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Research: Simona Abis is particularly interested in the impact of technology on financial markets. She believes that recent developments in big data and artificial intelligence will greatly impact the financial industry and she plans to be at the forefront in trying to understand these changes. Simona started her career working for a systematic hedge fund and, while this experience has shaped her research interests and honed her intuition for financial markets, the PhD has helped frame this intuition with deeper theoretical understanding. Her long-term goal is to bring industry and academia closer through insightful and relevant research.
Ph.D.: Simona received her Ph.D. in Finance from INSEAD.
On being at Columbia: “I am honored to be part of such a great community. All my colleagues and the dean’s office have been extraordinary in welcoming me to the school and supporting me in everything I needed. The biggest highlight of my experience at Columbia so far has been to be constantly surrounded by opportunities!”
Fun Fact: Simona has lived in 11 different cities on 3 continents. She has also practiced Muay Thai at a competitive level.
Research: Xavier Giroud’s research lies at the intersection between corporate finance and the real economy. His recent projects examine the role of firm balance sheets during the recent financial crisis, how state taxation affects the reallocation of business activity, and how companies allocate (and misallocate) resources across company units.
Ph.D.: Xavier received a Ph.D. in finance from NYU Stern in 2011. Prior to joining Columbia, he was an Associate Professor of Finance and the Ford International Career Development Professor of Finance at MIT Sloan School of Management.
On Being at Columbia: “Columbia offers a stellar, diverse, and collaborative research environment within GSB and across campus. It is great to be part of this community and I look forward to contributing to it!”
Fun Fact: Xavier is a classical music aficionado and a frequent patron of the Metropolitan Opera.
Research: Anton Lines’s research interests lie primarily in asset pricing and asset management. His current focus is on how compensation-related incentives affect the portfolio choice of professional fund managers and, in turn, the prices of the stocks they hold. Additionally, he has written on the strategic trading behavior of informed fund managers and the question of how best to measure investment skill. He is also interested in applications of artificial intelligence in finance research.
Ph.D.: Lines received his Ph.D. from London Business School in 2017.
On being at Columbia: “All young scholars want to surround themselves with the greatest minds of the previous generation. At Columbia Business School, I am truly standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Fun Fact: Anton once toured his native South Africa extensively as the pianist in a jazz-rock band.
Research: Giorgia does research on an array of topics in finance theory, including household finance, banking, and corporate governance. For example, in a household finance paper, she gives a new theory for why run-ups in household debt precipitate deep employment slumps. In a pair of banking papers, Giorgia explores how banks create private money, something tied to the very origins of banking but omitted from existing models. In her work on corporate governance, she goes beyond the classic conflict of interest between shareholders and managers and finds surprising results. In one paper, she finds that institutional investors can undermine market discipline.
Ph.D.: Giorgia received her Ph.D. from the London School of Economics in 2013.
On being at Columbia: “I love being at Columbia. The research environment is amazing; there is a lot of interaction across areas. Plus, it’s in New York City!”
Fun Fact: Giorgia’s family produces wine in Barbaresco, Piedmont. She likes to visit the winery to drink the wine. Giorgia still obeys the rules set by her mother. For example, she isn’t allowed to play cards: allegedly her great-grandfather lost her family’s ancient Roman apartments in a card game.
Research: Professor Kairong Xiao is a financial economist whose research interests span financial intermediation, industrial organization, and political economy. His recent work tries to understand the interactions between government and the financial system.
Ph.D.: Kairong received his Ph.D. in Finance from the University of British Columbia.
On being at Columbia: “The University is exhilarating and intellectually stimulating. I am thrilled to be a part of its community!”
Fun Fact: Three months after his first windsurfing lesson, Kairong tried to cross the 5-mile-wide strait between Vancouver and Vancouver West. Halfway through the endeavor, the wind died down and he got trapped in the middle of the ocean. He managed to get back after four hours of swimming. In the celebration party afterward, he broke one of his fingers.