Ruediger Fahlenbrach

Ruediger Fahlenbrach

Full Professor of Finance
Swiss Finance Institute Senior Chair
Email: [email protected]
Phone: ++41 (0)21 693 0098 / Fax: ++41 (0)21 693 0110
Postal: Swiss Finance Institute @ EPFL
Quartier UNIL-Chamberonne, Extranef 211
CH – 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland


RUEDIGER FAHLENBRACH is Full Professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. He holds a senior chair from the Swiss Finance Institute. Formerly on the faculty of the Fisher College of Business of the Ohio State University (USA), he received a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton).

He has research interests in empirical corporate finance, in particular corporate governance and entrepreneurship. Ruediger Fahlenbrach has published in the leading academic journals in finance, including the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Review of Financial Studies, the Review of Finance, and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

Ruediger has been elected director of the European Finance Association (2018-2020). He is former Associate Editor of the Review of Finance (2014-2021) and former Associate Editor of the Review of Financial Studies (2013-2016) and Financial Management (2012-2016).

Ruediger is a research member of the European Corporate Governance Institute.

His research has been reported in many large-circulation newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Le Temps, NZZ, Handelsblatt, Forbes Magazine, USA Today, and Fortune Magazine.

He regularly teaches executive education modules at EPFL, IMD, and SFI.

CV Fahlenbrach (February 2022)


Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, and Marc Frattaroli, 2021, ICO investors, Financial Markets and Portfolio Management 35, 1-59.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, Kevin Rageth, and René M. Stulz, 2021, How valuable is financial flexibility when revenue stops? Evidence from the COVID-19 crisis,  Review of Financial Studies 34, 5474-5521.

Fabisik, Kornelia, Rüdiger Fahlenbrach, René M. Stulz, and Jerome Taillard, 2020, Why are firms with more managerial ownership worth less?, Journal of Financial Economics 140, 699-725.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, Robert Prilmeier, and René M. Stulz, 2018, Why does fast loan growth predict poor performance for banks?, Review of Financial Studies 31, 1014-1063.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, Angie Low, and René M. Stulz, 2017, Do independent director departures predict future bad events?, Review of Financial Studies 30, 2313-2358.

Schmidt, Cornelius, and Rüdiger Fahlenbrach, 2017, Do exogeneous changes in passive institutional ownership affect corporate governance and firm value?, Journal of Financial Economics 124, 285-306.

Boyson, Nicole, Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, and René M. Stulz, 2016, Why Don’t all Banks Practice Regulatory Arbitrage? Evidence from Usage of Trust-preferred Securities, Review of Financial Studies 29, 1821-1859.

Cronqvist, Henrik, and Rüdiger Fahlenbrach, 2013, CEO Contract Design: How Do Strong Principals Do It?, Journal of Financial Economics 108, 659-674.

Evans, Richard B., and Rüdiger Fahlenbrach, 2012, Institutional Investors and Mutual Fund Governance: Evidence from Retail – Institutional Fund Twins, Review of Financial Studies 25, 3530-3571.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, Robert Prilmeier, and René M. Stulz, 2012, This Time is the Same: Using Bank Performance in 1998 to Explain Bank Performance During the Recent Financial Crisis, Journal of Finance 67, 2139-2185.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, and René M. Stulz, 2011, Bank CEO Incentives and the Credit Crisis, Journal of Financial Economics 99, 11-26.

Becker, Bo, Henrik Cronqvist, and Rüdiger Fahlenbrach, 2011, Estimating the Effects of Large Shareholders Using a Geographic Instrument, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 46, 907-942.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, Bernadette Minton, and Carrie Pan, 2011, Former CEO Directors: Lingering CEOs or Valuable Resources?, Review of Financial Studies 24, 3486-3518.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, Angie Low, and René M. Stulz, 2010, Why Do Firms Appoint CEOs as Outside Directors?, Journal of Financial Economics 97, 12-32.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, and Patrik V. Sandås, 2010, Does information drive trading in option strategies?, Journal of Banking and Finance 34, 2370-2385.

Cronqvist, Henrik, and Rüdiger Fahlenbrach, 2009, Large Shareholders and Corporate Policies, Review of Financial Studies 22, 3941-3976.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, and René M. Stulz, 2009, Managerial Ownership Dynamics and Firm Value, Journal of Financial Economics 92, 342-361.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, 2009, Founder-CEOs, Investment Decisions, and Stock Market Performance, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 44, 439-466.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, 2009, Shareholder Rights, Boards, and Executive Compensation, Review of Finance 13, 81-113.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, and Patrik V. Sandås, 2009, Co-movements of Index Options and Futures Quotes, Journal of Empirical Finance 16, 151-163.

Dlugosz, Jennifer, Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, Gompers, Paul, and Andrew Metrick, 2006, Large Blocks of Stock: Prevalence, Size, and Measurement, Journal of Corporate Finance 12, 594-618.

Working Papers

See the newest versions of the working papers

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, Alexei Ovtchinnikov, and Philip Valta, 2022, Direct democracy, corporate political strategy, and firm value.

Abstract: We analyze a novel data set of corporate contributions to ballot initiatives and referendums at the U.S. state level. Firms make significant contributions to ballot measures in favor of or against specific initiatives. Firms that contribute to successful (failed) direct initiated state initiatives exhibit significantly positive (negative) CARs around the election. They also experience significant sales, investment, and net income growth in the two years following the passage of important ballot measures. The results suggest that ballot measure spending represents a distinct and economically important dimension of firms’ political strategy with important consequences for firm value and real activity.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, and Eric Jondeau, 2022, Greening the Swiss National Bank’s portfolio.

Abstract: We analyze the carbon footprint and emissions of the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) U.S. equity portfolio and compare its carbon performance to those of the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, and the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG). The SNB portfolio does as well as BlackRock’s portfolio but has a worse carbon footprint than the portfolio of GPFG. Few firms are responsible for much of the carbon emissions of the SNB portfolio so that carbon conscious investment approaches have a large impact on portfolio emissions but little impact
on performance, diversification, or tracking error.

Efing, Matthias, Rüdiger Fahlenbrach, Christoph Herpfer, and Philipp Krueger, 2021, How do investors and firms react to an unexpected currency appreciation shock?

Abstract: We examine the impact of a large, sudden, and unexpected home currency appreciation shock on the valuation and behavior of corporations in a developed economy. The Swiss National Bank surprisingly repealed a minimum exchange rate in 2015, triggering a one day appreciation of 17 percent. Valuations of Swiss firms, in particular exporters, fell substantially on the event day. The appreciation also caused a strong decrease in sales among currency exposed firms. Firms stabilized sales by making price concessions which compressed margins and return on assets in the following years. They also reduced investment by an economically large 8.3 percentage points.

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger, Hyemin Kim, and Angie Low, 2021, CEO networks and the labor market for directors

Abstract: Directors are more likely to obtain additional directorships, especially at prestigious firms, if the CEOs of their current boards are well-connected. Recommended directors do not become beholden to the CEO, as CEO compensation is unaffected and an analysis of appointment announcement returns and director election results show that shareholders are unconcerned by such recommendations. Instead, reciprocity is an important determinant because CEOs are more likely to recommend their directors if they recently received help from their network filling vacant board positions. Overall, there is little evidence that network recommendations of directors lead to inefficiencies in the director labor market.


Teaching in the MFE Program

Introduction to Finance (2010-2019)

Venture Capital

Teaching in the EPFL Bachelor Program

Foundations in Financial Economics

Teaching in the SFI Ph.D. Program

Empirical Corporate Finance

Teaching in the EPFL EMBA Program

Managerial Finance