US finance professor speaks at FIRN breakfast

7 Sep 2012

UQ Business School, in conjunction with the Financial Integrity Research Network (FIRN), recently hosted a breakfast to welcome Michelle Lowry, Professor of Finance from the Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University.

Professor Lowry is on sabbatical in Australia and visited UQ Business School to present her research and to meet with faculty in the Finance discipline.

The FIRN breakfast, which was attended by members of the Financial Economics Women initiative and select UQ Business School academics, included a discussion with Professor Lowry regarding her academic success, her editorial experiences and the importance of maintaining a work-life balance.

Professor Lowry, who also serves on the board of several leading financial journals, discussed the various demands she faces as an academic, a researcher and as a mother to three pre-teen daughters. She spoke to the value of ‘time management’ and how flexibility can be both a blessing and a burden.

Professor Lowry said: “Everybody has their own set of personal interests; time-demands that make it very easy to find things to do other than work. I feel that it is very important to concentrate on work when you’re at work, and then distance yourself from work-related matters when you’re away from the office… though with email this is sometimes easier said than done.”

Following the breakfast session Professor Lowry delivered a seminar entitled, ‘Cash holdings in newly public firms’, where she discussed the levels of cash held by newly public firms in comparison to mature firms and their level of stability following an Initial Public Offering.

Professor Lowry said: “While IPO firms have significantly higher cash holdings than mature firms for at least five years after the IPO, we find no evidence that these high cash holdings are value depleting. In fact, our results suggest exactly the opposite.”

Karen Benson, Associate Professor of Finance at UQ Business School and the FIRN Governing Council Chair, said: “Michelle’s visit is part of our ongoing seminar program featuring a number of international visitors. She provided an excellent presentation and spent time with staff and students discussing existing and future research projects.”

Professor Michelle Lowry’s area of research is empirical corporate finance, primarily centred on the pricing and timing of IPOs, the corporate governance of young companies, and the effects of securities litigation on corporate financing decisions. She has published several articles in these fields in the Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies and the Journal of Finance.

To access a copy of Professor Michelle Lowry’s paper, ‘Cash Holdings and the Effects of Pre-IPO Financing in Newly Public Firms,’ please click here.