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MSGF Finance Seminar - Betting on the CEO

Speaker: Prof. Kasper Nielsen

Professor of Finance, Copenhagen Business School

Date: May 11, 2023 (Thursday)

Time: 12:30pm-2pm

Location: HKUST Business School Central (15/F, Hong Kong Club Building, 3A Chater Road, Central Station Exit J3)

In this seminar, we examine the extent to which actively managed mutual funds bet on the CEO when they select companies to invest in.

Focusing on CEO turnovers, we find significantly higher trading activity and exit rates in the month of the turnover, compared to all other months. The trading activity and exit rates are higher for raided CEOs and serial CEOs, consistent with some funds placing larger bets on CEO with higher perceived managerial ability. We also find strong persistency in the tendency for some funds to bet on the CEO, and such funds are less likely to be team managed, and have larger portfolio weights on firms in industries where managerial skills are more valuable.

Overall, the result uncover that betting on the CEO is an investment strategy of some actively managed mutual funds.

There will be an introduction of MSGF program at the beginning of the seminar and light lunch will be served.


Professor Kasper Meisner Nielsen is Professor of Finance at Copenhagen Business School, Adjunct Professor of Finance at HKUST and Fellow at the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research. He received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of Copenhagen. Professor Nielsen previously taught at HKUST and Chinese University of Hong Kong, and has been a visiting scholar at Stern School of Business at New York University. From 2015 to 2018 he was the Academic Director of the HKUST-NYU Master of Global Finance program.

Professor Nielsen’s research interests are behavioral finance, corporate governance, family business, and household finance. His research has featured in international newspapers and magazines including Business Week, Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, International Herald Tribune, The Economist, The Times of India, and Wall Street Journal.

He has studied the consequence of family succession on firm performance, the value of independent directors, why individuals shy away from stocks, the effect of personal exposure to the global financial crisis on risk taking, and households’ decisions to refinance their mortgage. His work has been published in academic journals including American Economic Review, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Management Science, and Review of Finance. His research has been awarded with external financing from competitive research grants on several occasions.

On his area of expertise Professor Nielsen has served as an external advisor, consultant, and lecturer to government agencies and companies in China.


12:30-13:00 Registration and Light Lunch

13:00-13:10 Welcome and MSGF Introduction

13:10-13:45 Seminar

13:45-14:00 Q&A and Wrap Up

*Participants are entitled to one hour of continuous professional training (CPT) requirement stipulated by the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong.


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