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Finance PhD Alumni Conference

The 2023 Finance PhD Alumni Conference will take place on March 24th, 2023 in Austin, TX. The conference brings together former PhD students of the Department of Finance at the University of Texas at Austin and provides a forum to discuss and exchange ideas.


Conference Details

Registration and Program

The 2023 McCombs Finance PhD Alumni Conference will be held on March 24, 2023 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The conference is sponsored by the Department of Finance at the University of Texas at Austin.

Register Here

Registration Deadline: March 19, 2023



8:00 am – 9:00 am

Registration and Breakfast
     Foyer outside of Classroom 105

Morning Session Chair: Johan Sulaeman (National University of Singapore)

9:00 am – 9:45 am

“Are Banks Really Informed? Evidence from Their Private Information”

Authors: Mehdi Beyhaghi (Richmond Federal Reserve) and Gregory Weitzner (McGill University) 

Discussant:  Malcolm Wardlaw (University of Georgia)

9:45 am – 10:00 am


10:00 am – 10:45 am

“Do Startup Patent Acquisitions Affect Inventor Productivity?”

Authors: Joan Farre-Menza (University of Illinois at Chicago), Zack Liu (University of Houston), and Jordan Nickerson (University of Washington) 

Discussant:  Gonzalo Maturana (Emory University)

10:45 am – 11:00 am


11:00 am – 11:45 am

“Personal Convictions and ESG Investing “

Authors: Charlie Costello (Upstart Network, Inc.), Rachel Li (University of Alabama), Sugata Ray (University of Alabama), and Parth Venkat (University of Alabama) 

Discussant:  Kelsey Wei (University of Texas at Dallas)

11:45 am – 12:00 pm


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

     Classroom 103

Afternoon Session Chair: Stuart Gillan (University of North Texas)

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

“Strategically Staying Small: Regulatory Avoidance and the CRA”

Authors: Jacelly Cespedes (University of Minnesota), Jordan Nickerson (University of Washington), and Carlos Parra (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) 

Discussant:  Erica Jiang (University of Southern California)

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm


2:30 pm – 3:15 pm

“Wisdom of the Institutional Crowd: Implications for Anomaly Returns”

Authors: AJ Chen (University of Southern California), Gerard Hoberg (University of Southern California), and Miao Ben Zhang (University of Southern California) 

Discussant:  Alan Crane (Rice University)

3:15 pm – 3:30 pm


3:30 pm – 4:15 pm

“Rise of the Machines: The Impact of Automated Underwriting”

Authors: Mark Jansen (University of Utah), Hieu Quang Nguyen (Foreign Trade University), and Amin Shams (Ohio State University) 

Discussant:  John Hund (University of Georgia)

4:15 pm – 6:30 pm


6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Dinner at Moonshine Grill
     303 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78701


AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX 78705
Toll Free: 877-744-8822



Please book your room reservation here using our custom link.

If you call to make your reservation, please mention the 2023 McCombs Finance PhD Alumni Conference.  

Room reservations in our block need to be made by the February 21, 2023 cutoff date.

Below is a list of other hotels near The University.  We DO NOT have room blocks at these hotels.


Hampton Inn & Suites Austin at The University/Capitol
1701 Lavaca Street
Austin, TX  78701
(512) 499-8881


Hotel Ella
1900 Rio Grade Street
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 495-1800


DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel
303 W. 15th Street
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 478-7000


Program Committee:
Laura Starks
Clemens Sialm

Organizing Committee:
Juana Hardwick
Kyle Hernandez

History and Programs

2015 Program

“Investment Concentration and the Importance of Cash Flow”
Presenter: John Hund, Rice University
Discussant: Stuart Gillan, University of Georgia

“Free Riding, Coordination, and Ownership Structure”
Presenter: Andrew Koch, University of Pittsburgh, and Alan Crane, Rice University
Discussant: Vahap Uysal, DePaul University

“Does a Firm’s Entry or Exit Affect Competitor’s Value? Evidence from the REIT Industry”
Presenter: Ko Wang, Johns Hopkins University, and Su Han Chang, Johns Hopkins University
Discussant: Alan Crane, Rice University

“Bond Fund Risk Taking and Performance”
Presenter: Lilian Ng, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Discussant: Denys Glushkov, University of Pennsylvania

“The Trust Alternative”
Presenter: Malcolm Wardlaw, University of Texas at Dallas
Discussant: Jennifer Huang, CKGSB

“Do Credit Derivatives Lower the Value of Creditor Control Rights? Evidence from Debt Covenants”
Presenter: Dragon Tang, Hong Kong University
Discussant: Cristian Tiu, SUNY-Buffalo

“Aggregate Tail Risk, Economic Disasters, and the Cross Section of Expected Returns”
Presenter: David Chapman, University of Virginia
Discussant: Chishen Wei, Nanyang Technological University