in earnings management is not only statistically, but also economically significant. Our results are robust to alternative measures of fund flow-induced selling pressure and earnings management, and to estimating instrumental variables regressions in which we instrument peer firms’ earnings management with mutual fund flow-induced selling pressure.


Markus Schmid is a Professor of Corporate Finance at the University of St. Gallen and a Director of the Swiss Institute of Banking and Finance. Before his current position, he was Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of St. Gallen, Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Mannheim, and held several visiting appointments at Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University. He holds a diploma in economics and a PhD in finance both from the University of Basel. His research interests are mainly in the areas empirical corporate finance, corporate governance, and household finance. His research has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Finance, Journal of Financial Intermediation, and Journal of Banking and Finance among others. He is the managing editor of the Financial Markets and Portfolio Management Journal.

Autumn term 2016
13 October
Dual seminars:
1. An investigation into how the quantitative easing programme, Vickers’ ring-fencing regulation and the ‘Brexit’ announcement impacted the UK banking sector - Malgorzata Sulimierska
2. Is financial inclusion good for bank stability? International evidence - Mostak Ahamed


An investigation into how the quantitative easing programme, Vickers’ ring-fencing regulation and the ‘Brexit’ announcement impacted the UK banking sector - Malgorzata (Gosia) Sulimierska

In this paper, ‘Events study analysis’ is used to analyse the impact of Vickers’ ring-fencing regulation, quantitative easing programme and the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union (‘Brexit’) on the UK banking system. Ten banks have been included in the study and the stock price data for each of them was collected from the 14th January 2011 to the 30th of July 2016. We find that banks affected by Vickers’ regulation did have negative abnormal returns as the policy progressed, indicating that the policy may not be the best way to limit risk in banks. The results also show that Quantitative Easing does affect the banks’ abnormal returns positively and that ‘bigger’ banks benefit more from its implementation. Finally, we discover that the ‘Brexit’ vote did cause negative abnormal returns across all banks, however, it was the smaller ‘unaffected’ banks which suffered the most. 

Is financial inclusion good for bank stability? International evidence - Mostak Ahamed

Financial inclusion has become an important public policy priority following the recent global financial crisis. Yet, we know very little of how it impacts soundness of the providers of financial services. Using an international sample of 2,600 banks in 86 countries over the period 2004-12, we find that higher level of financial inclusion leads to greater bank stability. The positive association is particularly pronounced with those banks that have higher customer deposit funding share and lower marginal costs of producing output; and also with those that operate in countries with stronger institutional quality. The results are robust to instrumental variable analysis, controlling for bank fixed effects, alternative measures of financial inclusion, among several other robustness tests. Our results highlight that the importance of ensuring inclusive financial system is not only a development goal but also an issue that should be prioritised by banks, as such a policy drive is good for their stability.


Gosia Sulimierska has extensive teaching experience as she has been at University of Sussex since 2009 in the Economics Department, the Business and Management Department and the Department for Engineering and Design.

She was also awarded in 2013 with the BMEc Oscar award for the Best Seminar Tutor and Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2015 and 2016, Student-Led Teaching Award 2015 and 2016. 

Gosia graduated with a PhD in Economics from Sussex this year.

Mostak Ahamed is a Teaching Fellow in Finance at the Department of Business and Management, University of Sussex, UK. He holds a PhD in business and management from the Queen Mary University of London. Before joining Sussex, he taught at Queen Mary, UCL, and London Metropolitan University as a teaching assistant. He also worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity, UK. He is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

He has undertaken research to overcome the obstacles of financial development with special emphasis on access to finance, bank and firm performance while using robust econometric techniques and large cross-country panel data. His recent paper on tax evasion appears in Economics Letters. He has been an ad hoc referee for The Economics Letters and Economic Modelling.

27 October
Dual seminars:
1. What is the impact of problem loans on Japanese bank productivity growth? - Anh Vu
2. Analysts’ forecast bias and the overconfidence of investors - Oussama Baher


What is the impact of problem loans on Japanese bank productivity growth? - Anh Vu

This paper examines for the first time the impact of problem loans on productivity growth. We exploit a new data set of problem loans, identified as bankrupt and restructured loans, particularly available for Japanese commercial banks. Our parametric methodology quantifies the impact of these loans on productivity growth of the Japanese banking system, which endured a long-lasting effect of the crisis in the early 1990s. The results reveal that Japanese bank productivity growth was severely constrained by bankrupt loans. Further, we perform convergence cluster analysis to examine convergence across regions and over time. Limited convergence is observed, though Regional Banks seem to form convergence clusters for some regions.

Analysts’ forecast bias and the overconfidence of investors - Oussama Baher

Financial analysts are considered to be overall optimistic regarding their forecasts in most of the financial markets. At the same time, when investors are overconfident, they tend to be highly and positively related to market abnormal returns. Although the incentives and characteristics behind both behavioural biases may vary between the two market participants, it’s very likely that one contributes to the other (directly or indirectly). This paper studies the possibility that financial analysts’ optimism is related to investor’s overconfidence in the UK. Using all companies listed on London Stock exchange from 1993 until 2014, results show that analysts seem to be optimistic on a yearly average but they systematically revise their forecasts downwards from the beginning of the year until the earnings announcement date. Furthermore, analysts releasing higher than average earnings per share forecasts lead to more overconfidence in the market. This research highlights how a systematic bias in analysts’ behaviour could result in negative consequences on the financial markets.


Anh Vu's research interests include banking, finance, mutual funds, monetary policy, financial markets, and financial stability. She was previously a Graduate Teaching Assistant at University of Sussex, a tutor in finance and banking at Loughborough University, and a research assistant at London Metropolitan University.

Oussama Baher is a Teaching Fellow in Finance at the Department of Business and Management, University of Sussex, UK. He is currently completing his PhD in Finance at Middlesex University London. Before joining University of Sussex, he was a tutor at Middlesex University (Department of Accounting and Finance and Department of Economics) and FIE college London. Oussama’s research interests include: corporate finance, market anomalies, earnings management, behavioural finance and corporate governance.

24 November
Channels of Sovereign Risk Spillovers and Investment in the Manufacturing Sector
Sebastian Deininger (University of Basel; Bank for International Settlements)


This paper aims to identify endogenous and exogenous indicators of fi rms' investment activity, and examine, in particular, the e ffect that these variables have in co-determining firms' long-term investment decisions. For this purpose, a panel vector autoregressive model extended by exogenous variables (PVARX) is applied.

Two channels of spillovers from sovereign risk to firms' capital expenditures are defi ned. The fi rst channel, the "direct channel", describes responses in capital expenditures from an innovation in sovereign risk. The second channel, the "indirect channel", is a transmission mechanism in which risk spillovers from changes in sovereign risk indirectly aff ect a firm's capital expenditures via its market risk and profi tability. While we observe that the direct risk channel is of major importance in Emerging and Developing Economies, it is comparatively small in Advanced Economies. In the case of the latter, contagion from changes in sovereign risk on firms' market risk plays a much more important role.


Sebastian Deininger is currently a PhD student and teaching assistant at the Department of Computational Economics and Finance, University of Basel in Switzerland. He also works part-time for the Bank for International Settlements in Basel. Sebastian completed his MSc in Business and Economics with a Major in Quantitative Methods in 2012 at the WWZ of the University of Basel. Before, he studied at the University of Regensburg, Germany and completed with a BSc in Economics, Major in Quantitative Economic Research.

His research interest lies in the application of microeconometric and computational concepts to explain macroeconomic phenomena. The topics span empirical finance, in particular, the role of systemic risk in the decision-making process for investments on a firm level, as well as public economics with a focus on distributional effects from policy measures.

Spring term 2016
21 January
Credit Risk Modelling under Recessionary and Financial Distressed Conditions’ Y. Dendramis, E. Tzavalis, G. Adraktas
Prof. Elias Tzavalis - Athens University of Economics & Business

Please note: The seminar will begin at 11.45pm in Jubilee 144 and end at approximately 1pm

Credit risk - Greece [PDF 269.21KB]


This paper provides clear cut evidence that recessionary and financial distressed conditions, as well as banning foreclosure laws, often introduced by governments to mitigate the effects of the economic and/or financial distressed conditions on mortgage loans, have adverse effects on the loan default probability. We argue that this may be attributed to long-term persistency of the above conditions, which can cause abrupt shifts in the probability of default of a loan. Our estimates indicate that these policies may also raise moral hazard incentives that borrowers will not maintain their payments in the long run, even for loans with low LTV. Under these conditions, efforts of banks to restructure (or refinance) mortgage loans may not successfully affect future default probabilities. Our evidence is based on an extension of the discrete-time survival analysis model which allows for a structural break in its hazard rate function due to abrupt changes to exogenous events, like changes in political conditions. It is also robust to alternative specifications of the binary link function between default events and covariates. Asymmetric link functions are found to be more appropriate under financial distressed conditions.


He is Professor in Economics at the Athens University of Economics & Business. Previously, he has taught at the Queen Mary University of London and the University of Exeter. His research interests are in the areas of Econometrics (time series and panel data), and Empirical Finance and Macro (mainly monetary economics). He is currently associate editor of the Journal of Empirical Finance.

25 February
Voluntary Profit Forecast Disclosures, IPO Pricing Divisions and after-market earnings Drift
Prof. Paul McGuiness - Chinese University of Hong Kong


Prospectus profit forecasts (PPF) constitute one of the most important discretionary disclosure items in an IPO. I examine such disclosures in the Hong Kong market, where both IPO activity and PPF disclosure rates are at high levels. The median forecast typically ‘underestimates’ future earning by around 6 per cent. More importantly, PPF disclosure exhibits a strong inverse association with pre-listing owners’ retained equity levels (Hughes, 1988; and Li and McConomy, 2004). PPF disclosure is thus more likely in IPOs raising more capital and generating larger floats. I also demonstrate a strong link between PPF disclosure and post-IPO earnings drift.

Ensuing forecast errors also bear strong connection with book-runners’ initial price determinations as well as with subsequent investor returns. This area usefully extends the related literature (Cheng and Firth, 2000; Chen, Firth and Krishnan, 2001; Jog and McConomy, 2003; Chong and Ho, 2007; and Gounopoulus, 2011), which stresses an association between forecast errors and initial investor returns but ignores the preceding price ‘determination’ process. It also suggests that forecast errors serve as a valuable ex-post proxy for the amount of ex-ante uncertainty surrounding issuer value (Beatty and Ritter, 1986; Falconieri, Murphy and Weaver, 2009). This study also demonstrates a connection between book-runners’ price ‘determinations’ and the information contgent and “superiority” of PPFs (Brown, Richardson and Schwager, 1987). Finally, I observe that initial investor returns strongly anticipate post-IPO earnings drift.

3 March
Overpayment, Financial Distress, and Investor Horizons.
Dr Dimitrios Andriousopoulos - University of Strathclyde 


This study finds that firms that pay-out in excess of the optimal level (over-payers) have significantly higher financial distress risk and significantly lower survival compared to under-payers. Even though institutional investors overall reduce the likelihood of over-paying, ceteris paribus, institutional investors with a long-term investment horizon influence firms into over-paying. Our findings are consistent with risk shifting by long-term investors. Our results are robust to a range of financial distress measures and alternative definitions of over-payment. The link between over-payment, distress risk, and delisting persists across alternative matching estimators that reduce the impact of observable confounding effects. Following the extant literature, we study the investment choices of indexer institutional investors to address potential endogeneity in the institutional investment and payout policy relation.”


I joined the University of Strathclyde in 2013. Meanwhile I have acted as a visiting Lecturer at Cass Business School and I am a Visiting Professor at ESCP Europe. My research interests are in areas corporate finance, corporate governance, investments, mergers and acquisitions, corporate financing, and banking. My research is published in peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Empirical Finance, and the Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting among others.

17 March
Credit Ratings and Acquisitions - Nihat Aktas, Nikolaos Karampatsas, Dimitris Petmezas, and Henri Servaes
Prof. Henri Servaes - London Business School



We document a curvilinear relation between credit ratings and acquisitions. Acquisitions first increase and then decrease as ratings improve, with a high around the A− threshold. The increase at low rating levels is accompanied by lower announcement returns. Acquisitions have a negative impact on future ratings for highly-rated firms, and a positive impact for firms with low ratings, even after controlling for all the characteristics potentially influenced by the transaction. These results indicate that credit ratings exert substantial influence on the acquisition process, and that rating agencies pay particular attention to acquisitions when deciding on the creditworthiness of firms.


Henri Servaes is the Richard Brealey Professor of Corporate Governance and Professor of Finance at London Business School. He is a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research and a Research Associate of the European Corporate Governance Institute. Henri holds a BBA from European University and a MSIA and PhD in finance from Purdue University.
His areas of interest include corporate control, corporate diversification, initial public offerings, capital structure, and mutual funds. He has published articles on these topics in all the leading finance journals, including the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Review of Financial Studies. He has won prizes for several of his articles, including the Journal of Financial Economics All Star Paper award for his article “Additional evidence on equity ownership and corporate value”, and the Distinguished Paper Brattle Prize for his Journal of Finance article: “The cost of diversity: The diversification discount and inefficient investment”. In August of 2005, he was featured in the Financial Times series on Gurus of the Future, and in a 2010 study he was ranked second in Europe in terms of research productivity in financial economics over the period 1990-2008.
His work has been presented at all major international finance conferences and at more than 75 universities worldwide. He has had previous appointments at the University of Chicago, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and taught in MBA and executive programs in Belgium, China, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Russia and Saudi Arabia and in doctoral programs in Belgium and Switzerland.
Henri has been involved in consulting and executive education for Anglo American, Barclays, Bertelsmann, BG Group, Continental, Deutsche Bank, E ON, The Financial Times (Lex Team), Freshfields, Mars, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Suez, among others. His work has been cited in a large number of international newspapers, including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, CFO Magazine, Corriere Della Sera, Handelsblatt, and Institutional Investor. At London Business School, he teaches corporate finance and corporate governance in the Senior Executive Programme and the Corporate Finance Programme.

26 May
Why do PE and VC Firms Retain Ownership after the Initial Public Offering?
Meziane Lasfer and Natalia Matanova - Cass Business School, City University


We document significant voluntary ownership by PE and VC funds in their sponsored firms few years after the lockup expiry date. We assess whether such post-IPO ownership creates value to the investors (limited partners) in these funds. The analysis of the aftermarket performance, based on the calendar-time approach, reveals strong negative average monthly abnormal returns for portfolios of these backed IPOs over various holding periods. Our results suggest that, while PE and VC funds may be able to create value in the pre-IPO period, they are unable to lead their sponsored IPOs to better performance. Our findings are puzzling and raise the question of why the limited partners carry on investing in PE and VC funds and incur the resulting costs, instead of investing directly in the market.


Meziane Lasfer is currently a full-time Professor of Finance at Cass Business School, City University London, which he joined in 1990. He is also visiting professor at University Paris Dauphine, EDHEC Business School in Nice, Catolica University in Lisbon, and Bologna Business School in Italy. His research on corporate finance, corporate governance, pension fund investments, trading strategies, and fundamentals of stock returns is widely published in top international journal, including Journal of Finance, JFQA, JCF, and JBF, placing him among the top researchers in Europe. He is on the editorial board of a number of journals. He has directed the Cass Business School PhD and MSc Finance programmes, and he was Associate Dean for Research. He was an external consultant at the Financial Services Authority and taught various executive programmes in the UK and abroad.

Autumn term 2015
8 October
'Exchange Rate Uncertainty and International Portfolio Flows: A Multivariate GARCH-in-Mean Approach'
Professor Gugielmo Caporale


This paper examines the impact of exchange rate uncertainty on different components of net portfolio flows, namely net equity and net bond flows, as well as their dynamic linkages. Specifically, a bivariate VAR GARCH-BEKK-in-mean model is estimated using bilateral monthly data for the US vis-à-vis Australia, Canada, the euro area, Japan, Sweden, and the UK over the period 1988:01-2011:12. The results indicate that the effect of exchange rate uncertainty on net equity flows is negative in the euro area, the UK and Sweden, and positive in Australia. The impact on net bond flows is also negative in all countries except Canada, where it is positive. Under the assumption of risk aversion, the findings suggest that exchange rate uncertainty induces a home bias and causes investors to reduce their financial activities to maximise returns and minimise exposure to uncertainty, this effect being stronger in the UK, the euro area and Sweden compared to Canada, Australia and Japan. Overall, the results indicate that exchange rate or credit controls on these flows can be used as a policy tool in countries with strong uncertainty effects to pursue economic and financial stability.

12 November 
Building a dataset – a long-term view of business start-ups
Julian Frankish - Barclays plc 


Understanding the survival and growth patterns of new businesses is of perennial interest to both academic research and policy makers. This session looks at the construction of one dataset to support analysis in this area using information from Barclays Bank, including the selection of the sample, initial data and tracking over time.


Julian Frankish is Head of Business Economics and Research at Barclays Corporate Banking. His work has a particular focus on UK SMEs and has involved a number of collaborations with academic partners.

3 December
A Development Bank’s Choice of Private Equity partner: A Behavioral Game-theoretic Approach
Richard Fairchild - School of Management - University of Bath


We consider a development bank’s investment choices (whether to invest into risky entrepreneurial activity in an emerging economy, or to invest ‘safely at home’). If the bank chooses to finance an emerging-economy entrepreneur, it invests through the local private equity (PE) sector. It then faces the choice of which PE-firm to select. We consider both economic (value-adding abilities) and behavioural factors (empathy, trust, emotional excitement) affecting this choice. Triple-sided moral hazard problems occur, as the bank, the PE-manager, and the entrepreneur all contribute to value-creation. The bank does not only focus on economic value-creation, but also the social impact of entrepreneurial activity in the emerging economy. We demonstrate that the bank’s choices are crucially affected by a) the relative abilities and the potential level of empathy/trust/excitement that may be generated between a PE-manager and an entrepreneur, and b) the weighting that the bank places on entrepreneurial social impact.


Dr. Richard Fairchild is Senior Lecturer in Corporate Finance in the School of Management, University of Bath. His main areas of research are a) behavioural and emotional corporate finance, b) Venture Capital/Entrepreneur relationships/financial contracting and performance, and c) Social Investing/social enterprise. He employs game-theoretic, experimental, and neuro-economic approaches. After obtaining his BSc in Economics, Richard worked in a finance function in Industry for several years before returning to University to obtain his MSc and PhD in Financial Economics. He publishes in leading academic and practitioner books and journals, and has presented his work at many international conferences. Richard works with a number of practitioners in the finance, investment and banking communities, where his research is being applied in a practical sense. Richard is Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Behavioural Accounting and Finance, and is Series Editor for the Routledge Research Monograph Series in Behavioural Economics and Finance.

9 December
Choosing Stress Scenarios for Systemic Risk Through Dimension Reduction
Matt Pritchker - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston


Current regulatory stress-tests ensure the banking system is well capitalized against the scenarios considered in the test, but it is unclear how well capitalized the banking system will be against other plausible scenarios. This paper proposes a methodology for choosing a regulatory stress-scenario based on measures of systemic risk. Under certain regularity conditions, when the banking system is well capitalized against the chosen scenario, then systemic risk is low, i.e. the banking system will be well capitalized against the other plausible scenarios that could affect it with high probability. The stress-scenario is chosen by using dimension reduction techniques that select variables and then create factors based on the variables' and factors' ability to explain systemic risk. The main result shows that under appropriate regularity conditions stress-scenarios can be chosen based on movements in the systemic risk factors, and that doing so can approximately achieve systemic risk objectives. Under some conditions the methodology also shows that stress-tests and capital injections based on a small number of scenarios cannot alone attain the systemic risk objective, indicating other steps may be needed. The methodology should be especially valuable if regulatory stress-testing continues to rely on a small number of stress scenarios.


Matt Pritsker is a Senior Financial Economist and Policy Adviser in the Division of Supervision, Regulation, and Credit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. His research is in the areas of asset pricing, market microstructure, risk measurement and management, and banking. His most recent research is on the design of systemic-risk stress tests for the banking system. Other recent papers are on Knightian uncertainty in interbank markets, and on how securitization affects banking. Other research papers are on market liquidity, financial contagion, and financial econometrics. Matt’s research has appeared in the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Intermediation, and the Journal of Banking and Finance.
Matt earned a BA in economics from the University of Michigan in 1986, and a economics from Princeton University in 1992. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Matt was an economist at the Federal Reserve Board. While on leave from the Federal Reserve Board, Matt was a visiting professor at NYU Stern, and at the University of California at Berkeley. Matt has also taught at the Johns Hopkins University, and Georgetown University.

Summer term 2015
14 May
International Financial Integration and IPO Performance
Dr Gianluca Marcato (ICMA Centre University of Reading)


Using a large dataset of 11,550 IPOs across 49 countries, this paper represents a first attempt to investigate the relationship between IPO underpricing and financial globalization. We argue that financial globalization affects IPO underpricing in both direct and indirect ways. Directly, financial globalization increases both the importance and efficiency of the process of financial intermediation via tradable securities, including IPO underwriting, which in turn negatively affects the level of underpricing of IPOs. Using a hierarchical linear modelling, we are able to test whether financial globalization adds explanatory power to the initial returns of IPOs after controlling for firm-, issuing- and country-specific characteristics. Our results provide evidence for a negative relationship between financial globalization, measured by the volume-based international financial integration, and IPO underpricing. Indirectly, financial globalization encourages more global IPOs in order to avoid weak domestic institutions and, therefore, weakens the explanatory power of the home-country institutions in the cross-country variation in the IPO underpricing. Once accounting for financial globalization, we a moderation effect such that the quality of the country-level institutions - i.e. home bias and legal framework - becomes less important in the explanation of IPO underpricing.


Gianluca Marcato is Associate Professor in Real Estate Finance and Director of the PhD Program at the School of Real Estate and Planning, Henley Business School (University of Reading). Previously he worked at CASS Business School and Bocconi University and was visiting fellow at NYU and LSE. Starting from a background in corporate finance, he developed an interest in real estate finance, asset pricing (with focus on liquidity and real options) and portfolio management. Lately his research interest is expanding into mortgage finance, IPOs and behavioural finance. As a consultant, Gianluca has worked on several projects and offered training for financial institutions (e.g. Legal and General, Prudential, MSCI) and public bodies (e.g. Bank of Italy).

21 May 
Dr Sabri Boubaker (ESC Troyes, France)
The Role of Multiple Large Shareholders in the Choice of Debt Source

Sabri Boubaker paper [PDF 301.64KB]


This article examines the impact of multiple large shareholders (MLS) on the choice of debt source. Using a sample of 5,230 firm-year observations covering 643 French listed firms from 1998 to 2010, we find that reliance on bank debt financing increases with the presence of MLS and with the contestability of the controlling owner¡¦s power. Our findings are robust to endogeneity concerns and to a battery of sensitivity tests. In addition, we show that the identity of the second largest shareholder influences the choice of debt source. Moreover, we find that the effect of MLS on debt choice is more pronounced when agency problems between controlling and minority shareholders are more severe. Taken together, our results suggest that the presence of MLS reduces the incentive of the controlling owner to avoid scrutiny and to insulate herself from bank monitoring, leading to more reliance on bank debt.


Sabri Boubaker is Associate Professor of Finance at Champagne School of Management (Groupe ESC Troyes en Champagne, France) and Research Fellow at the Institut de Recherche en Gestion (University of Paris Est). He is now visiting researcher at Cass Business School (London, UK). He holds a Ph.D. in Finance from University of Paris Est (2006) and a HDR degree (Habilitation for Supervising Doctoral Research) in 2010 from the same university. He was a visiting professor at IESEG School of Management (France) and IAE Paris Gustave Eiffel (France). He has recently published several academic papers in international refereed journals including Journal of Banking and Finance, International Review of Financial Analysis, Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Economic Modeling, Multinational Finance Journal, and Global Finance Journal. Dr. Boubaker is now editing/co-editing several special issues in peer-reviewed journals (International Review of Financial Analysis, Journal of Management and Governance & Bankers, Markets and Investors) and edited several books on corporate governance and corporate social responsibility issues. He is a co-founder of the Paris Financial Management Conference (PFMC, Paris, France) and co-chair of the 6th International Research Meeting in Business and Management (IRMBAM-2016, Nice, France).

21 May 
Dr Mike Osborne (University of Sussex)
Title TBC

Abstract and Bio TBC

9 June
Prof Jay Ritter (University of Florida) 
Corporate Cash Shortfalls and Financing Decisions


An influential paper by DeAngelo, DeAngelo and Stulz (2010) concludes that near-term cash needs are the primary motive for seasoned equity offerings. We find that this is even more true for debt issues. Conditional on external financing, Tobin’s Q and firm size are highly important predictors for the choice between debt and equity, even for firms that are running out of cash. Our findings suggest that a near-term cash need is the primary motive for debt issues, but market timing, precautionary saving, and corporate lifecycle motives are of primary importance for equity issues and the debt versus equity choice.


Since 1996, Jay R. Ritter has served as the Joseph Cordell Eminent Scholar in the Department of Finance at the University of Florida. Prof. Ritter is best known for his articles concerning equity issuance, including "The Long-Run Performance of Initial Public Offerings," which won the Smith Breeden Award for the best article in the Journal of Finance during 1991, and “The Marketing of Seasoned Equity Offerings,” with Xiaohui Gao, which won the Jensen Prize for the best corporate finance article in the Journal of Financial Economics in 2010. His paper with Rongbing Huang, “Testing Theories of Capital Structure and Estimating the Speed of Adjustment,” won the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis Sharpe Award for the best article published in 2009, and his 2013 JFQA article “Where Have All the IPOs Gone?” with Xiaohui Gao and Zhongyan Zhu, won the Sharpe Award for 2013. He has served as a Director of the American Finance Association, and is President of the Financial Management Association for 2014-15. Prof. Ritter is an Associate Editor of numerous academic journals and has over 29,000 citations on Google Scholar. He has also consulted on valuation and market manipulation cases, as well as securities issuance, and is frequently quoted in the financial press. Ritter received his BA, MA, and PhD (1981) degrees in economics and finance from the University of Chicago.

Spring term 2015
5 February 
Stock market mean reversion and portfolio choice over the life cycle
Prof Alex Michaelides (Imperial College London)


Alexander Michaelides is a Professor of Finance at Imperial College Business School since September 2013 and Research Fellow at CEPR (International Macroeconomics and Financial Economics Programmes), at CFS (Frankfurt) and NETSPAR (The Netherlands). His research interests include household finance (for example, portfolio choice over the life cycle), asset pricing with heterogeneous agents and financial frictions, housing markets and topics in the intersection of macroeconomics and finance. He was previously a lecturer (2001-2006) and associate professor (2006-2010) at the Department of Economics, London School of Economics, and a professor of finance at the Department of Public and Business Administration, University of Cyprus in 2010-2014. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University (1997) and a B.A. in Economics from Harvard (1993).

12 February 
IPO survival and institutional investment 
Dr Mohamed Abdulkadir (University of Liverpool)


This study examines the survival rates of stocks newly listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange between 1990 and 2010 and tracked until the end of 2013. Average survival rates on the Hong Kong market are high compared to other developed markets and the lowest is 78 percent over five years post listing. Stocks listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange are exposed to low failure risks even during and after financial crises. Investigating the determinants of survival rates, we find that family owned IPOs have higher survival rates than non-family owned IPOs. Furthermore, the survival rates are influenced by the investors’ types at the time of listing. We find that the survival rates are higher, when investors have long term investment horizon (Strategic investors) than when they have short term horizon (Cornerstone investors). This evidence is robust using different measures of strategic and cornerstone investors."


Abdulkadir Mohamed is an Assistant Professor of Finance at Liverpool University Management School. His research focuses on private equity, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs. Before joining Liverpool University, he was a research associate at Manchester Business School and a consultant on a project for the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA). He has published in the Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, European Journal of Finance, International Review of Financial Analysis and Financial Markets, Institutions and Instruments.

6 March 
The effects of investment bank rankings: Evidence from M&A
Professor Francois Derrien (HEC Paris)


This paper explores how league tables, which are rankings based on market shares, influence the M&A market. A bank’s league table rank predicts its future deal flow, above and beyond other determinants of this future deal flow. This creates incentives for banks to manage their league table ranks. League table management tools include selling fairness opinions and reducing fees. Banks use such tools mostly when their incentives to do so are high: when a transaction affects their league table position or when they lost ranks in recent league tables. League table management seems to affect the quality of M&A transactions.


François Derrien obtained his PhD from HEC Paris in 2002. After spending five years as an assistant professor at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, he returned to HEC Paris in 2007, where he became full professor in 2010. His research interests are in the areas of corporate finance and financial intermediation, with a focus on initial public offerings, the role of security analysts, and the impact of investor horizons on firm policies. François Derrien’s work has appeared in finance journals like the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies and the Journal of Financial Economics.

Autumn term 2014
18 September
When chasing the offender hurts the victim: Collateral damage from insider legislation
Dr Thomas Stöckl (Innsbruck University)


Backers and opponents argue over the pros and cons of legislation forbidding insider trading. At the same time, the lack of reliable empirical data caused by the currently prevailing legal systems inhibits an exhaustive scientific evaluation. We circumvent this problem by resorting to laboratory market data and show that insider legislation has significant negative effects on multiple market dimensions: Under insider legislation, (i) the liquidity and informational efficiency of markets are reduced, while spreads are unaffected, (ii) uninformed traders' losses (before redistribution) are higher due to deteriorating market quality, and (iii) overall welfare suffers due to the lower information content of prices and the cost of enforcement. In summary, insider legislation leads to welfare losses while failing to deliver the expected benefits for uninformed investors.

16 October
Why bidders lose?
Andrey Golubov (Cass Business School)


A quarter of value-destroying acquisitions result in bidder losses in excess of deal value. This cannot be rationalized by hubris- or agency-related overpayment, but is consistent with stand-alone revelation. Without such deals, the average return to acquisitions more than doubles. We further show that acquisition attempts convey negative information about the bidder’s prospects by studying failed bids, which enable a clean before-and-after comparison of the bidder as is. Following failed bids, bidders’ operating performance declines. The performance decline correlates with the stock price change during the bidding period. If the market reaction to acquisitions reflects negative information about bidders’ assets-in-place, stock-returns-based measures of value creation are underestimated.


Dr Andrey Golubov is Lecturer in Finance at Cass Business School, where he is also the Academic Director of the M&A Research Centre. During his term at Cass, he has also held a Visiting Scholar position at NYU Stern School of Business. Member of the corporate finance group, Andrey studies firms' investment and financing decisions, particularly those involving corporate governance and control considerations. His current research examines various aspects of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and firm value and performance. Andrey's research is published or forthcoming in journals such as Journal of Finance and Journal of Financial Economics.

14 November
Title TBC
Professor Jean Chen (University of Southampton)

Please note: This seminar will take place in Fulton 104 from 12.30-2pm rather than the usual time and venue

25 November
The European sovereign debt crisis and the rold of credit swaps
Professor Eleutherious Thalassinos (University of Piraeus, Greece)

Please note: This seminar will take place in Fulton 202 from 12.30-2pm rather than the usual time and venue.


The global financial crisis of 2008–2009 along with the crashing of private toxic money, the Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) and the lack of liquidity as a result of the banking crisis and the accumulated European sovereign debt has turned out to create “Bankruptocracy”. Its European version in 2010 revealed the European Monetary Union’s (EMU) architectural deficiencies which led to the increase of risk premia and poverty, especially for the South-West Euro-Area Periphery (SWEAP) countries.
The main objectives of this research are to determine the factors responsible for the market pricing of sovereign default risk, to analyze the causalities of Credit Default Swaps (CDSs) spreads that have been taken as a proxy variable for the market pricing of sovereign default risk, to examine possible pricing discrimination and asymmetries between SWEAP and non-SWEAP countries, structural changes in the pattern of the CDS spreads throughout and after the crisis and possible evidence of speculation against the SWEAP group of countries.
In a panel data regression setting we have constructed a dynamic pricing model of sovereign default risk for 13 Euro area countries using quarterly data for the period 2008–2013. We spotted structural changes in the pattern of CDS spreads across 2010, identified as the worst year of the Eurozone crisis, as well as significant speculation and financial discrimination against SWEAP countries by the financial intermediaries associated with this derivative market. Significant variables comprise of the grading rate forward one period, the current governments’ bond yield, the inflation rate as well as the variable related to the public debt lagged one period. All variables, amongst others robust predictors of the CDS spreads, have been proven statistically and economically significant, except for the fiscal space of one quarter forward of the fiscal balance proven to be only weakly significant. More specifically, the variables related to fiscal space (public debt and fiscal balance) as well as the inflation rate have been proven statistically significant throughout the global financial crisis (2008-2010) and the grading rate in the period 2011-2013. Nevertheless, governments’ bond yield remained significant at all time. The main limitation of this research, the endogeneity between bond and CDS-derivative markets, emerges from the latter. In total, our evidence of self-fulfilling expectations and herding behavior may indicate the logic of second generation crisis model for the crisis in Eurozone 2010.

27 November
A fool and his money are soon parted: Identifying and exploiting traders’ behavioural biases
Professor Johnie Jonson (University of Southampton)


The presentation explores the nature and the degree of individual financial market traders’ reactions to dynamic information and to different environmental conditions. The advantages of employing speculative market data to help understand the behavioural response of individual investors to such factors will be highlighted. Results of three speculative market studies will be presented in order to illustrate the nature and value of this line of research: the degree to which individual traders effectively handle dynamic information, the manner in which individual traders’ decisions are impacted by environmental factors and to what extent their degree of over/under-reaction to new information is exploitable. The presentation concludes that investors are good at handling some types of complex information but emotional reactions hinder their effective decision making.


Johnnie E.V. Johnson is Professor of Decision and Risk Analysis and Director of the Centre for Risk Research in the Southampton Business School, University of Southampton. His research focuses on risk taking behaviour in uncertain environments. Johnnie has a background in the Lloyd’s insurance market, where he worked as a risk financing and assessment executive. Johnnie has published widely in the areas of behavioural aspects of risk taking and decision making under uncertainty, particularly in relation to decisions in speculative financial markets. He is currently involved in a number of EPSRC and ESRC funded research projects with city-based firms, particularly related to spread-trading. Johnnie has also been responsible for advising a number of organisations on aspects of risk taking – one project, for example, involved the design of a risk-hedging system which handles an annual turnover of £1 billion.

Summer term 2014

13 May 

Political money and contributions of US IPO firms 

Dr Dimitrios Gounopoulos (Sussex) 

20 May

Genetic biodiversity and corporate performance 

Professor Manthos Delis (Surrey)

27 May

On the real effects of financial pressure: Evidence from euro area firm-level employment during the recent financial crises

Professor Alexandros Kontonikas (Glasgow)

3 June


Professor David Newton (Nottingham)

10 June

Two stage exits: An empirical analysis of the dynamic choice between IPOs and acquisitions by European private firms' with Thomas Chemmanur

Professor Silvio Vismara (Bergamo)

17 June

The levers of control framework in shipping companies: A mixed methods approach

Dr Androniki Triantafylli (Queen Mary)

1 July


Professor Eleutherios Thalassinos (Piraeus, Greece)

Spring term 2014

8 April


Professor Taufiq Choudhry (Southampton)

1 April

Excess control rights, corporate governance and cash flow sensitivity of cash

Associate Professor Sabri Boubaker (Troyes University, France) 

25 March

Initial public debt offerings

Professor Raghavendra Rau (Cambridge)

18 March


Professor Stuart McLeay (Sussex)

12 March

CEOs turnover in LBOs: The role of boards

Professor Francesca Cornelli (London business school)

26 February

Picking winners? Investment consultants' recommendations of fund managers

Professor Tim Jenkinson (Oxford)

4 February

The impact of investment networks on venture capital firm performance

Professor Igor Filatochev (Cass Business School)

Autumn term 2013

10 December

Do gendered boards in community organisations have superior financial management?

Professor Anne Marie Ward (University of Ulster at Jordanstown)

26 November

Market conditions and soundness: Islamic and conventional banks in MENA

Professor Claudia Girardone (Essex)

12 November

Bankrupt firms: Who's buying?

Professor Richard Taffler (Warkwick) 

5 November

European asset swap spreads

Professor Ranko Jelic (Birmingham)

22 October

Which way do foreign branches sway? Evidence from the recent UK domestic credit cycle

Mr Glenn Hoggarth (Bank of England)

11 October

Designed risk profilers in the laboratory

Professor Thorsten Hens (Zurich)

1 October

Comparative advantage as a source of exporters pricing power: Evidence from China and India

Professor Sushanta Mallick (Queen Mary, School of Business and Management)