Kornelia Fabisik

I am a PhD candidate in Finance at the Swiss Finance Institute and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

My research interests lie in empirical corporate finance and corporate governance.

I am happy to share that I will be joining the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management as an Assistant Professor of Finance.

Working papers



This paper presents the first large-scale empirical analysis of the pledging phenomenon among U.S. CEOs. Between 2007 and 2016, 7.6% of publicly listed U.S. firms disclosed that their CEOs had pledged company stock as collateral for a loan. On average, CEOs pledge 38% of their shares. The mean loan value is an economically sizeable $65 million. CEOs use the funds to either double down (6.0%), hedge their ownership (3.5%), or to obtain liquidity while maintaining ownership (90.5%). My event study results reveal that stock market participants view pledging as value-enhancing, but perceive significant pledging as value-destroying. Similarly, I find no evidence of its negative shareholder value consequences, except for CEOs who engage in significant pledging.

Presentations (*incl. scheduled):

  • EPFL-UNIL Brown Bag Series (Lausanne, Switzerland, 2019)
  • LSE PhD Seminar (London, United Kingdom, 2019)
  • SFI Research Days (Gerzensee, Switzerland, 2019)
  • SFI Academic Job Market Workshop (Lausanne, Switzerland, 2019)
  • American Finance Association (AFA) PhD Student Poster Session (San Diego, USA, 2020)
  • Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society for Financial Market Research (SGF Conference)* (Zurich, Switzerland, 2020)

with Rüdiger Fahlenbrach, René M. Stulz, and Jérôme Taillard

Using more than 50,000 firm-years from 1988 to 2015, we show that the empirical relation between a firm’s Tobin’s q and managerial ownership is systematically negative. When we restrict our sample to larger firms as in the prior literature, our findings are consistent with the literature, showing that there is an increasing and concave relation between q and managerial ownership. We show that these seemingly contradictory results are explained by cumulative past performance and liquidity. Better performing firms have more liquid equity, which enables insiders to more easily sell shares after the IPO, and they also have a higher Tobin’s q.

Presentations (* incl. by co-authors):

  • Drexel Corporate Governance Conference* (Philadelphia, USA, 2019)
  • Western Finance Association (WFA) (Huntington Beach, USA, 2019)
  • European Finance Association (EFA)* (Carcavelos, Portugal, 2019)
  • Global Corporate Governance Colloquia (GCGC)* (Fraktfurt, Germany, 2019)

Featured on:


Professor Rüdiger Fahlenbrach

Professor of Finance Swiss Finance Institute Senior Chair École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Quartier UNIL-Chamberonne, Bâtiment Extranef, # 211 CH-1015 Lausanne Switzerland Office: ++41-21-693-0098 Email: ruediger.fahlenbrach[at]epfl.ch

Professor Dirk Jenter

Associate Professor of Finance CEPR Research Fellow London School of Economics Department of Finance Houghton Street, CON 2.15 London WC2A 2AE Email: D.Jenter[at]lse.ac.uk

Professor René M. Stulz

Everett D. Reese Chair of Banking and Monetary Economics The Ohio State University 806 Fisher Hall 2100 Neil Avenue Columbus, OH 43210-1399 Office voice: 614-292-1970 Email: stulz.1[at]osu.edu


Teaching assistant for courses:

  • Managerial Finance
    • EPFL, 2018 - present, English
    • Level: EMBA
    • Course textbook: Corporate Finance by Jonathan B. Berk and Peter DeMarzo
  • Introduction to Finance
    • EPFL, 2016 - present, English
    • Level: Master
    • Course textbook: Corporate Finance by Jonathan B. Berk and Peter DeMarzo
  • Grundlagen der Betriebswirtschaftslehre (Fundamentals of Business Administration)
    • LMU, 2011-2012, German
    • Level: Bachelor
    • Course textbook: Einführung in die Betriebswirtschaftslehre by Werner Neus

Teaching awards

Teaching awards:

  • 2019: Best teaching assistant of the Master in Financial Engineering (MFE) section
    • Graduating MFE class of 2019 (Link)
  • 2018: College of Management of Technology (CDM) award for outstanding teaching

Professional certifications

  • Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) (Charterholder since 2019)
  • Professional Risk Manager (PRM™) (Charterholder since 2013)
  • Eurex Trading Certificate (2013)

Work experience

  • 2014: UBS Investment Bank
    • Full-time, Equity Derivatives Department
    • Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2013: MEAG MUNICH ERGO Asset Management
    • Part-time, Risk Controlling and Limit Management Department
    • Munich, Germany


horseback riding, golf, rock and ice-climbing, skiing and ski-touring, jogging, fencing


École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Quartier UNIL-Chamberonne, Bâtiment Extranef, #244 CH-1015 Lausanne Switzerland

Office: 0041-21-693-2308 Cell: 0041-788-66-77-41 Email: kornelia.fabisik@epfl.ch https://people.epfl.ch/kornelia.fabisik