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Research and Teaching Assistants

Photo: Stolper

Anna-Lena Bauer, M.Sc.

T  06421 28-21752
anna-lena.bauer@wiwi.uni-marburg.de

Office Hours:
by appointment (E-Mail)

Anna-Lena Bauer has joined the Behavioral Finance Research Group as a research and teaching assistant in April 2017. She holds a bachelor's degree in European Business and International Business and Management with a specialization in finance from OTH Regensburg and Hanze University of Groningen and a master's degree in Financial Economics from the University of Glasgow. During several internships, she gained first professional experience in the finance and controlling departments of multinational companies in the United States, Luxembourg and Spain.

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen ResponsibilitiesResponsibilities

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen ResearchResearch

    Good brand image = good share?

    The subject of a current research project by Anna-Lena Bauer and Prof. Dr. Stolper at the interface of brand management and investor behaviour is the question whether private households are influenced not only by their role as consumers but also by the brand image of a company in their investment decisions and thus a brand bias can be observed. In particular, it will be investigated whether and to what extent shares of companies whose products and services have a particularly good brand image among German consumers are significantly overweighted in the securities portfolios of private households in Germany.

    How does narcissism affect fund management?

    In the project "Fund manager narcissim" Anna-Lena Bauer investigates , in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Stolper and Dominik Scheld, how personality traits affect the investment decisions of professional investors. In this context, the project examines narcissistic tendencies of fund managers. Using verbatim transcribed interviews with US-American managers, the project aims to i) identify narcissistic characteristics of fund managers using text analytical methods, ii) analyze their effects on portfolio management (e.g. risk-return ratio) and iii) investigate if and to what extent investors react to narcissistic fund managers.

    Which traits shape fund managers?

    In the project "The Big5 in fund management" Anna-Lena Bauer investigates, in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Stolper and Dominik Scheld, the influence of the "Big 5" personality dimension on fund managers. In addition to a comprehensive typification of fund management, the project aims to quantify the influence of personality dimensions in the context of professional investments. The expected results of the project will allow insights on the "interiority" of fund managers and the potential connection between professional money management and psychological characteristics.

Photo: ING Bank

Michel Bartoschik, M.Sc.

E

Office Hours:
by appointment ()

Michel Bartoschik has joined the Behavioral Finance Research Group as an external research assistant in March 2020. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim and Nanyang Technological University Singapore, he completed his Master's degree in Business Research with a specialization in Finance at the University of Mannheim / Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences Mannheim. During his studies he gained professional experience in a Big Four accounting firm, banks and the industry. Since October 2019, he has been working with ING Bank, advising companies in the context of event-driven capital structure transformations.

Photo: Stolper

Philipp Ritter, M.Sc.



Office Hours:
by appointment ()

Philipp Ritter has joined the Behavioral Finance Research Group as an external research assistant in August 2017. He has studied at Philipps University Marburg and Boğaziçi University Istanbul and holds a master’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance & Accounting. During several internships, he gained first professional experience at corporates, consulting firms as well as at a government department. After graduation in January 2016, he has worked for the inhouse consulting unit of Commerzbank AG.

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen ResponsibilitiesResponsibilities

    - Supervision Seminar Empirical Finance
    - Supervision of theses

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen ResearchResearch

    Globally diversified despite focusing on domestic equity investments?

    Economic theory suggests that investors diversify their investments globally to minimize their risk. In practice, however, it has repeatedly been shown that investors prefer shares issued by companies in their home country ("home bias"), which from an academic point of view are supposedly irrational. In a current research project, Philipp Ritter and Prof. Dr. Stolper are investigating whether the home bias is actually associated with the assumed risk concentration or whether a globally diversified equity portfolio can also be formed with domestic equity investments.

    "Households worldwide tend to invest in shares of domestic companies ("home bias"), potentially exposing them to higher risk concentration as compared to an internationally diversified portfolio. Both investors and product developers are interested in whether or not the home bias is detrimental."

    "Equals among equals" in peer-to-peer lending: What effect do similarities between lenders and borrowers have on online investments?

    This research project examines for the first time the role of social homophilia - the tendency to interact with similar people - in the context of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. P2P Lending enables private investors to lend money to other private individuals. This happens via direct interaction on P2P platforms - traditional intermediaries, such as banks, are not required. Results show that there is a robust and significant influence of demographic and geographic similarities (age, gender, place of residence) in the selection of loan applications in which investors in a large German P2P platform invest: the more similar the lender and borrower are, the more likely it is that an investment will take place. The amount invested also increases measurably as the similarity between lender and borrower increases. This effect of social homophily is stronger among female investors on the platform than among male investors. In addition, it can be shown that investors earn a lower interest rate with those financed projects in which there is a higher similarity between lender and borrower. Whether the observed homophily effect is rational behaviour or whether it escapes the investor's conscious control remains an exciting research question for follow-up projects.

Photo: Stolper

Dr. Dominik Scheld

T  0160-6369153
E

Office Hours:
by appointment ()

Dominik Scheld is a research assistant in the project "Mutual fund information disclosure: regulatory compliance, signalling, and investor response" sponsored by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in Capital Markets Research at the Behavioral Finance Research Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance from the Goethe University Frankfurt and a master’s degree earned at the University of Mannheim and the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi (Milan). He completed his promotion "Essays in Mutual Fund Research" in February 2021. Since November 2015, he advices corporates, banks, and insurance companies as a management consultant at the strategy consultancy Bain & Company.

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen ResponsibilitiesResponsibilities

    - Supervision Seminar Empirical Finance
    - Supervision of theses

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen ResearchResearch

    Within the project "Mutual fund information disclosure: regulatory compliance, signaling, and investor response" sponsored by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the effectiveness of product information disclosure for mutual funds is investigated. The research project is divided into three independent studies. Specifically, we examine i) whether product information is comprehensible to the private investor, ii) how local disclosure interventions affect supply and demand side in the industry, and iii) how strategic "signaling" of mutual fund managers affects private investors’ asset allocation.

    Is mutual fund product information comprehensible for the average investor?

    With the introduction of short-form key investor information documents (KIIDs) for mutual funds in 2012, the European financial regulation underlines the importance of using simple and easy to understand language in financial product information disclosure. The objective is to provide private investors with easier and more transparent access to product information. We evaluate whether these documents and the accompanying "plain language guidelines" affect the readability of product information for mutual funds. Applying textual analytics on a large-scale sample of all mutual funds registered for sale in Germany, we are the first to quantitatively benchmark the readability of product information for retail investors on a large scale. While fund information qualifies as very difficult to read requiring up to 15 years of education, we find that readability improved following recent disclosure regulations. Improvements are driven by simpler syntax and writing style. Still, we identify an increase in use of jargon and non-compliance with mandatory design requirements. We discuss our results and propose potential disclosure improvements.

    How do local disclosure interventions on funds’ "activeness" affect investors and fund providers?

    The performance and costs of a fund should be transparent to investors. While costs of an mutual funds need to be transparently disclosed ever since, performance is only published in the form of achieved returns, which, according to existing literature, does not necessarily provide indications on future fund performance. Especially for investors in actively managed funds, it is of immanent interest whether the fund management has historically tried to "actively" beat the market. As of April 2018, several of the largest U.S. mutual fund firms have been imposed to disclose a measure of fund manager activeness to retail investors. We evaluate investors’ reaction and the supply-side response to this intervention. We find that investors are not rationally trading on this new information, but are rather subject to a media attention effect. Moreover, we observe that the intervention did neither affect suppliers in its intended way. Even for those funds with a large overlap of holdings with the benchmark, no measurable effort to increase management activeness can be observed subsequent to the imposed disclosure. We discuss our results and propose potential disclosure improvements.

    How does strategic "signaling" of mutual fund managers affect private investors’ asset allocation?

    "Skin-in-the-Game" (SitG), indicating a fund manager’s private investment in her own funds, allows to align interests of fund managers and investors. Since 2005, US fund managers have been obliged to disclose their shares in self-managed funds. However, the information can be considered inaccessible to private investors, as it is neither standardized nor transparently disclosed to them. We use a different, yet more salient channel through which SitG is often signaled: the funds’ letter to the shareholders (LS). Although LS usually do not allow to infer the exact investment of the manager to, they do provide a verbal indication of whether personal shares are held by the fund management. Using textual analysis on a large sample (~16,000 observations) of mutual funds’, we are the first to show that investors trade on the verbal commitment of fund managers in the LS. We find significant inflows of funds by private investors in direct connection with the publication of LS that communicate SitG verbally. In contrast, investors do not react on the actual amount invested by portfolio as required to be disclosed by the SEC. Our findings highlight the increasing need for regulators to focus on not only content, but also the format of disclosure requirements.

    Furthermore, Dominik Scheld was involved in two research projects to answer the questions "What is the effect of narcissism in fund management?" and "What character traits shape fund managers?" (for further information check the research section by Anna-Lena Bauer).

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen PublicationsPublications

    Scheld, D.; Stolper, O.; Walter, A. (2021): Double Dutch Finally Fixed? A Large-scale Investigation into the Readability of Mandatory Financial Product Information, Journal of Consumer Policy (44) 151-178.

Barbara Weißenburger, M.Sc.

E

Office Hours:
by appointment ()

Barbara Weißenburger has joined the Behavioral Finance Research Group as a research and teaching assistant in September 2021. She holds a bachelor´s degree in Business Administration and Economics with a specialization in economics from the University of Passau and a master´s degree in Economics with a focus on empirical economic research from the University of Leipzig.