Grant Recipients

Current project

Ting Xu

Ting Xu is a PhD candidate in finance at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia. He received his B.A. in finance from Renmin University (China) and his M.Sc. in economics from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. At UBC, Xu has taught Corporate Finance at the undergraduate level, and has served as teaching assistants for Mergers and Acquisitions, Ventures Capital, and Investment Theory. Xu' academic interests straddle corporate governance and entrepreneurial finance. His research has explored boardroom diversity, corporate innovation, governance of closely-held firms, crowdfunding, and entrepreneurial experimentation. His research has been presented at major conferences such as the American Finance Association Meetings, Western Finance Associations Meetings, and National Bureau of Economic Research Group Meetings, and has received revision requests from Review of Financial Studies and Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. He is the recipient of the Canadian Securities Institute Research Foundation PhD Scholarship.


Project summary: boardroom diversity and corporate innovation

In recent years there is an intense interest among regulators, academics, and media on the role of board gender diversity in creating shareholder value. This project examines this value creation hypothesis through the lens of corporate innovation. We ask the following questions. 1) How does board gender diversity affect the quantity and quality of corporate innovation? 2) How does board gender diversity affect the efficiency and risk of corporate innovation? 3) How do the above effects contribute to firm value creation? 4) How do these effects vary by country-level cultural values and formal institutions? We employ a novel dataset that combines international firm-level patent data with board characteristics from 43 countries and 10,366 firms for 2001-2014. Our theoretical framework builds on the established positive link between organizational diversity and creativity as well as established gender differences in over-confidence, risk-taking, long-term orientation, and personal values. We propose that more gender diverse boards will lead to greater and more novel innovation, and at the same time lowers the risk and increases the efficiency of innovation. We also expect these effects to be stronger in countries with higher female labor market participation, and in countries with a stronger culture in masculinity. Canada ranks high in female educational attainment and labor market participation, yet Corporate Canada severely lacks diversity in boardrooms. This could hurt the innovativeness and competitiveness of Canadian companies. By borrowing insights from other countries, our study will shed new light on the proper design of board gender diversity policies in Canada.

2015 projects

Travis Reynolds

Travis Reynolds is a PhD student at the University of Saskatchewan, in the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS). Under the supervision of Prof. Murray Fulton, he is examining the governance practices of Canadian co-operatives and credit unions. Prior to attending the JSGS, Travis received his B.A. in psychology from the University of Saskatchewan. His research interests include decision-making and accountability, as well as governance best practices. Aside from his academic work, Travis has served on the boards of two non-profit organizations.

Co-operative governance

As demands for improved corporate governance increase, legislation and best-practices originally intended for publically-traded, investor-owned firms are being applied to other organizational types – specifically co-operatives. The effects of these measures on co-ops and credit unions is largely unknown, in part because co-operative governance is under researched. To examine how co-operative boards function, the work funded by the CFGR provides an exploratory analysis of the Co-operative Business Study (one of the few datasets on co-op governance), and a series of interviews with individuals in select Canadian co-ops and credit unions. Analysis of the Co-operative Business Study is ongoing, with an expected completion date of late November 2016. Interviews will begin in December 2016, and be completed by March of the following year.



Mohamed Al Guindy

Mohamed Al Guindy is a PhD candidate in Finance at the Smith School of Business at Queen's University. His research focuses on social media in finance, algorithmic trading, and financial technologies. Prior to his PhD, he completed a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Toronto, a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering at Queen's University, and an MBA at Queen's University.

Is Corporate Tweeting Informative or Is It Just Hype? Evidence from the SEC Social Media Regulation

This project focuses on the advent of social media in financial markets. With the rise of social media, investors and firms have immediate access to information - both producing and consuming information. For example, firms can post their earnings announcements, dividends, and acquisition news on Twitter. This is advantageous because it allows information to move instantly from firms to investors. Prior to social media, firms had to rely on more costly press releases to communicate information. Today, Twitter provides a low-cost, high-frequency method of communicating information. From the investors' perspective, they benefit from having access to information quickly. In a way, this democratizes the information acquisition process, which general favours more sophisticated investors; Twitter levels the playing field between "small" and more sophisticated investors. The goal of this project is to investigate how financial information moves on social media, and how investors react to this information.



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2017 Bertram Scholarships - the application process is now closed