Institutional investors, financial innovation and the real economy

This project brings together a dozen research academics in the School’s Accounting and Finance division to research new developments in financial markets and the asset management industry.

These are extraordinary times in the global finance industry which is undergoing rapid change as new investor models take hold. This is epitomised by the rise of the hedge fund industry and a particular feature of the project is the construction and merger of several hedge and mutual fund databases, together with management bibliography information and corporate information.

The School has also purchased Ravenpack news sentiment data which allows detailed analysis into the microstructure of market trading. The scale of this database amalgamation is unprecedented and will allow researchers to address questions in multi-dimensional aspects that were not previously possible.

One area of research focus will be looking at whether investment funds managed and owned by women perform differently to those run by men. Are these funds more ethical? Do they lead to better governance in the companies in which the funds invest?

In this regard the School is working with State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), one of the world’s largest asset managers, which recently launched a Gender Diversity Index which lists those large US companies which have the highest levels of gender diversity on their boards and senior management.

A number of research papers have already been produced by the team and widely cited, while researchers will be engaging with the business world as much as possible throughout the project.