Professor Morten Sørensen, Copenhagen Business School
This research uses a data set of over 2,600 executive assessments to study thirty individual characteristics of candidates for top executive positions – CEO, CFO, COO and others. Candidate characteristics can be classified by four primary factors: general ability, execution skills, charisma and strategic skills. CEO candidates tend to score higher on all four of these factors; CFO candidates score lower. Hired candidates score higher than all assessed candidates on interpersonal skills (for each job category) suggesting that such skills are important in the selection process. Scores on the four factors also predict future career progression. Non-CEO candidates who score higher on the four factors are subsequently more likely to become CEOs. The patterns are qualitatively similar for public, private equity and venture capital owned companies. The study does not find economically large differences in the four factors for men and women. Women, however, are ultimately less likely to become CEOs holding the four factors constant.
Morten Sørensen is a Professor of Finance at Copenhagen Business School, an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School, and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research. Morten Sørensen has previously been an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago, an Associate Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School, and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Morten Sørensen’s research is in the areas of entrepreneurial finance, venture capital, and private equity. His research is about understanding the behaviour, performance, and economic effects of venture capital and private equity both in individual transactions and in the broader economy. His studies have investigated the risks, returns, and illiquidity inherent in venture capital, private equity, and other alternative investments; the effects of private equity and venture capital investments on individual companies and for industries; and the role of management in venture capital and buyout deals. He has been awarded numerous research grants, including a Sapere Aude Forskningsleder grant and a Netspar grant, both exceeding one million dollars. His research has been presented worldwide at numerous universities and conferences. It has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Bloomberg, CNBC, and BusinessWeek. It has been published in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, and Management Science.
This seminar is organised in association with the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN).