Proven Leader: Rajesh Aggarwal


Rajesh Aggarwal
Professor, Finance
PhD Harvard University

Aggarwal is a distinguished expert in corporate governance and the economics of organizations. His research examining how motivations drive managerial behavior was one of the first to identify a strong link between risk and managerial incentives.

As a member of the Medica Health Plans board of directors and a seasoned consultant for a number of firms and government agencies, Aggarwal applies his research findings directly to the business sector.

His work informs the financial services industry by showing that new hedge fund managers outperform more established hedge fund managers. He has also examined why and how corporate managers diversify their firms.

He is currently examining the impact of incentives and competition in the airline industry. 

Q: What are your areas of expertise/research focus?

Corporate governance, the economics of organizations, optimal capital structure, bankruptcy, executive compensation and incentives, initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, boards of directors, hedge fund performance evaluation, and fraud and stock market manipulation.

Q: What industries are or could be impacted by your research

Financial services

Q: What topics do you teach?

Corporate finance and international finance.

Q: What research projects are you currently planning or working on?

I am currently working on a project on incentives and competition in the airline industry.

Q: What are some of your most seminal publications?

Aggarwal, R. K., & Samwick, A. A. (1999). The Other Side of the Tradeoff: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation. Journal of Political Economy, 107, 65-105.

Aggarwal, R. K., & Samwick, A. A. (2003). Why Do Managers Diversify Their Firms? Agency Reconsidered. Journal of Finance, 58, 71-118.

Aggarwal, R. K., & Jorion, P. (2010). The Performance of Emerging Hedge Funds and Managers. Journal of Financial Economics, 96, 238-256.

Q: What are some awards that you have received?
  • Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award (Teacher of the Year), Carlson School of Management, 2006.
  • Distinguished Referee Award, Review of Financial Studies, 2010.
  • Graham and Dodd Scroll Award (Best Paper Runner-up), Financial Analysts Journal, 2013.