Faculty Directory

Gordon Phillips

C.V. Starr Foundation Professor; Faculty Director, Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship








PhD and MA, Harvard University, 1991; BA, Northwestern University, 1986

Areas of Expertise

Bankruptcy, capital structure, corporate finance, corporate valuation, finance, industrial organization, mergers, acquisitions and takeovers, private equity, venture capital


Venture Capital & Private Equity


Gordon Phillips is the faculty director of the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship and the C.V. Starr Foundation Professor of Finance. He teaches the 2nd year course Venture Capital and Private Equity and specializes in private equity, mergers, and the impact of financial decisions on firms' strategic decisions. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a visiting research professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He previously taught at the University of Southern California and the University of Maryland. He has been a visiting professor at Duke University, HEC Paris, Insead, MIT, and Southern Mediterranean University. He received his MA and Ph.D. from Harvard University and his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. His areas of research include corporate finance and how financial decisions impact firms' strategic decisions, and contracting in financial markets. His work in corporate finance includes studies of private equity issuance, capital structure, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, how leverage buyouts and other forms of high debt influence a firms' and rivals' investment decisions.

Recent research published in the Journal of Political Economy and the Review of Financial Studies has been on applying computational linguistics to firm financial statements to analyze merger synergies, dividends and product market competition. Research published in the Journal of Finance has been on real and financial booms and busts and mergers and acquisitions and how firms organize across multiple markets. He recently presented the keynote address on PIPEs (private investment in public equity) to an audience of executives and finance professionals. He has served as an associate editor at The Review of Financial Studies and The Journal of Corporate Finance.

Current Research Topics

  • Private equity
  • Finance and industrial organization
  • Patenting activity

Professional Activities

Academic positions

  • C.V. Starr Foundation Professor and Academic Director of the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship, Tuck School of Business, 2016-present
  • Charles E. Cook Community Bank Chair and Professor of Finance and Business Economics, University of Southern California, 2012-15
  • Bank of America Professor of Finance, University of Maryland, 2010-12
  • Visiting Professor, HEC-Paris, 2010
  • Visiting Scholar, INSEAD, 2009-10
  • Visiting Professor, Duke University, 2003
  • Visiting Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management, 2001-02

Nonacademic positions

Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2002-present

Editorial positions

Associate editor:

  • Review of Corporate Financial Studies, 2010-present
  • Financial Management Association, 2009-present
  • Finance Research Letters, 2008-present
  • Annals of Finance, 2004-present
  • Journal of Corporate Finance, 2002-present
  • Journal of Financial Research, 2006-11
  • Review of Financial Studies, 2003-06
  • Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, 1999-2002

Working Papers

  • With K. Herkenhoff and E. Cohen-Cole, "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Employment, Earnings and Entrepreneurship"
  • With G. Hoberg, "Merger Integration and Merger Success"
  • With K. Herkenhoff and E. Cohen-Cole, “How Credit Constraints Impact Job Finding Rates, Sorting & Aggregate Output”
  • With J. Bai and D. Carvalho, “The Impact of Bank Credit on Labor Reallocation and Aggregate Industry Productivity”
  • With L. Fresard and G. Hoberg, “Innovation Activities and the Incentives for Vertical Acquisitions and Integration”
  • With M. Li and Y. Lu, “CEOs and the Product Market: When are Powerful CEOs Beneficial?”
  • With S.K. Moon, “Outsourcing Supply Contracts, Human Capital, and Firm Capital Structure”
  • With G.  Hoberg, “Text-Based Industry Momentum”


  • Best paper award for “Private and Public Merger Waves,” Financial Management Association, 2013
  • National Science Foundation research grant to study the role of personal credit in new business formation, 2011-16
  • Krowe and Wickler MBA teaching awards, University of Maryland, 2010 and 2005
  • National Science Foundation research grant to study the role of organizational form in exploiting patents and innovation, 2008-11
  • Finalist, Brattle Prize for best paper in corporate finance, “The Industry Life-Cycle, Acquisitions and Investment: Does Firm Organization Matter?” The Journal of Finance, 2008
  • National Science Foundation research grant to study the role of finance in industry evolution and technology adoption, 2002-04
  • Judy Olian Research Fellowship, 2002, 2001
  • National Science Foundation research grant to study capital structure and the time-series dimensions of mergers and asset sales, 1997-99
  • Research fellowship funded by the American Statistical Association and the National Science Foundation, 1994-95
  • University of Maryland General Research Board research fellowship to study bankruptcy, financing decisions, and the reallocation of industry capacity, 1996
  • Research fellowship, Purdue University, to study capital structure and product market rivalry: an examination of plant closing and investment decisions, 1994
  • Dean’s Fellowship, Harvard Business School, 1986-91
  • Departmental honors in mathematical methods, Northwestern University, 1986
  • Frederick Deibler Award for economic honors thesis, Northwestern University, 1986

Selected Publications

  • With L. Fresard and U. Hege, “Extending Industry Specialization Through Cross-Border Acquisitions,” Forthcoming: Review of Financial Studies, 2017.
  • With G. Hoberg, “Conglomerate Industry Choice and Product Language,” Forthcoming: Management Science, 2017
  • With G. Sertsios, “Financing Decisions and New Product Introductions of Private and Publicly Traded Firms,” Forthcoming: Review of Financial Studies, 2017
  • With G. Hoberg, “Text-Based Network Industries and Endogenous Product Differentiation,” Journal of Political Economy, 2016
  • With G. Hoberg and N.R. Prabhala, “Product Market Threats, Payouts, and Financial Flexibility,” Journal of Finance, 69(1), 2014
  • With H. Ortiz-Molina, “Real Asset Illiquidity and the Cost of Capital,” Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 2014
  • With V. Maksimovic and L. Yang, “Private and Public Merger Waves,” Journal of Finance, 2013, 68(5), 2013
  • With G. Sertsios, “How Do Firm Financial Conditions Affect Product Quality and Pricing?”, Management Science, 59(8), 2013
  • With A. Zhdanov, “R&D and the Incentives from Merger and Acquisition Activity,” Review of Financial Studies, 26(1), 2013
  • With V. Maksimovic, “Conglomerate Firms, Internal Capital Markets and the Theory of the Firm,” Annual Review of Financial Economics, 5, 2013
  • With A. Gomes, “Why do Public Firms Issue Private and Public Securities?”, Journal of Financial Intermediation, 21, 2012
  • With V. Maksimovic and N.R. Prabhala, “Post-Merger Restructuring and the Boundaries of the Firm,” The Journal of Financial Economics, 102, 2011; Reprinted as chapter 5 in Mergers and Acquisitions, volume in The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, ed. J.H. Mulherin
  • With G. Hoberg, “Product Market Synergies and Competition in Mergers and Acquisitions: A Text-Based Analysis,” The Review of Financial Studies, 23, 2010; Reprinted as chapter 6 in Mergers and Acquisitions, volume in The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, ed. J.H. Mulherin
  • With G. Hoberg, “Real and Financial Industry Booms and Busts,” Journal of Finance, 65, 2010
  • With V. Maksimovic, “The Industry Life-Cycle, Acquisitions and Investment: Does Firm Organization Matter?” Journal of Finance, 63, 2008
  • With P. MacKay, “How Does Industry Affect Firm Financial Structure?” The Review of Financial Studies, December 2005
  • With V. Maksimovic, “Do Conglomerate Firms Allocate Resources Inefficiently Across Industries? Theory and Evidence,” The Journal of Finance, 57, 2002; Reprinted in Corporate Restructuring, volume in The International Library of Critical Writings in Financial Economics, ed. J. McConnell and D. Denis
  • With V. Maksimovic, “The Market for Corporate Assets: Who Engages in Mergers and Asset Sales and Are There Gains?”, Journal of Finance, 56, 2001; Reprinted in Corporate Restructuring, volume in The International Library of Critical Writings in Financial Economics, ed. J. McConnell and D. Denis. Also reprinted in Mergers and Corporate Governance, ed. J.H. Mulherin
  • With J. Allen, “Corporate Equity Ownership, Strategic Alliances and Product Market Relationships,” Journal of Finance, 55, 2000