Working Papers

(with Gregory W. Brown, Robert S. Harris, and Christian T. Lundblad)


We examine the link between endowment investment performance and the expertise of university board members. Harnessing detailed information on 11,019 members for 579 universities, we find that expertise in alternatives and larger professional networks are associated with higher allocations to alternatives and better investment results. Expertise and networks appear particularly important in private equity and venture capital, which are difficult to analyze and manage. The improved investment performance arises because endowments capture higher returns that can accompany alternative assets, select or have access to high performing managers, and minimize fees by using direct funds rather than funds of funds.

Job Market Paper


I document substantial effects on financing costs and debt contracting behavior following data breaches of public firms. Exploiting data breach events between 2005 and 2015, I find that lenders charge breached firms with 15 to 20 percent larger spreads, and tighten covenant intensity, consistent with a shift in control rights over cash flows. The effect is more pronounced for breaches of financial information rather than of employee or non-financial information. Firms’ leverage increases, cash flows become more volatile, profitability drops, and the likelihood of a second breach increases. Lastly, ex-ante mispricing by banks does not explain these findings.

  • Do Elite CIOs Earn They Bonuses?

(with Robert S. Harris)


We document the first estimates of the pay-to-performance sensitivity (PPS) for the universe of chief investment officers at nonprofit endowments and foundations. Using a novel and detailed breakdown of compensation from IRS filings over the 2009-2017 period, we find a surprisingly low but positive and significant PPS. We also find that most differences in compensation arise in the cross-section, and that fund and manager fixed effects explain about 90 percent of the time-series variability in wages. In search of a cross-sectional determinant of wage intensity, we find that nonprofits closer to financial centers, that provide more perks, and with highly paid presidents and coaches, also pay larger salaries to their CIOs.

Work in Progress

    • Did PE Kill HML?

(with Gregory W. Brown and Christopher Polk)