Alex Edmans

Professor of Finance

BA (Oxford) PhD (MIT)

Alex Edmans is Professor of Finance at London Business School and Academic Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance. 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 M&A), behavioural finance, corporate social responsibility, and practical investment strategies."

Alex’s research has been covered by The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, The Economist, and The Times; and he has been 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 Investor Responsibility Research Centre prize, 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, presented to the World Bank Board of Directors as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, and given the TED talk What to Trust in a Post-Truth World and the TEDx talk The Social Responsibility of Business. He has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, writes regularly for Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, World Economic Forum, and CityAM, and runs a blog, Access to Finance, that aims to make complex finance topics accessible to a general audience.

Alex serves on the Steering Group of The Purposeful Company, which proposes policy reforms to encourage companies to pursue long-run purpose over short-run profit, on Royal London Asset Management’s Responsible Investment Advisory Committee, and as elected faculty representative on the LBS Governing Body. He has been appointed (jointly with PwC) by the UK Government to conduct an analysis on the link between executive pay and stock buybacks, and stock buybacks and investment. Alex is also Mercers’ School Memorial Professor of Business at Gresham College, giving free lectures to the public. His 2018/19 lecture series is on How Business Can Better Serve Society.

Research Awards


  • Co-led a session on Behavioural Economics at the World Economic Forum in Davos
  • Testified in House of Commons as part of UK Parliament’s inquiry into corporate governance
  • Appointed (jointly with PwC) by the UK Government to investigate the effect of share buybacks on executive pay and investment
  • Presented to Board of Directors at the World Bank Distinguished Speaker Series
  • Consulted in person by Mark Rutte (Netherlands PM) and Senator Elizabeth Warren on governance
  • Managing Editor of Review of Finance
  • Awarded €900,000 grant by European Research Council to study “Long-Term Investing”
  • Awarded “Rising Star of Corporate Governance” and “Rising Star of Finance”, each for outstanding contributions by a person under 40
  • Elected Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Centre for Economic Policy Research, European Corporate Governance Institute
  • Investor Responsibility Research Centre Award, Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing, FIR-PRI Prize for Finance and Sustainability
  • Appointed Mercers’ School Memorial Professor of Business at Gresham College, to deliver lectures on business to the general public. 2018-9 series was on “How Business Can Better Serve Society”; 2019-20 is on “Business Skills for the 21st Century”
  • Best Paper Award, Financial Research Association, 2009 and Finalist, Harvard Business Review/McKinsey "Management Innovation of the Year" 2012 for "Dynamic CEO Compensation."
  • One of the 50 Best Inventions of 2010 by Time Magazine for "The Responsible Homeowner Reward: An Incentive-Based Solution to Strategic Mortgage Default."
  • 1st Place, NYU Glucksman Prize for Best Working Paper in Finance for "Tractability in Incentive Contracting" 2008/9.
  • Smith-Breeden Prize for Best Paper in the Journal of Finance and Best Paper Award at Caesarea Center 3rd Annual Conference for "Sports Sentiment and Stock Returns" 2007.

Teaching Awards


  • Excellence in Teaching Award, across all programs (2018)
  • Best Teacher Award: MFA 2018, MFA 2019
  • Best Teacher Award: MBA 2016
  • MBA Class of 2016 Teaching Award; MBA Class of 2019 Teaching Award

  • Wharton MBA Excellence in Teaching Award (2010, 2012, 2013) 

  • Wharton MBA Core Teaching Award (2007, 2008) 

  • Wharton MBA Core Curriculum Award (“goes above and beyond the call of duty”) (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013) 

  • Wharton MBA Core Curriculum Award (“tough, but we’ll thank this professor in 5 years”) (2008, 2013) 

  • WhartonMBA Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award (2012)

  • MIT Graduate Teaching Award, 2006-7 

  • MIT Sloan Outstanding Teaching Assistant of the Year, 2004-5

  • Corporate finance (corporate governance, executive compensation, mergers and acquisitions)
  • Behavioural finance
  • Corporate social responsibility

2020

Grow the pie : how great companies deliver both purpose and profit

Edmans A

Cambridge University Press, 2020 - forthcoming

2019

Fund Industry can flush out the closet trackers

Edmans A; Gosling T

Financial Times 2019

Governance under common ownership

Edmans A; Levit D; Reilly D

Review of Financial Studies 2019 Vol 32:7 p 2673-2719

The informativeness principle without the first-order approach

Chaigneau P; Edmans A; Gottlieb D

Games and Economic Behavior 2019 January Vol 113 p 743-755

The rights and wrongs of CEO pay

Edmans A

in Shackleton J R (ed.), Top dogs & fat cats: the debate on high pay, Institute of Economic Affairs, 57-70, 2019

2018

Does improved information improve incentives?

Chaigneau P; Edmans A; Gottlieb D

Journal of Financial Economics 2018 Vol 130:2 p 291-307

Financing through asset sales

Edmans A; Mann W

Management Science 2018 Vol 65:7 p 3043-3060

Should the US rein in share buybacks

Palladino L; Edmans A

Financial Times 2018

Strategic news releases in equity vesting months

Edmans A; Goncalves-Pinto L; Groen-Xu M; Wang Y

Review of Financial Studies 2018 Vol 31:11 p 4099-4141

Why Elon Musk’s compensation plan wouldn’t work for most executives

Edmans A

Harvard Business Review Digital Articles 2018

2017

Answer to short-termism isn’t asking investors to be patient

Edmans A

Harvard Business Review Digital Articles 2017

Blockholders : a survey of theory and evidence

Edmans A; Holderness CG

in Handbook of the economics of corporate governance, Volume 1, Elsevier

Case for stock buybacks

Edmans A

Harvard Business Review Digital Articles 2017

Corporate governance green paper is a call to arms

Edmans A; Chapman C

Financial Times 2017

Editorial

Edmans A; Allen F

Review of Finance 2017 Vol 21:1 p 1-6

Equity vesting and investment

Edmans A; Fang V; Lewellen K

Review of Financial Studies 2017 Vol 30:7 p 2229-2271

Executive compensation : a survey of theory and evidence

Edmans A; Gabaix X; Jenter D

in Hermalin B E; Weisbach M S (eds.) Handbook of the economics of corporate governance, Volume 1, Elsevier, 2017

Link executive pay to wider societal benefits

Edmans A

Financial Times 2017

The source of information in prices and investment-price sensitivity

Edmans A; Jayaraman S; Schneemeier J

Journal of Financial Economics 2017 Vol 126:1 p 74-96

There Is no trade-off between purpose and profit

Edmans A

Huffington Post 2017

Why we need to stop obsessing over CEO pay ratios

Edmans A

Harvard Business Review Digital Articles 2017

2016

28 years of stock market data shows a link between employee satisfaction and long-term value

Edmans A

Harvard Business Review Digital Articles 2016

Executive compensation: a modern primer

Edmans A; Gabaix A

Journal of Economic Literature 2016 Vol 54:4 p 1232-1287

How much do financial markets matter?

Edmans A

World Economic Forum

Performance-based pay for executives still works

Edmans A

Harvard Business Review Digital Articles 2016

Should we pay CEOs with debt

Edmans A

World Economic Forum

Stop making CEO pay a political issue

Edmans A

Harvard Business Review Digital Articles 2016

The real costs of financial efficiency when some information is soft

Edmans A; Heinle M S; Huang C

Review of Finance 2016 Vol 20:6 p 2151-2182

Why purpose is critical for long-term success

Edmans A

World Economic Forum

2015

Feedback effects, asymmetric trading, and the limits to arbitrage

Edmans A; Goldstein I; Jiang W

American Economic Review 2015 Vol 105:12 p 3766-3797

Five ways CFOs can focus on the long term

Edmans A

Wall Street Journal Experts

How can we help businesses think long-term?

Edmans A

World Economic Forum

Why companies need to think long-term

Edmans A

World Economic Forum

Why happier workers matter more than you think

Edmans A

World Economic Forum

2014

Blockholders and corporate governance

Edmans A

Annual Review of Financial Economics 2014 Vol 6 p 23-50

2013

The effect of liquidity on governance

Edmans A; Fang VW; Zur E

Review of Financial Studies 2013 Vol 26:6 p 1443-1482

2012

Dynamic CEO compensation

Edmans A; Gabaix X; Sadzik T; Sannikov Y

Journal of Finance 2012 Vol 67:5 p 1603-1647

The link between job satisfaction and firm value, with implications for corporate social responsibility

Edmans A

Academy of Management Perspectives 2012 November Vol 26:4 p 1-19

The real effects of financial markets

Bond P; Edmans A; Goldstein I

Annual Review of Financial Economics 2012 October Vol 4 p 339-360

The real effects of financial markets: The impact of prices on takeovers

Edmans A; Goldstein I; Jiang W

Journal of Finance 2012 Vol 67:3 p 933-971

2011

Do investment banks matter for M&A returns

Bao J; Edmans A

Review of Financial Studies 2011 July Vol 24:7 p 2286-2315

Does the stock market fully value intangibles? Employee satisfaction and equity prices

Edmans A

Journal of Financial Economics 2011 September Vol 101:3 p 621-640

Governance through trading and intervention: A theory of multiple blockholders

Edmans A; Manso G

Review of Financial Studies 2011 July Vol 24:7 p 2395-2428

Inside debt

Edmans A; Liu Q

Review of Finance 2011 January Vol 15:1 p 75-102

Short-term termination without deterring long-term investment: a theory of debt and buyouts

Edmans A

Journal of Financial Economics 2011 October Vol 102:1 p 81-101

The effect of risk on the CEO market

Edmans A; Gabaix X

Review of Financial Studies 2011 August Vol 24:8 p 2822-2863

Tractability in incentive contracting

Edmans A; Gabaix X

Review of Financial Studies 2011 September Vol 24:9 p 2865-2894

2009

A multiplicative model of optimal CEO incentives in market equilibrium

Edmans A; Gabaix X; Landier A

Review of Financial Studies 2009 Vol 22:12 p 4881-4917

Blockholder trading, market efficiency and managerial myopia

Edmans A

Journal of Finance 2009 December Vol 64:6 p 2481-2513

Is CEO pay really inefficient? A survey of new optimal contracting theories

Edmans A; Gabaix X

European Financial Management 2009 June Vol 15:3 p 486-496

2007

Sports sentiment and stock returns

Edmans A; García; Norli Ø

Journal of Finance 2007 August Vol 62:4 p 1967-1998

2018

Value of performance signals under limited liability

Chaigneau P; Edmans A; Gottlieb D

European Corporate Governance Institute - Finance Working Paper

2017

The long-term consequences of short-term incentives

Edmans A; Fang V W; Huang A

European Corporate Governance Institute - Finance Working Paper

Value of information for contracting

Chaigneau P; Edmans A; Gottlieb D

European Corporate Governance Institute - Finance Working Paper

Equity vesting and investment

Edmans A; Fang V; Lewellen K

Working Paper

Informativeness principle under limited liability

Chaigneau P; Edmans A; Gottlieb D

CEPR discussion paper

Source of information in prices and investment-price sensitivity

Edmans A; Jayaraman S; Schneemeier J

Working Paper

Strategic news releases in equity vesting months

Edmans A; Goncalves-Pinto L; Wang Y; Xu M

CEPR discussion paper

The generalized informativeness principle

Edmans A; Chaigneau P; Gottlieb D

Working Paper

2013

Contracting with synergies

Edmans A; Goldstein I; Zhu J

Social Sciences Research Network


Teaching portfolio

Our teaching offering is updated annually. Faculty and programme material are subject to change.

 

Core courses

  • Corporate Finance
  • Finance I
  • Financial Institutions
  • Personal and Leadership Development