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How do brokers pass on insider information indirectly? Can TV advertising influence investor decisions? How does e-commerce growth impact local wages? How can government schemes remove barriers to entrepreneurship? Can organisation culture influence adoption of technology by banks? Is building infrastructure enough to promote growth in rural areas? How is insider trading facilitated by cross border M&A deals?

These were only some of the topics discussed at the Indian School of Business (ISB) Centre for Analytical Finance’s annual flagship Summer Research Conference. The Conference was held at ISB’s picturesque Hyderabad campus between July 27 and 28, 2018.

The event has a long and successful history of bringing to the fore some of the latest and most relevant research being undertaken in the world of finance. The importance of the Conference to ISB is borne out by the fact that it is now in its 14th edition whereas ISB itself is only 16 years old.

The discussed theoretical and empirical papers covered corporate finance, asset pricing, behavioral finance, financial intermediation, corporate governance, labour markets, developmental economics among other areas, with a focus on new ideas, concepts, or methods. The central premise of the Conference is to provide authors from across the world with high quality discussants for their papers, an active audience that helps add multiple perspectives, and informal interactions that help further networks.

Conference proceedings were initiated by ISB Dean and Novartis Professor of Marketing Strategy and Innovation Rajendra Srivastava with his Welcome Address. He spoke about the importance of the Summer Research Conference in that it encouraged not just deep research but research that was relevant to industry, policy makers, and academia equally. Highlighting the many advantages of participating in this particular conference versus some of the other conferences held worldwide, Dean Srivastava said, “This Conference is marked by a much higher ratio of papers proposed to papers presented, which is an indicator of both the quality of proposals received and the high acceptance rate. Moreover, a large number of papers presented here make it into some of the best known and reputed global finance journals proving that what is discussed here is rigorous AND managerially relevant.”

A total of 12 papers were presented and discussed by authors who included renowned academicians, policy makers, and economists from across the U.S, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Using rigorous approaches that answer unanswered questions or highlight hitherto unknown behaviour, the papers addressed topics like what influences investor behaviour, how to deliver inclusive growth, curbing insider trading, to what extent e-commerce growth drives down brick & mortar wages, dealing with agency conflicts amongst firm stakeholders, inefficiencies in credit evaluation by banks, the effect of lobbying on resolution of bank failures, and how management can manipulate outcomes of proposals put up for shareholder voting.

The presentation of papers was followed by a special Keynote Address by Professor Andrew Karolyi, Harold Bierman, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Management at SC Johnson School of Business, Cornell University. The much awaited NSE Best Paper Award was next. The National Stock Exchange sponsors the best paper award for the Summer Research Conference, which consists of cash prize of USD 5,000 and a certificate of merit. The best paper award committee headed by Professor Andrew Karolyi, with inputs from the audience poll, adjudged Feedback Effect and Investor Information Acquisition: Implications for Agency Problems by Jesse Davis of University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and Naveen Gondhi of INSEAD as the winner.
The decision on the Best Paper Award was followed by a Vote of Thanks by Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Executive Director - Centre for Analytical Finance and Associate Professor of Finance - ISB.

The single most important outcome of this Conference was that it offered an opportunity to discuss issues and questions in the realm of finance that have not been adequately addressed by current research. Moreover, the conference format offered the authors an opportunity to have their hypothesis, approaches, methodologies, and conclusions refined through discussions and Q&A. All the presenters walked away with valuable inputs that will further refine their pioneering research.

About Centre for Analytical Finance
The Centre for Analytical Finance (CAF) was established in the year 2004, with a mandate to produce high quality research, create research database, organise conferences and workshops, and train next generation of researchers in the area of finance. Through its Conferences, Workshops and Researcher’s Training program, the Centre has created a forum for academicians, regulators and industry professionals, to discuss the latest issues and research. Centres' association with the distinguished scholars of global repute and top industry practitioners makes it one of the premier research centres in South-east Asia.