EPISODE 106

Professor Alex Edmans

Embedding responsible finance practices into business and creating great leaders can generate a great economy.

Alex Edmans is Professor of Finance at London Business School.  Alex graduated from Oxford University and then worked for Morgan Stanley in investment banking (London) and fixed income sales and trading (New York).  After a PhD in Finance from MIT Sloan as a Fulbright Scholar, he joined Wharton in 2007 and was tenured in 2013 shortly before moving to LBS.

Alex’s research interests are in corporate finance (corporate governance, executive compensation, investment/growth/innovation, and mergers and acquisitions), behavioural finance, corporate social responsibility, and practical investment strategies.  He has published in the American Economic ReviewJournal of FinanceJournal of Financial EconomicsReview of Financial Studies, and Journal of Economic Literature.

Alex’s research has been covered by the Wall Street JournalFinancial TimesNew York TimesThe Economist, and The Times; and interviewed by Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC, CNN, ESPN, Fox, ITV, NPR, Reuters, Sky News, and Sky Sports.  He was awarded the Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing and the FIR-PRI prize for Finance and Sustainability, and was named a Rising Star of Corporate Governance by Yale University and a Rising Star of Finance by NYU/Fordham/RPI. Alex has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, testified in the UK Parliament, and given a TEDx talk on “The Social Responsibility of Business” at http://bit.ly/csrtedx. Alex serves on the Steering Group (with Andy Haldane and others) on The Purposeful Company Project, which proposes policy reforms to encourage companies to pursue long-run purpose over short-run profit. He serves on Royal London Asset Management’s Responsible Investment Advisory Committee.  At Wharton, Alex won 14 teaching awards in six years; at LBS, he won the MBA Class of 2016 teaching award for the highest-rated professor school-wide (voted by the first-year class) and the Best Teacher: MBA 2016 award (voted by the graduating class).

 

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Questions asked:

  • Why did you become a professor and why specific to finance?
  • How would you change our educational system?
  • What are the advantages of achieving an MBA?
  • What does it take to become a great professor of finance?
  • What advice would you give people starting off in the corporate industry?
  • How did you find time to exercise when working in Morgan Stanley?
  • Where should we invest our money?
  • Why does Social responsibility play a big part in Business?
  • Top 3 tips of how business should handle their employees
  • What are the pros of us leaving BREXIT?
  • So what are your strengths and weaknesses in life?
  • What made you this person that you are today?
 

Alex's Top 3 books to read

Alex's Top 3 Extracurricular Activities to Do?

  • Sports: Health is extremely important, and it feeds back into all other areas of your life. Determination when pushing hard through sports strengthens your mind. It’s also fun.
  • Music: Builds the creative side of you and sharpens the mind. It’s a great skill to invest in as you can keep playing until very old age
  • Spirituality: I’m not saying you should believe in God – that’s your choice. But, you should at least explore for yourself whether God exists. Either God exists and so it should the most important thing in your life, or he doesn’t and so should have ZERO importance. It cannot be of “some” importance. Thus, you should invest time figuring out for yourself whether you think God exists or not

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