2014 Sloan Fellows: Zhiguo He and Brent Neiman
Two Booth professors were named 2014 Sloan Research Fellows by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation earlier this year. Zhiguo He studies corporate finance, financial intermediation, and capital markets. Brent Neiman focuses on international macroeconomics, a field he was drawn to after a stint working at the White House Council of Economic Advisers in 2003 - 04.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awards two-year fellowships of $50,000 to promising early-career researchers in science, technology, and economic performance.
Zhiguo He, a native of China, said in an interview that he pursued a career in academia because it satisfies his curiosity - research enables him to pursue new ideas and theories. The 2008 financial crisis provided him the perfect opportunity to understand how an economy transitions from a normal to a crisis state.
His recent research has focused on how the pricing of mortgage-backed securities and other assets by large financial institutions contributed to the economy's meltdown.
"If you want to understand what happened with these sophisticated financial products, you should look at the managers and the institutions that priced them," He said. Understanding the behavior of these banks helps one build a model that explains the forces behind the crisis, he said.
He explained how he brings his research into his corporate finance class. "Students like discussing the interaction of banks and shareholders, the role of CEO compensation - it's the real world," he said.
Neiman, who was raised in suburban Chicago, said he finds international macroeconomics compelling because it helps explain how decisions in one country aggregate globally and affect activity in another country. The economist's research (coauthored with Loukas Karabarbounis) found that payments to capital have grown relative to labor and has won widespread attention. "We noticed that there was an interesting pattern in corporate saving that no one was really focusing on," Neiman said. "And in the process of studying the rise in corporate saving, we figured out that the driver of that trend was a global decline in the labor share."
The findings initially were met with some skepticism, but Neiman said they were "able to change the conversation from whether it was declining to what the cause of the decline was" and to demonstrate the pervasiveness of the labor-share decline across countries and industries.
Neiman brings his research to the classroom in two ways. "I like to highlight areas where there is uncertainty and where active research is being conducted," he said. "I also use my research as an example of how to problem solve around issues when there's no clean, obvious dataset or answers available." –Judith Crown
Photos by Chris Strong
Guibert Heads Media Relations
Susan Guibert joined Chicago Booth in September as executive director, media relations and communications.
Guibert said her first order of business has been instituting a more proactive strategy - seeking coverage from national and international media. That's a job made easier, she said, by Booth's award-winning and prolific faculty.
Guibert develops and executes the school's external communications strategy and serves as the primary point of contact for all media requests.
Before joining Booth in September, Guibert served as assistant director of public relations at the University of Notre Dame, a position she held for 10 years. In that role, she worked to publicize faculty research and accomplishments.
Guibert also worked in communications at the South Bend, Indiana-based Center for Hospice Care and is the author of three books on Notre Dame.–Alexandra Batty
Photo by Chris Strong
Nazon Named Executive Director, Marketing
Adrienne Nazon, '12 (XP-81), was promoted to executive director of Booth Marketing in January. In her new role, Nazon will focus on brand building and awareness: positioning the school and illustrating how its distinctive approach, unique culture, and values have enabled faculty, students, and alumni to have an ever-increasing impact and influence around the world.
Nazon previously was senior director of marketing and strategic initiatives. She leads a team of more than 25 professional marketers, writers, designers, and web developers.
Before joining Booth in 2005, Nazon held roles in marketing or marketing business information management for more than 15 years. She was a principal at Transora.com, the leading global B2B supply chain marketplace for the consumer packaged goods industry.
She also held positions at United Distillers & Vintners, Quaker Oats/Pepsi, and Kraft Foods.–Judith Crown
Photo by Chris Strong
First Booth Student on the University Board of Trustees
The University of Chicago's Board of Trustees benefitted from a new Booth voice during the past academic year. Navin Manjooran, '14 (XP-83), served as the graduate-student liaison to the 55-member board, the first Booth student to hold the position.
Manjooran was elected in May 2013 by the graduate-student population, after receiving the nomination from the outgoing graduate-student representative. Manjooran and the undergraduate-student liaison, Brendan Leonard, served as nonvoting members. As part of his plan to create "strong communication pathways," Manjooran organized informal lunch meetings between students and board members.
The first event in November brought John Edwardson, '72, university trustee and retired CEO of technology-products distributor CDW LLC. The lunch, which was attended by 30 university students, was an "excellent forum for information exchange directly from the board member to the student," Manjooran said.
While attending Booth, Manjooran worked full time as global director, energy, at Siemens AG in Princeton, New Jersey. He received his bachelor's degree in engineering at the National Institute of Technology in Warangal, India, and his master's and PhD degrees in engineering from the University of Florida and Virginia Tech, respectively. Manjooran also was ranked 90th in men's tennis in India and has sailed and water-skied at the national level.–Alexandra Batty
Photo courtesy of Navin Manjooran
Combining Theory and Practice
New joint Executive Education program focuses on valuation
Executives and alumni from the leading investment firms in Europe and academic experts in finance from Chicago Booth and Oxford have joined forces to offer a new Executive Education course in valuation.
The course is a joint venture between Booth and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. It combines academic theory from faculty who present theoretical concepts and modeling skills, case studies from business leaders, and interactive discussions with practitioners drawn from Oxford and Booth alumni.
"This is a new approach to the teaching of valuation," said Andreas Angelopoulos, '02 (EXP-7), executive director of the Oxford Private Equity Institute and Oxford Chicago program director, who led design of the program. "The course combines essential elements of valuation that will arm participants with the critical skills needed to make vital decisions across asset classes."
The first one-week course was held at Booth's London campus in March. The second course is scheduled for November 10–14 at Saïd.
The core theoretical concepts are taught by Mark E. Zmijewski, Leon Carroll Marshall Professor of Accounting at Booth; Tim Jenkinson, head of the finance faculty at Saïd; and Angelopoulos.
The program covers valuation concepts and methods, the financing structures affecting valuations, and how valuations apply to LBO, growth capital, distress and restructuring, and infrastructure investments.
The following members of Booth's Global Advisory Board, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Cabinet supported development of the relationship and program with Oxford: Robert Wardrop, '96 (EXP-1), CEO of Belvall Capital in London; Bruce Rigal, '89, chief operating officer of Deutsche Bank AG's Human Resources Division; and Keith Breslauer, '88, managing director and senior partner of Patron Capital Ltd. in London and EMEA cabinet cochair.
"We encouraged the concept of partnering with a complementary institution that would increase the profile of Chicago Booth and be of benefit to alumni," Wardrop said. "The Oxford-Chicago connection offers an opportunity for alumni from both institutions to engage with each other."
Executives from major global banks and private-equity firms - including UBS, Rothschild Group, Goldman Sachs Group, and Bridgepoint Development Capital - present case studies on transactions they have handled.
"Attendees hear real, live business-practitioner experience to enrich the takeaway from the program," Wardrop said. "It resonates when they can hear someone senior who has grappled with the same sort of issue that their firm is grappling with." As part of the course, Wardrop discusses the sale of Asia Broadcast Satellite, which he founded, to Permira, a London-based private-equity firm.
Alumni of Booth and Oxford who hold senior positions at financial institutions participate in dinner-hour panel discussions. Booth alumni participating are Johannes P. Huth, '86, head of KKR in EMEA; Marc Boheim, '97, managing director of Goldman Sachs Private Equity in London; Tom Kalaris, '78, former CEO, wealth and investment management and executive chairman of Barclays in the Americas; and Nick Alexos, '88, cofounder and managing director, Madison Dearborn Partners.
From Oxford are William Jackson, managing partner, Bridgepoint; David Riddell, managing director, restructuring, Blackstone; Joseph Schull, managing partner, Europe, Warburg Pincus; Dominic Hollamby, vice chairman, Rothschild; Tom Cooper, chairman of global M&A at Deutsche Bank; and James Hartop, head of Coverage and Advisory for EMEA Corporate Client Solutions Division at UBS.
Arnold Longboy, '08 (EXP-13), managing director, external relations and executive education, EMEA and Asia Pacific, said these alumni are a key part of the program. "Participants can network with them and take the opportunity to speak one-to-one with leaders in their field."
The program is aimed at CFOs, strategists, lawyers, accountants, consultants, fund managers, and officers of public authorities - all who might have to make decisions based on the valuation of a company, asset, or investment.–Phil Thornton
To learn more about the program, contact Arnold Longboy at Arnold.Longboy@ChicagoBooth.edu or Steven Brewster at Steve.Brewster@sbs.oxac.uk.
Photo courtesy of Andreas Angelopoulos