The Robert T. LeClair Finance Department Seminar Series extends the curriculum by inviting leading scholars to speak with VSB students on leading issues within the finance industry. Past topics have included responsible investing and investment decision-making; the costs and benefits of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) for university endowments; and the pitfalls of central clearing in the derivatives markets. 


Seminars are held on Fridays at 1:45 p.m. in Bartley 2010.


September 30, 2022 Stanislava (Stas) Nikolova
University of Nebraska - Lincoln          
Corporate Bond Flipping
November 4, 2022 Robert Marquez
University of California, Davis
Loan guarantees, bank underwriting policies and financial fragility


Seminars are held on Fridays at 1:45 p.m. in Bartley 2001.


January 27, 2023 Marina Niessner
University of Pennsylvania
Are Cryptos Different? Evidence from Retail Trading
February 10, 2023 Nadya Malenko
University of Michigan     
Creating Controversy in Proxy Voting Advice
March 24, 2023 William Goetzmann
Yale University      
Crash Narratives
April 28, 2023 Jennie Bai
Georgetown University


Stas Nikolova is an Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to joining UNL, she was a Senior Financial Economist in the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In that capacity, she advised the SEC on rules governing the issuance of fixed-income securities, the disclosure and offering process of asset-backed securities, the registration of municipal advisers, the integrity of credit ratings, and the management and accountability of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs).

Her research focuses on various aspects of fixed-income markets, including regulating these markets and investing in them. She is an Associate Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Finance, and Secretary of the Midwest Finance Association.

Robert S. Marquez is a Professor of Finance at University of California, Davis. Before graduate school, Marquez worked for several years for the Federal Reserve in San Francisco. He subsequently held academic positions at University of Maryland, Arizona State University, and Boston University.

A leading expert in banking and corporate finance, Professor Robert Marquez tries to uncover the mechanisms that underlie the behavior of financial institutions. His study “Lending Booms and Lending Standards,” published in the Journal of Finance, offered an explanation for the sequence of financial liberalization, lending booms and banking crises observed in many emerging markets.

He currently serves as the associate editor for Management Science and Quarterly Journal of Finance. He is also the co-editor for Journal of Financial Services Research.

Marina Niessner is the Judith C. and William G. Bollinger Visiting Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Prior to joining Wharton, she was a Vice President at AQR Capital Management, and prior to that an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Yale School of Management. 

​Her main academic research interests are behavioral finance, social media in financial markets, and FinTech. In her recent work, she applies methods from linguistic psychology to identify fake news articles on knowledge sharing platforms, and to examine their impact on financial markets. She is currently the associate editor for Annual Review of Fintech.

Nadya Malenko is an Associate Professor of Finance and the Faculty Director of the FinTech Initiative. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, she was an Associate Professor at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, where she received a distinguished teaching award.

Her research interests are in the areas of corporate finance, corporate governance, and private equity. She has examined shareholder voting, the design of corporate boards in public firms and VC-backed startups, shareholder activism, and organizational design.

She is currently an Associate Editor at the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, and Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and she serves on the board of directors of the Western Finance Association, European Finance Association, and Financial Management Association.

William N. Goetzmann is the Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management Studies and Faculty Director of the International Center for Finance at the Yale School of Management. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and has served as the president of the Western Finance Association and the European Finance Association.

Professor Goetzmann is an expert on a diverse range of investments.  His past work includes studies of stock market predictability, hedge funds, and survival biases in performance measurement.  His current research focuses on alternative investing, factor investing, behavioral finance and the art market. Professor Goetzmann has written and co-authored a number of books, including Modern Portfolio Theory and Investment Analysis (Wiley, 2014), The Origins of Value: The Financial Innovations that Created Modern Capital Markets (Oxford, 2005), The Great Mirror of Folly: Finance, Culture and the Crash of 1720 (Yale, 2013) and most recently, Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible (Princeton, 2016). 

Jennie Bai is a Professor of Finance at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. She is also a research associate in the asset pricing program at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Before joining Georgetown, she was an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She was also an Advisory Council Member at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System during 2017-2020 with the main responsibility of providing advice on the stress test and bank regulation.

Her research focuses on the credit market, in particular the debt pricing of corporate bonds, government bonds, and bank loans, and the investment behavior of institutional debt investors such as mutual funds and insurance companies. She also conducts research on banking, information economics, and ESG.

Currently, she serves as the Associate Editor of the Journal of Financial Economics, Management Science, Journal of Financial Intermediary, and Journal of Credit Risk.

The 2022-2023 seminar schedule is organized by Lily Li and Raisa Velthuis. Please contact either Lily or Raisa for more information.