The Case Centre’s bestselling authors 2015/2016

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Bestselling author 2015/16

Erik StaffordErik Stafford
John A. Paulson Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School

The cases

Cases Ocean Carriers
Mary Linn, VP of finance for Ocean Carriers, a shipping company with offices in New York and Hong Kong, was evaluating a proposed lease of a ship for a three-year period. She had to decide whether Ocean Carriers should immediately commission a new capsize carrier that would be completed two years hence and could be leased to the customer.

Cost of Capital at Ameritrade
Ameritrade Holding Corp was planning large marketing and technology investments to improve the company's competitive position in deep-discount brokerage by taking advantage of emerging economies of scale. Joe Ricketts, Chairman and CEO of Ameritrade, needs an estimate of the project's cost of capital, but there is considerable disagreement as to the correct estimate.

Valuation of Airthread Connections
A senior associate in the business development group at American Cable Communications, one of the largest cable companies in the US, must prepare a preliminary valuation for acquiring AirThread Connections, a regional cellular provider. This case can be used as a capstone valuation exercise for first-year MBA students in an introductory finance course.

Meet Erik

BiographyErik joined the faculty at Harvard Business School in 1999. He teaches finance in the required and elective curricula of the MBA Programme and in the CFA Investment Management Workshop.

Erik's research focuses on investment management, capital markets, and the financial system. Two of his papers have won annual prizes for research excellence. ‘Managerial Decisions and Long-Term Stock Price Performance’, written with Mark Mitchell, won the Merton Miller Prize for the paper deemed most significant in the 2000 Journal of Business, and ‘Limited Arbitrage in Equity Markets’, written with Mark Mitchell and Todd Pulvino, won the Smith-Breeden Prize for outstanding paper in the Journal of Finance.

In addition to his work at Harvard, Erik has been an advisor to CNH Partners (affiliate of AQR). Erik has an undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Maryland and a PhD in Finance from the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business.
Key quote

"The case method can be highly effective for the educational goal of creating expertise in interpreting, understanding, and participating in business decisions. 'Experts not only have knowledge, but have organised the knowledge in meaningful ways that reflect deep understanding and are able to flexibly retrieve aspects of their knowledge with little effort.' (see How People Learn*, especially Chapter 2).

"A key feature of cases is that they ground lessons in reality. Real world decision settings and data help provide motivation, context, and discipline. I focus my case writing on relatively simple settings that illustrate core ideas, which can be deeply explored and understood."

~ Erik Stafford

*How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning, Bransford, John D., Ann L. Brown, and Rodney R. Cocking (editors), 1999, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council.


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