Research Statement

My research broadly addresses the behavior and impact (intended or unintended) of institutional investors in public markets. Institutional investors are an important class of investors for several reasons. First, institutional investors control an increasing majority of financial assets. Mutual funds, which hold individual’s assets, are ultimately controlled by the mutual fund manager, who is a professional. Hedge funds, insurance companies, and pension funds — all of these are run by institutional investors. By way of contrast, an individual trading stocks at home with a personal brokerage account is not an institutional investor. I also focus on publicly traded securities, such as stocks, bonds, and derivatives. By way of contrast, I do not research private equity or venture capital investments (yet…).

More specifically, my research investigates institutional investors and their effect on price efficiency in financial markets. This agenda stems from a paradox:

1. Institutional investors are supposed to be sophisticated.

2. Institutional investors are growing as a % of market participants.

3. #1 and #2 should combine to give more efficient pricing (i.e. less noise, irrational behavior, anomalies, etc.).

4. Yet, we do not observe this. Why?

My papers investigate this primarily in Equity Markets (Stocks), but also in Derivatives, Commodity Markets, and Fixed Income. Key topic areas include Short Selling, Securities Lending, Network Effects, High-Frequency Trading, Managerial Incentives, Mutual Funds, Hedge Funds, and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF).

Academic Positions and Service

  • Society for Financial Studies Cavalcade Program Committee, 2014-present
  • Midwest Finance Association Conference Program Committee, 2017-present
  • Financial Management Association Conference Program Committee and Session Chair, 2017
  • Colorado Finance Summit Program Committee, 2016-present
  • Conference on Developing Areas of Capital Market and Federal Securities Regulation (Moderator on High Frequency Trading panel) Vanderbilt University, 2015
  • Journal of Finance
  • Review of Financial Studies
  • Journal of Financial Economics
  • Review of Finance
  • Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
  • Journal of Financial Markets
  • Journal of Banking and Finance
  • Journal of Financial Intermediation
  • Management Science
  • International Review of Economics and Finance
  • Journal of Empirical Finance
  • Financial Analysts Journal
  • Journal of Behavioral Finance

2018: University of Kentucky

2017: Middle Tennesee State University, University of Tennessee, Georgia Tech

2014: University of Delaware

2013: Securities and Exchange Commission

2012: Tulane, Boston College, Michigan, FRB-Boston, FRB-New York, Case Western Reserve University, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Virginia (Darden)

2011: Washington University at St. Louis (PhD Poster Session)

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. 2012

    Ph.D. in Business Administration - Finance

    Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

  • M.S. 1998

    Master of Chemical Engineering

    Massachusetts Institution of Technology

  • B.S. 1997

    Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

    Virginia Tech

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • July 2015
    Chicago Mercantile Exchange Grant
    Grant supporting work on Benchmarking Commodity Investments with Ricky Cooper and Marat Molyboga.
  • 2014
    Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows
    Teaching Award
  • 2013
    Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society
  • 2012
    Shmuel Kandel Award - Utah Winter Finance Conference
    Award is for outstanding Ph.D. Student in Financial Economics
  • 2010
    American Finance Association Travel Award
    Funds to travel (as a student) the AFA Conference in Atlanta in 2010
  • 1998
    Keith and Helen Rumbel Scholarship
    Fully funded degree at MIT
  • 1997
    Commonwealth Scholar
    Award based on academic performance at Virginia Tech.


Jesse is originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, outside of Washington, DC and graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1997. He then went to Boston, MA and received his M.S. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1998.

He worked at Accenture from 1998 until 2003 in cities across the US and overseas: Chicago, Frankfurt, London, Atlanta, Memphis, Philadelphia, and Charlotte with varied roles in Technology Strategy, Design, and Implementation. He left Accenture to teach mathematics in an inner city school in Charlotte, NC for 18 months and then joined TIAA-CREF in early 2005. At TIAA-CREF, Jesse was the Advice Development Manager, responsible for a team of 16 developers maintaining and extending algorithmic personal financial advice and planning applications for TIAA-CREF’s Wealth Management Group. While at TIAA-CREF, he pursued his master’s part time in Mathematical Finance at UNC-Charlotte.

Beginning in August 2007, Jesse enrolled at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School for his PhD in Business Administration, Finance, which he completed in May 2012 upon which he began a job as an Assistant Professor of Finance at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

Jesse lives in Nashville with his wife, Lynn, and two sets of twins, William and Claire, born in 2010 and Samuel and Miles, born in 2012. He lives in the vibrant 12 South neighborhood in Nashville and recently started bicycling to work.