Abbie J. Smith
Boris and Irene Stern Distinguished Service Professor of Accounting, Chicago Booth
Abbie J. Smith's research on corporate governance and transparency was stimulated by service on corporate and mutual fund boards and the heightened interest in these issues among accounting policymakers, corporate officers and directors, auditors, analysts, and investors resulting from the wave of corporate accounting scandals that began with Enron. Her article "Does Analyst Following Increase Upon the Restriction of Insider Trading?" with Robert Bushman and Joseph Piotroski, was nominated for a 2005 Smith Breeden Prize. She also has received a Marvin Bower Fellowship from the Harvard Business School, a McKinsey Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a GE Foundation Research Grant.
Smith has experience as a corporate director and has served on audit, finance, and compensation committees. She feels this has given her an inside perspective on the determinants of corporate investment, restructuring, financing, as well as reporting behavior and their implications for firms' current and future performance. This perspective heavily influences her approach to teaching students how to use financial statements and related information to identify the priorities and objectives of corporate officers and directors; to evaluate a firm's strategy, competitive position, and performance; to assess business, financial, and financial reporting risks; to predict a firm's future performance; and to value a firm's equity.
She says her service as a mutual fund director "has given me the opportunity to see close up a successful interplay between academic finance research on equity risk and returns and its practical application in equity investment. This has influenced how I think about - and teach - the assessment of equity risk and value."
Smith is a member of the board of directors and the audit (chair) and finance committees of Ryder System, Inc.; a director and chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee of HNI Corporation; a director and member of the Audit and Portfolio Performance and Services Review Committees of DFA Investment Dimensions Group Inc.; and a director and member of Audit Committee of Chicago-based UBS Funds
She earned a bachelor's degree in 1975, an MBA in accounting and finance in 1979, and a PhD in accounting in 1981 from Cornell University. She joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1980. Smith enjoys corporate and mutual fund board work, yoga, running, theater, music, gardening, and travel.