Winners of the AQR Top Finance Graduate Award at CBS 2018
Laura Blattner, Harvard University
Laura Blattner is a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University. Her research interests are banking, corporate finance, and macroeconomics. Laura earned a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and a Master of Philosophy in Economics at the University of Oxford (Nuffield College). Prior to her Ph.D., she completed a six-month internship at the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. In July 2018, she will be joining the Stanford Graduate School of Business as an Assistant Professor of Finance.
(joint with Luísa Farinha, Banco de Portugal and Francisca Rebelo, Boston College)
Emanuele Colonnelli, Stanford University
Emanuele is a PhD candidate in Economics at Stanford University. His research lies at the intersection of corporate finance and development, with a special interest in topics of entrepreneurship and political economy. A unifying theme of his research agenda is the understanding of how institutional frictions affect the real economy, by studying their impact on
firm and entrepreneurial dynamics, as well as resource allocation across and within firms. Emanuele holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Siena, an MSc in Economics from Bocconi University, and he spent an academic year visiting Pembroke College, Oxford University. Prior to joining Stanford, he worked as a researcher at IGIER (Bocconi University).
He is also the recipient of a number of grants and awards, such as the Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship, and he volunteers as a research advisor for various government agencies. Next summer, Emanuele will be joining the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.
Niels Joachim Gormsen, Copenhagen Business School
Niels Joachim Gormsen is a PhD candidate at Copenhagen Business School. His main area of research is empirical asset pricing. In recent work he has studied the equity term structure, the conditional CAPM, the low-risk effect, and how the distribution of equity returns varies over time. Niels received a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and a Master’s degree in Economics and Finance, both from Copenhagen Business School. During his PhD, Niels spend a year at Harvard University as a visiting student. This summer, Niels will be joining the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.
Kilian Huber, London School of Economics
Kilian Huber's research studies the interaction between the financial sector and the real economy. His recent publication in the American Economic Review, entitled "Disentangling the Effects of a Banking Crisis: Evidence from German Firms and Counties", shows that lending cuts by banks
have persistent effects on the real economy. Lending cuts do not only affect firms through restricted access to credit, but can also indirectly harm firms with undisturbed bank loan supply, through reduced aggregate demand and local spillovers. Kilian’s new paper "Are Bigger Banks Better? Firm-Level Evidence from Germany" shows empirically that increases in bank size may
not lead to real economic benefits. Kilian will be a Research Fellow at the Becker Friedman
Institute of the University of Chicago in 2018/19, before joining the Booth School of Business as Assistant Professor of Economics. Kilian is about to complete his graduate studies at the Department of Economics of the London School of Economics. He holds Bachelor and Master degrees from the London School of Economics.
Yiming Ma, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Yiming Ma is a PhD candidate in finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is
also a visiting researcher at the German Bundesbank. Her research applies tools from industrial organization to questions in financial intermediation, financial stability and monetary policy.
Before graduate school, she received a BA in Mathematics, Economics and Global Affairs from
Yale University and interned with the People's Bank of China. Next fall, Yiming will be joining the faculty at Columbia Business School.
(joint with Ben Craig, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and Deutsche Bundesbank)
Yueran Ma, Harvard University
Yueran Ma will join Chicago Booth as an assistant professor of finance in July 2018. Her main research interest is empirical studies at the intersection of finance and macroeconomics.
Her work covers topics including low interest rates and financial markets, debt contracts and macroeconomic implications, non-financial firms and financial frictions, and expectations in
finance and macroeconomics. She has also worked on questions in real estate and urban economics. She received B.A. summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in applied mathematics in 2014, and Ph.D. in business economics in 2018, from Harvard University.
(joint with Chen Lian, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carmen Wang, Harvard University)
Scott Nelson, MIT Economics
Scott Nelson is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at MIT. His research studies how market structure and regulation affect loan terms and information generation in consumer credit markets, and how the sources of consumer credit demand affect the risks that lenders face. In his job market paper, Scott studies the efficiency and distributional effects of the 2009 Credit CARD Act in the US credit card market. In other work Scott studies the design of the US consumer bankruptcy and debt collection system, the formation of consumers’ financial expectations, how consumer income expectations and uncertainty drive borrowing demand, and the effects of recent regulation on the use of consumer credit report data. Previously Scott has worked as a research fellow with the City of Boston Office of Financial Empowerment, graduate intern and research analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, assistant economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and research assistant at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), where he was a member of the US Household Finance Initiative. In 2019 Scott will join the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business as Assistant Professor of Finance, after a year of post-doctoral research.
Winners of the AQR Top Finance Graduate Award at CBS 2017
Moritz Lenel, Stanford University
Moritz Lenel’s research interests are in macroeconomics and finance. He is expected to receive a PhD in Economics from Stanford University in June. He will then spend a year as a research fellow at the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago. In the summer of 2018, he will join the Bendheim Center for Finance at Princeton University.
His recent work studies how quantities of safe bonds affect interest rates and asset prices, a question that is relevant for understanding the transmission of unconventional monetary policy. In other projects, he analyzes the effects of housing policies on the homeownership rate and the interaction of corporate bank and bond financing. Lenel holds a degree in economics from Universität Konstanz and a master’s degree in international trade, finance, and development from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. In 2014, Lenel was awarded the Ric Weiland Graduate Fellowship in Stanford's School of Humanities & Sciences and a research fellowship from the Becker Friedman Institute's Macro Financial Modeling project. He received the 2016/17 Kohlhagen Fellowship endowed by Steve and Gale Kohlhagen through a grant to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. This May, he was a speaker on the Review of Economic Studies Tour.
Emily Williams, London Business School
Emily Williams is a PhD candidate in finance at London Business School. Her research focuses on financial intermediation, empirical corporate finance and monetary policy. Her primary interest is in understanding bank funding structure, financing frictions and the impact of bank financing frictions on the real economy. Emily studied for a Masters of Mathematics at Warwick University, and subsequently worked in the finance industry in various roles before completing her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. After completion of her PhD requirements at London Business School this summer, Emily will join Harvard Business School as an Assistant Professor in the Finance unit.
Alexander K. Zentefis, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Alexander K. Zentefis is a PhD candidate in finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His research interests are in macro-finance, financial intermediation, asset pricing, and industrial organization. Before attending graduate school, he was a senior research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance from Washington University in St. Louis. This summer, Alexander will join Yale School of Management.
Simona Abis, INSEAD
Simona Abis is a PhD candidate in Finance at INSEAD soon to join Columbia Business School as Assistant Professor. Before joining the PhD program, Simona worked as a quantitative researcher for a systematic hedge fund. Simona holds a M.Sc. in Quantitative Finance from Cass Business School and a B.Sc. in Economics from Bocconi University. Her research interest spans the fields of information economics, empirical and theoretical asset pricing, financial econometrics, microeconomics, Bayesian learning, machine learning, mutual funds, hedge funds and Fintech. Overall Simona is interested in the impact of technology on financial markets. Her current research focuses particularly on the impact of technological change on investment management through the rise of quantitative investment.
Pascal Noel, Harvard University
Pascal is a PhD Candidate in Economics at Harvard University. His main research interests are in household finance, real estate, macroeconomics, and public finance. Pascal received a Bachelor’s degree in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University and a Master's degree in Economics from the London School of Economics. Prior to his PhD, he worked as a policy advisor for housing markets and financial regulation at the White House National Economic Council. Next year, Pascal will be joining the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.
Jessica Jeffers, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Jessica is a PhD candidate in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Her primary area of research is empirical corporate finance, and her interests include human capital, investment decisions, entrepreneurship, and social enterprise. She is a 2017 Kauffman Dissertation Fellow and a winner of LinkedIn's 2015 Economic Graph Challenge.
Jessica holds a B.A. in Economics & Mathematics from Yale University. Prior to studying at Wharton, she worked in management consulting for the financial industry. She is joining the finance faculty at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.
The Winners of the AQR Top Finance Graduate Award 2016
Asaf Bernstein, MIT Sloan School of Management
Asaf is a PhD candidate in Financial Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management. His primary area of research is empirical corporate finance, but his interests generally lie at the intersection of policy and finance and include economic history, asset pricing, and household finance. His research has looked at the effect of financial regulations and institutions, including the Federal Reserve, rating agencies, centralized clearing, and mortgage assistance programs. His research has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics and selected for inclusion in the SFS Finance Cavalcade and Western Finance Association annual meetings in 2016. Prior to graduate school, he received his B.S. in Economics and Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and worked as a quantitative trader at an investment bank in New York. Next year, Asaf will be joining the finance faculty of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
More information about Asaf Bernstein
Job market paper: Household Debt Overhang and Labor Supply
Arpit Gupta, Columbia Business School
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Song Ma, Yale School of Management
David Schoenherr, London Business School
Michael Schwert, Stanford Graduate School of Business
The Winners of the AQR Top Finance Graduate Award 2015
Svetlana Bryzgalova, PhD from London School of Economics
Svetlana is a PhD Candidate in Economics at London School of Economics. Originally she is from Nizhny Novgorod, Russia and before coming to London, she studied at Higher School of Economics, Russia, where she obtained BA in Economics (Mathematics) and MSc in Financial Economics. Svetlana is interested in macro finance, empirical asset pricing and the issues involved in the estimation of these models. She is joining the finance group at Stanford Graduate School of Business in September 2015.
More information about Svetlana Bryzgalova
Job market paper: Spurious Factors in Linear Asset Pricing Models
Benjamin Hébert, PhD from Harvard University, Department of Economics and Harvard Business School
Ben is a PhD candidate in the Business Economics program at Harvard. His main research interests are in macroeconomics and finance. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a proprietary trader at an investment bank in New York. He earned degrees in Physics and Computer Science as an undergraduate at M.I.T. Next year, Ben will join the finance group at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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Job market paper: MORAL HAZARD AND THE OPTIMALITY OF DEBT
Sabrina Howell, PhD from Harvard University
Sabrina Howell recently graduated from Harvard University with a PhD in the Economics track of the Political Economy and Government program. Sabrina is joining the NYU Stern School of Business Finance Department in July 2015. She studies entrepreneurial finance, energy finance, and innovation. Sabrina earned her BA from Yale in 2008, where she majored in both Economics and East Asian Studies. Subsequently, she worked for Charles River Associates in Houston, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) in Washington DC, and as an intern at the White House National Economic Council. Sabrina has a special interest in China, and speaks Mandarin. She is originally from New York City, where she attended Stuyvesant High School.
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Lawrence Jin, PhD from Yale School of Management
Lawrence J. Jin will receive his Ph.D. in Financial Economics from Yale University in May 2015. His research focuses on asset pricing, behavioral finance, financial intermediaries, and household finance. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from Tsinghua University and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Caltech. Prior to attending Yale, he spent two years as a research and trading analyst at Citigroup. His research has been published in the Review of Financial Studies and the Journal of Financial Economics. His JFE paper "X-CAPM: An Extrapolative Asset Pricing Model" received the Q-Group's 2014 Jack Treynor Prize. Next year, Lawrence Jin will be joining the California Institute of Technology as an Assistant Professor of Finance.
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Job market paper: A Speculative Asset Pricing Model of Financial Instability
Lawrence Schmidt, PhD from University of California, San Diego
Lawrence is a PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of California, San Diego. Next year, he will be joining the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at the University of Chicago. His research is at the intersection of finance and macroeconomics, with a particular emphasis on asset pricing. He uses a unique combination of theory and applied econometrics to offer a richer picture of risks faced by financial market participants--households, institutional investors, and financial intermediaries--and shed new light on underlying economic mechanisms linking financial markets with the real economy. A common thread in his research agenda is the study of conditional distributions and higher moments, with an emphasis on the evolution of cross-sectional distributions over time in response to macroeconomic events. While the majority of empirical research emphasizes conditional means and variances, other aspects of the distribution often reveal interesting asymmetries and nonlinearities which yield new insights about the propagation of aggregate shocks. Examples from his research consider the interaction between asset returns and idiosyncratic tail risk in the labor market, as well as the strategic behavior of investors during the money market panic of 2008.
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Emil N. Siriwardane, PhD from NYU Stern School of Business
Emil Siriwardane is a PhD Candidate in Finance at the NYU Stern School of Business. In recent work, he has studied how the risk bearing capacity of large financial institutions impacts the pricing of credit risk in credit default swap markets. His other research interests include macro-finance, the pricing of tail risks, and volatility econometrics. Emil was a finalist for the 2013 Best Finance PhD Award in Honor of Professor Stuart I. Greenbaum, and his paper “Structural GARCH: The Volatility-Leverage Connection” was nominated for the 2014 AQR Insight Award. Prior to his graduate studies, he received a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research and Financial Engineering degree from Princeton University. Next year, Emil will be joining the finance department at Harvard Business School.
More information about Emil N. Siriwardane
Job market paper: Concentrated Capital Losses and the Pricing of Corporate Credit Risk
Winners Top Finance Graduate Award 2014
Boris Vallée, PhD from HEC Paris
Boris Vallée is a PhD Candidate from HEC Paris. His research agenda focuses on the motives and effects of innovative financial products. His interests cover household finance, empirical corporate finance and financial institutions. He visited Duke University and Northwestern University as part of his PhD. His research has been selected for the Western Finance Association annual meetings in 2012 and 2014, and he was a finalist for the Best Finance PhD Award in Honor of Professor Stuart I. Greenbaum (10th Annual Corporate Finance Conference). Prior to his PhD, Boris worked at Deutsche Bank in London, in Leveraged Finance and Structured Derivatives, and received a MSc in Finance from HEC Paris. Next year, Boris Vallée will be joining Harvard Business School.
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Maryam Farboodi, PhD from Booth School of Business and Department of Economics, University of Chicago
Maryam Farboodi is a PhD Candidate in Financial Economics at the University of Chicago. Her main research interests are theoretical banking, financial macroeconomics and mechanism design. Her job market paper "Intermediation and Voluntary Exposure to Counterparty risk" focuses on network formation among financial institutions and the implications for the overall topology of the financial system as well as systemic risk. She has also done some work in mechanism design for online auctions, "Optimal Revenue Maximizing Mechanisms in Common-Value Position Auctions", corporate finance, "Financing and Control Rights: Entrepreneurial Choice of Funding Source", and macroeconomics with financial frictions, "Supply Side Frictions and Lengthy Recoveries". Before coming to Chicago, Maryam received her B.S. in Computer Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, and her M.S. in Computer Science from University of Maryland. She is originally from Tehran, Iran.
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Job Market Paper: Intermediation and Voluntary Exposure to Counterparty Risk
Eduardo Dávila, PhD from Harvard University
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Job market paper: Optimal Financial Transaction Taxes
Victoria Vanasco, PhD from University of California, Berkeley
Victoria Vanasco will receive her PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, in May 2014. Her research is at the intersection of corporate finance and macroeconomics, with a focus on the role of informational asymmetries and belief heterogeneity in financial markets and the real economy. She is from Argentina, where she did her undergraduate studies in Economics and a Masters in Finance at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. Prior to attending Berkeley, she spent two years as a Junior Professional Associate at the World Bank, where she was part of the Finance Group for Latin America. Next year, Victoria Vanasco will be joining the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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Job market paper: Information Acquisition vs. Liquidity in Financial Markets
François Geerolf, PhD from Sciences Po Paris
François Geerolf conducts research on financial bubbles and their effects on the business cycle, the savings glut and capital accumulation, and the determinants of capital inflows and competitiveness. He holds an Engineering Degree from Ecole Polytechnique, as well as from Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées, a MSc. from Paris School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Sciences Po Paris. He spent a year at Harvard University during his doctoral studies, and a semester at MIT as a Visiting Scholar. Next year, François Geerolf will be joining the Department of Economics at UCLA as an Assistant Professor.
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Michael Weber, PhD from Haas School of Business – University of California, Berkeley
Michael Weber's research lies at the intersection of Macroeconomics and Finance. In recent work he has studied the effects of nominal rigidities on stock returns, the costs of sticky prices, the term structure of equity returns, and the effect of distrust in financial institutions on stock market participation. His paper ''Conditional Risk Premia in Currency Markets and other Asset Classes'' has been awarded the 2013 AQR Insight Award. Prior to attending grad school at Berkeley, Michael received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Business Economics from the University of Mannheim, Germany. Next year, Michael Weber will be joining the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
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Job market paper: Nominal Rigidities and Asset Pricing
Winners Top Finance Award 2013
Jean-Noël Barrot, PhD from HEC Paris School of Management
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Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, PhD from University of California, Berkeley
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Timothy J. McQuade, PhD from Harvard University
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Job Market Paper: Stochastic Volatility and Asset Pricing Puzzles
Felipe Varas, PhD from Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Job Market Paper: Contracting Timely Delivery with Hard to Verify Quality
See more information about the previous Top Finance Graduate Awards at FRICEVENTS