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2015 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Jules van Binsbergen, Wharton

Jules van Binsbergen

Associate Professor of Finance

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania


Jules vanBinsbergen

A former tenured professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Wharton prof Jules van Binsbergen teaches corporate finance, and researches asset pricing, institutional investment, and financial intermediaries. A winner of two teaching awards when he was a visiting professor at the Kellogg School of Management, van Binsbergen has also won honors for research papers. His findings, while at Stanford studying mutual fund performance found that skilled fund managers attracted more assets, and maintained consistency in high performance when measured in dollars rather than alpha. After studying jazz piano at The Hague’s Royal Conservatory, van Binsbergen received a master’s in financial econometrics from Tilburg University, then a PhD in finance from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 2008.

Age: 35

At current institution since: 2014

Education: PhD Finance 2008, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Courses currently teaching: Finance 611: Corporate Finance

Professor you most admire: John Campbell, Darrell Duffie

“I knew I wanted to be a b-school professor when…” The idea developed during my PhD.

“If I weren’t a b-school professor… ” I would be a jazz pianist

What do you enjoy most about teaching? Debating with students.

What do you enjoy least? Finding out that a student is only interested in the grade and not in the material

Fun fact about yourself: I wrote a pop song in college that made it into the charts.

Favorite book: Too many to mention

Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption

Favorite type of music: Jazz, in particular the Jarrett-Peacock-DeJohnette trio

Favorite television show: The Newsroom

Favorite vacation spot: Tuscany

What are your hobbies? Composing music, playing piano and trumpet

Twitter handle: N/A

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have…” less time devoted to recruiting activities and more time to finance.

Students say…

I loved taking JVB’s class! His course in corporate finance was more than just the math – he took us through deeper nuances and implications of the topics, while being relentless in hammering a few points home (some classmates and I joked that “IRR is IRRelevant”). He’s an engaging and funny guy and he’s been a great friend outside of class. Just don’t sit in the front row because he’s incredibly tall!

– Thomas Vladeck, MBA class of ’16

Prof. Van Binsbergen is a phenomenal professor for 3 reasons.

1) He is passionate about finance and it shows – often getting into intellectually stimulating debates with his students in a way that leaves everyone more knowledgeable.

2) He also covers a lengthy amount of material in a short period of time, from discounted cash flows to portfolio theory to fixed income and Black Scholes in a single semester, yet he keeps students who are new to finance engaged.

3) His teachings actually changed the way I think about finance, which I didn’t expect as a former financial analyst. He challenges a lot of assumptions that are standard practice in the industry and uses great evidence to back up his points.

– anonymous student

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