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Research and Teaching Assistants

Photo: Rolf Wegst

Dr. Dominik Scheld

T  0160-6369153

Office Hours:
by appointment ()

Dominik is a postdoctoral researcher in the project "Mutual fund information disclosure: regulatory compliance, signaling, and investor response" sponsored by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in Capital Markets Research at the Chair of Behavioral Finance. He completed his PhD "Essays in Mutual Fund Research" in February 2021. Previously, he completed a Bachelor's degree in Economics at Goethe University Frankfurt and a Master's degree in Business Administration at the University of Mannheim and the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan. Dominik has extensive practical experience from his 7 years as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company, where he advised companies in the banking and insurance sectors, most recently as the responsible manager.

  • Responsibilities

    - Implementation Seminar Empirical Finance
    - Implementation of Entrepreneurial Finance
    - Implementation of Quantitative Methods in Empirical Finance
    - Conducting Case Studies in Entrepreneurial Finance
    - Supervision of theses
    - Supervision Behavioral Finance

  • Research

    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).

    Democratisation of investment: What are digital engagement practices in neobrokers leading to?

    With the emergence of neobrokers as an easy and largely barrier-free way to participate in the capital market, the share of private investors is increasingly rising. However, this ongoing democratisation is not only associated with advantages for the private investor. The underlying business model of most neobrokers is in some aspects contrary to the fundamental interests of the private investor, especially with regard to payment for order flow components. The project is dedicated to a critical examination of the targeted use of digital engagement practices (DEPs) on the part of providers to influence private investors. In addition to an examination from a behavioural finance perspective, current regulatory perspectives are also included in the overall view.

    Mutual funds: actively managed but only passively invested?

    The project "Affiliated mutual funds: beyond the reach of the invisible hand?" examines how the distribution channels of mutual funds affect the activity of fund managers. Banks are the main distribution channel for funds in many countries and they mainly sell funds of their own fund company ("affiliated funds"). "Affiliated funds are exposed to less competitive pressure due to this exclusive distribution channel, which means that the activity of fund managers is significantly lower for these funds. Furthermore, they collect the same fees for funds with high and low management effort. In contrast, funds without an exclusive distribution channel charge lower fees for funds with lower fund manager activity.

  • Publications

    Langenbucher, K./Stolper, O./Beilner, M./Radetzky, M.-T./Scheld, D./Sehorz, J./Tilk, P. (2023): Der Einsatz von "Digital Engagement Practices" in der Vermögensanlage, in: Journal of Banking Law and Banking  35(2), 95-108.

    Scheld, D./Tourneau, A./Stolper, O./Walter, A. (2022): Wie verständlich sind Angebotsschreiben der Rentenprodukte in der deutschen Lebensversicherung?, in Zeitschrift für Versicherungswesen  20|2022.

    Scheld, D./Stolper, O. (2022): Leveling the Playing field? the Effect of Disclosing Fund Manager Activeness to Individual Investors, in Journal of Banking and Finance  154.

    Scheld, D./Stolper, O./Bauer, A. (2022): Fund manager narcissism, SGF 2022.

    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.

Photo: Rolf Wegst

Marie-Therèse Radetzky, M.Sc. 

T +49 (0) 6421 28 21740 

Office Hours:
by appointment ()

Marie-Therèse Radetzky joined the Chair of Behavioral Finance as a research assistant and doctoral candidate in December 2022. After completing her Bachelor's degree in Economics and Law at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, she completed her Master's degree at the Philipps-Universität Marburg and at the Università degli Studi di Perugia in Economics and Institutions with a focus on Money, Finance and Accounting.
During her studies, she gained initial experience at various financial service providers in Germany and abroad as well as at an auditing firm. She also worked as a student assistant for the Chair of Behavioral Finance from March 2022.

Photo: Rolf Wegst

Michel Bartoschik, M.Sc.


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: Privat

Torben Kruhmann, M.Sc. 


Office Hours:
by appointment ()

Torben Kruhmann has been working as an external doctoral student in capital market research at the Chair of Behavioral Finance since February 2024. Following his Bachelor's degree, he also completed his Master's degree in Finance and Capital Markets (Master of Finance, M.Sc.) at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. During his studies, he was already working as a student trainee in private banking and has been working for the French-German private bank ODDO BHF as a portfolio and fund manager with a focus on European bond markets since 2019.