Raghavendra Rau

Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance

Founder and Academic Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) 

MBA (IIM Bangalore), MSc, PhD (INSEAD)

My research interests include how investors and firms acquire and use information. I’m a past president of the European Finance Association and was previously Principal at Barclays Global Investors, then the largest asset manager in the world, in San Francisco. I’m an Associate Editor of the Journal of Corporate Finance, among others. 

I’m a member of the Finance subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School, which focuses on the investment and financial decisions of firms and institutions.

Professional experience

Professor Rau was Principal at Barclays Global Investors, then the largest asset manager in the world, in San Francisco from 2008-2009. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Corporate Finance, the Journal of Banking and Finance, Financial Review, the Quarterly Journal of Finance, among others. His research has frequently been covered by the popular press including the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economist, among others. Professor Rau was Vice-President of the Financial Management Association in 2023. In 2014 he was President of the European Finance Association in 2014, as well as Vice-President in 2013. He is a member of the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN).

Previous appointments

Professor Rau has taught at a number of universities around the world, including the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences PO), Université Paris-Dauphine, Purdue University, the University of California at Los Angeles and most recently, the University of California at Berkeley.


Selected publications

Many of Professor Rau’s papers are available via the Social Science Research Network.

Journal articles

Awards and honours

  • Cambridge Judge Business School Teaching Award, 2022
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Indian Institute of Management, 2022
  • FMA Competitive Paper in Corporate Finance Award for the paper “Do compensation consultants enable higher CEO pay? New evidence from recent disclosure rule changes”, 2015
  • Ig Nobel Prize in Management for the paper “What doesn’t kill you will only make you more risk-loving: early life disasters and CEO behavior”, 2015
  • International Finance & Banking Society best paper in conference award for the paper “What doesn’t kill you will only make you more risk-loving: early life disasters and CEO behavior”, 2015
  • Keynes Senior Fellowship, 2014
  • Club 7 Member, Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley (for teaching excellence, based on student evaluations), 2009, 2010, 2018
  • The Chinese Finance Association Best Paper in Corporate Finance Award, 2008
  • Runner-Up, Salgo-Noren Teaching Award for Outstanding MBA Teacher of the Year, Purdue University, 2007
  • Dean’s Outstanding MBA Core Course Teaching Award, Purdue University, 2005, 2007
  • Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance (Q Group) Award, 2003
  • Chicago Quantitative Alliance Award, 2002
  • School of Management Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, Purdue University, 2001
  • John and Mary Willis Young Faculty Scholar Award, 2001
  • EFA Barclays Global Investor Award, 2000
  • Krannert Faculty Fellow Award, 1999
  • FMA “Best of the Best” Award, 1996
  • FMA Competitive Award for Business Finance, 1996
  • Indian Institute of Management Merit Scholarship, 1988
  • Delhi University Merit Scholarship, 1987
  • National Talent Merit Scholar, India, 1982

News and insights

Crowds of people in a futuristic city.

Solving the puzzle of why the markets don’t anticipate and punish serial acquirers: new study classifies acquirers as loners, sprinters, occasional acquirers and marathoners to help predict future activity.

CEO discussion.

Leadership and organisational behaviour

CEOs: the risks they take may be influenced before birth

A just-completed study entitled “Hazed and Confused” finds a clear effect decades later on CEOs who had prenatal exposure to toxic U.S. “Superfund” sites as designated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which are typically the most hazardous contaminated sites in the U.S. such as landfills, mining sites and manufacturing plants, with EPA documents showing that most of them were actively polluted for decades over the 20th Century.

Room with bookshelves full of reading materials and a comfy armchair to read in.

Three Cambridge Judge faculty – Lucio Sarno, Raghavenda Rau and Elroy Dimson – are cited in study as among the most prolific authors of papers in top finance journals.

Media coverage

FS Tech | 4 April 2023

The end for Britain’s illegal crypto ATMs?

Raghavendra Rau, Sinyi Professor of Chinese Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, is featured in this article about crypto ATMs.

Toutiao | 11 June 2022

Beijing-collar guests – Tenured Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Cambridge interprets education and financial innovation

Raghavendra Rau, Professor of Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, delivered a speech at the Jingling Nobel Prize Innovation Forum and International School Award Ceremony, providing an in-depth interpretation of innovation in the field of education and finance.

Vice | 2 June 2022

The pivot to Web3 is going to get people hurt

Raghavendra (Raghu) Rau, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, is mentioned in this article about Web3.

Investor’s Chronicle, 10 March 2022
Ideas Farm – When a gap is a chasm

Executive Courses, 25 February 2022
Executive education courses in Fintech

Phys.org, 7 February 2022
Understanding what determines the benefits of bribery

The Guardian, 5 February 2022
Battle lines drawn over the future of UK’s biggest pension fund

Financial Times, 14 November 2021
UK university pensions suffer from misplaced prudence

Business Weekly, 22 October 2021
Cambridge Judge Business School finds hope for change in gender bias study

LexBlog, 12 October 2021
Do investors pay less attention to women fund managers?

Investors’ Chronicle, 13 May 2021
Trapped by our past

BBC News Indonesia, 15 March 2021
Stories of successful artists becoming billionaires by selling digital works through crypto art

The Washington Post, 6 February 2021
Bumble gave women more power in dating. Now the app is giving women power in the boardroom

Cong Luan, 15 September 2020
The latest research on the “night go” of multinational corporations

The Economist, 28 August 2020
Bribery pays – if you don’t get caught

The Times, 10 June 2020
An award-winning study of ‘time’

Cambridge Business Magazine, 1 January 2015
£23bn vanishes from economy as bosses put spending on hold

S&P Global, 31 March 2020
Fintechs, challengers keen to help distribute UK government’s coronavirus loans

S&P Global, 8 January 2020
European P2P lending prone to mispricing and inefficiencies, new study claims

Wired, 26 December 2019
Everything and nothing is a tech company now

Portfolio Adviser, 13 August 2019
Asking fund managers sensitive questions about their childhood

Investment Europe, 7 August 2019
‘Tell me about your childhood’ may become required RFP question

The Irish Times, 23 July 2019
A fund manager’s childhood can tell a lot about their attitude to risk

Institutional Investor, 20 May 2019
Broken homes produce more cautious fund managers

Bloomberg, 18 June 2018
The stockpop from a crypto rebrand doesn’t last

Business Because, 15 January 2018
From blockchain to bitcoin, the cryptocurrency craze is gripping business schools

CNBC, 5 January 2018
Five predictions for digital currencies in 2018