2017 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Miguel Antón, IESE Business School

Miguel Antón

Assistant Professor of Finance

IESE Business School

Miguel Anton at IESE graces this year’s list for top professors under 40 because of his ability to command a classroom. According to students, his entertaining and humorous teaching style, mixed with interactive teaching methods, are enough to keep 70 MBAs interested in capital markets week after week. Professor Anton’s research areas cover empirical asset pricing, behavioral finance, mutual funds, and credit markets. He has also given seminars at more than a dozen institutions, including the Harvard Business School, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, HEC in Paris, the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, and the Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Age: 36

At current institution since: 2011

Education: PhD in Finance, London School of Economics 2011; MA at CEMFI; BA Universidad de Navarra

List of courses you currently teach: Operational Finance, Capital Markets, Capital Budgeting, Wall Street, Fintech

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? Large passive funds, such as BlackRock, Vanguard, and Fidelity, are now the biggest shareholders of hundreds of public companies worldwide, many of which belong to the same industries. Together with my coauthors Florian Ederer from Yale, Mireia Giné from IESE, and Martin Schmalz from Michigan, we show that this overlap in ownership could lead to lower competition, through the way executives are compensated. We are also studying the effect this common ownership has on how firms innovate.

Professor you most admire: There are many professors I really admire! Christopher Polk at the LSE was my advisor, and pivotal in my career. I was also blown away by José Antonio Segarra here at IESE, he is a prodigy of what it means to be a great professor in a business school: how he conducts the class, how much he cares about the students, and his deep knowledge about the “real” world.   

“I knew I wanted to be a B-school professor when…I realized that it combined three great activities: teaching (and the opportunity to engage with many people), rigorous research in relevant topics that I choose, and interaction with the corporate world. I couldn’t find this mix in any of the other options I considered.”

“If I weren’t a B-school professor…I think I could have been an actor or a missionary.”

One word that describes my first time teaching an MBA class: Thrilling. On my first day I taught three different classes from two different programs in two different cities. IESE really wanted to test me.

Most memorable moment in the classroom, or in general, as a professor: Once I finish a course I sometimes get some people coming to tell me it’s been a life experience. I never thought that teaching finance would go that far. What happens in class actually helps students change the way they look at the world.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? Being nominated for the Smith-Breeden prize for the best paper in The Journal of Finance two years ago; and getting hundreds of people understanding finance a little better after they finish their journey at IESE.

What do you enjoy most about being a business school professor? Seeing smart and insightful students having a great time in class.

What do you enjoy least about being a business school professor? Deadlines.

What is your favorite company and why? I don’t have a favorite company. I admire companies that have a clear mission to serve society, and take care of their employees and stakeholders. To me IESE is a good example.

Fun fact about yourself: Second kid of seven siblings, I would bring my little brother to the pediatrician when he was 2 and I was thirteen. We all had to chip in from an early age.  

Bucket list item #1: Don’t open the inbox until noon. I always fail.

Favorite book: Anna Karenina from Tolstoy. Now reading The Pensées from Pascal and I’m loving it.

Favorite movie: Shawshank Redemption.

Favorite type of music: ask Spotify, he knows better about my tastes… From The Beatles to U2.

Favorite television show: I really liked Breaking Bad, 24, and Prison Break, but I’m not hooked on Netflix (I don’t have time yet).  

Favorite vacation spot: Jaca, a small town in Aragon, Spain. It’s just a small and beautiful town in the Pyrenees where I spent many summers and winters as a kid.

What are your hobbies? I do a lot of sports (tennis, skiing, and road bike), I love cooking, and when I have time to disconnect, I try to change gears and do volunteering in Africa or Burma.  

Twitter handle: Don’t have one…

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have…stronger ways to help students innovate, one of the main economic drivers of growth.”

Students say:

“Even people with experience in Finance found his class extremely interesting because he would always use real life examples to relate to capital market theory. Secondly, his sense of humor. To win the respect of more than 70 people at once, and keep them awake for 75 min in a class that starts at 8:30 in the morning requires not just amazing teaching, but also a good sense of humor!”

“Amazing teaching style. Keeps classes interactive and interesting for everyone – including people like me who have an extensive background in Finance; funny and entertaining while keeping a great hold on the class: he never lets class discussions get out of hand, and he commands attention and respect from all the 70 students at once!; interesting and fun teaching methods that keep everyone interested.”

“He is able to continue impacting us after class. It is very common to see him talking with the students outside from class. In my particular case he has been of great help for my preparation of the investment banking interviews. His lessons about market trend has been of real help for making an impact in my interviews. I am totally sure that he has been my main strength for succeeding in obtaining a position in M&A in an Investment Bank on summer.”


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.