Kevin Kaiser

Kevin Kaiser
  • Adjunct Professor of Finance

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2342 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6367

Research Interests: Corporate finance, Managing for Value, Private Equity, Financial Distress

Overview

Kevin Kaiser, Adjunct Full Professor of Finance

Kevin Kaiser is Senior Director of the Alternative Investments Initiative and Adjunct Full Professor of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was Professor of Management Practice and on the finance faculty at INSEAD since 1992. Kevin holds a BA (Honours) in Economics from The University of Western Ontario and a PhD in Finance from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Kevin’s research has focused on private equity, corporate restructuring and financial distress, more recently oriented around corporate governance and management for value creation. In addition to his research in academic and practitioner journals and newspapers, he has co-authored two books, The Blue Line Imperative, with David Young, and Becoming a Top Manager, with Michael Pich and I.J. Schecter.

Kevin teaches extensively in executive and degree programmes. He joined Wharton in 2017 from INSEAD where he was an eight-time recipient of the MBA award for Best Teacher for Electives, a three-time recipient of the EMBA award for Best Teacher for Electives and in 2016 received INSEAD’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Executive Education. In 2013, Kevin was a finalist for the Economist Intelligence Unit’s world-wide Business Professor of the Year competition. He brings to the classroom his deep knowledge of academic theory together with his real-world experience working in the Corporate Finance and Strategy practice of McKinsey & Co. (1997-1999), and as a principal in bfinance.com, a venture capital-financed marketplace for business finance (1999-2002).

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Research

The Hazards of Growth, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Vol. 27, Issue 3, pp. 88-95, 2015 (with S. David Young).

Transitioning to General Management, The European Business Review, Number 20, 2015 (with Michael Pich and IJ Schecter)

Becoming a Top Manager, published by Jossey-Bass (Wiley), January 2015 (with Michael Pich and I.J. Schecter).

Managing for Value, 2.0, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Vol. 26, Issue 1, pp. 8-19, 2014 (with S. David Young).

The Blue Line Imperative: A Radical New Approach to Value-Based Leadership, The European Business Review, 2013 (with S. David Young)

The Blue Line Imperative, published by Jossey-Bass (Wiley), August 2013 (with S. David Young).

Value Creation in the Private Equity and Venture Capital Industry, INSEAD Working paper 2010-19, March 2010 (with Christian Westarp).

Why the Banks Must Die, INSEAD working paper, February 2010 (with S. David Young).

Need Cash? Look Inside Your Company, Harvard Business Review, May 2009 (with S. David Young).

The Value Creation Imperative, INSEAD Working Paper 2009-53, September 2009.

Blue Line Management: What Value Creation Really Means, INSEAD Working Paper 2009 2009-37, May 2009 (with S. David Young).

Reversing Corporate Diversification and the Use of the Proceeds from Asset Sales: The Case of Thorn EMI, Financial Management, Winter, 2001 (with Aris Stouraitis).

Agency Costs and Strategic Considerations behind Sell-offs: the UK Evidence, European Financial Management, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 319-349, September, 2001 (with Aris Stouraitis).

European Bankruptcy Laws: Implications for Firms Facing Financial Distress, Financial Management, Volume 25, Number 3, 1997.

Bankruptcy Laws in Industrialized Countries, Hacienda Pública Española, 1997.

Value Creation through Corporate Restructuring: European Divestitures, European Management Review, June 1995 (with Aris Stouraitis).

A Mixed-Integer Programming Study of Rental Space Acquisition and Allocation, Proceedings, 1993 Real Estate Educators Association Annual Conference (with C. Christopher Corpuz and Edwin S. Mills).

Low Income Housing in the 1980s, Research in Urban Economics, Vol. 8, 1990 with Edwin S. Mills)

Teaching

FNCE 891/391 Corporate Restructuring

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the issues regarding corporate restructuring and the financial management of distressed corporations. In any situation of financial distress, there are two imperatives requiring attention if parties aspire to restructure rather than liquidate: (1) dealing with the restructuring of the various claims on the organization and resolving who will receive what new claim, in replacement of existing claims, and (2) ensuring the newly restructured entity is able to successfully manage for value creation and be a viable firm post-restructuring. The interaction of these two imperatives, in particular, how alternative restructuring proposals impact the viability of the newly restructured firm, is key to a successful distressed restructuring.

FNCE 887/387 Shareholder Activism

Current Courses

  • FNCE791 - Corporate Restructuring

    This course will explore the highly active and sophisticated deal making environment that is the hallmark of modern distress corporate restructuring. The course is primarily comprised of two key components. The first is groundwork-laying lectures by three of the top practitioners in the restructuring field. In particular, the lectures will focus on fundamental rights and obligations of debtors, creditors, and other parties in interest in the various types of major chapter 11 cases, providing critical insight into understanding the motivations, strategies, and available tools for chapter 11 participants (which also serve as the foundation for out-of-court deals). The course also will provide a valuation framework for distressed assets. The second element of the course is a series of case study panels. The professors survey the market trends from the previous year bring together key participantsfrom recent deals, including the CEO or chairman of the company, the judge, the lead banker and lead lawyer, and the lead investors to give their insight and perspectives to the class. These panels will provide students real-world insights into the most current issues in the field. By Video application only. send a short 30 second to 1 minute video why you want to take this course. The video must go to Kyle.Ferrier@Kirkland.com by 8-1-19

    FNCE791751

Past Courses

  • ECON199 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

    Individual study and research under the direction of a member of the Economics Department faculty. At a minimum, the student must write a major paper summarizing, unifying, and interpreting the results of the study. This is a one semester, one c.u. course. Please see the department for permission.

  • FNCE291 - CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING

    This course will explore the highly active and sophisticated deal making environment that is the hallmark of modern distress corporate restructuring. The course is primarily comprised of two key components. The first is groundwork-laying lectures by three of the top practitioners in the restructuring field. In particular, the lectures will focus on fundamental rights and obligations of debtors, creditors, and other parties in interest in the various types of major chapter 11 cases, providing critical insight into understanding the motivations, strategies, and available tools for chapter 11 participants (which also serve as the foundation for out-of-court deals). The course also will provide a valuation framework for distressed assets. The second element of the course is a series of case study panels. The professors survey the market trends from the previous year bring together key participants from recent deals, including the CEO or chairman of the company, the judge, the lead banker and lead lawyer, and the lead investors to give their insight and perspectives to the class. These panels will provide students real-world insights into the most current issues in the field. Other Information: Application: send a short 30 second to 1 minute video to Kyle.Ferrier@Kirkland.com stating why you want to take this course. The deadline to submit the video is June 21, 2020.

  • FNCE311 - INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTING

    The world economy runs on the infrastructure which has been built over the past10,000 years. Each year, this infrastructure requires updating and new additions, from roads and bridges (the original infrastructure), to railroads, airports (the more recent infrastructure), to telecommications and solar and wind power installations (modern infrastructure). There is a vast amount of public (i.e., taxpayer money directed by government officials) and private (i.e., individuals' money typically managed on their behalf and directed by private equity or banks into infrastructure investments). In this course, we will cover Infrastucture Financing and investing from various angles. We will provide descriptions of types of infrastructure, examine the financing needs of infrastructure projects, consider the historic role of government and non-government funding, and assess the changing needs of consumers and role of technology and the increasing demands posed by a globalizing economy. As private equity firms continue to build infrastructure funds, the need for, and role for, private money continues to evolve, so we will also examine infrastructure investing as a alternative asset class from the investors' perspective. FNCE 203 or FNCE 207 are recommended but not required.

  • FNCE341 - DISTRESS INVEST VALUE CR

    This course familiarizes students with financial, strategic and legal issues associated with the restructuring of financially distressed firms and investment in distressed securities. The objective is to give students the concepts and tools necessary to assess the often-complex situation facing a firm facing financial distress. The course will cover the various options available for distressed firms, such as out-of-court workouts, exchange offers, prepackaged and pre-negotiated, bankruptcies, distressed asset sales, 363 auctions, and Chapter 11 reorganization. We will consider distressed debt as an asset class and develop techniques for investing in distressed securities. We will assess investment opportunities using the concepts of value investing, in which we distinguish the value of asset from price. Students will sharpen their conceptual knowledge of finance and valuation in order to properly estimate the value of a distressed firm, and its securities. We will also address the importance of value creation and how to manage for value creation to resolve distress, or avoid it in the first place. FNCE 203 or FNCE 207 are recommended but not required.

  • FNCE399 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

    Integrates the work of the various courses and familiarizes the student with the tools and techniques of research.

  • FNCE402 - SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM

    The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to shareholder activism. The course makes use of lectures and case studies. The lectures expose the students to the institutional and empirical facts as well as approaches followed by leading shareholder activists. The case studies are designed to provide students an experience on identifying potential opportunity for value creation through active engagement. Assignments require students to develop/practice skills on fundamental analysis.

  • FNCE728 - VALUATION

    The focus of this course is on the valuation of companies. The course covers current conceptual and theoretical valuation frameworks and translates those frameworks into practical approaches for valuing companies. The relevant accounting topics and the appropriate finance theory are integrated to show how to implement the valuation frameworks discussed on a step-by-step basis. The course teaches how to develop the required information for valuing companies from financial statements and other information sources in a real-world setting. Topics covered in depth include discounted cash flow techniques and price multiples. In addition, the course covers other valuation techniques such as leveraged buyout analysis. In addition to prerequisites, ACCT 742 is recommended but not required.

  • FNCE791 - CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING

    This course will explore the highly active and sophisticated deal making environment that is the hallmark of modern distress corporate restructuring. The course is primarily comprised of two key components. The first is groundwork-laying lectures by three of the top practitioners in the restructuring field. In particular, the lectures will focus on fundamental rights and obligations of debtors, creditors, and other parties in interest in the various types of major chapter 11 cases, providing critical insight into understanding the motivations, strategies, and available tools for chapter 11 participants (which also serve as the foundation for out-of-court deals). The course also will provide a valuation framework for distressed assets. The second element of the course is a series of case study panels. The professors survey the market trends from the previous year bring together key participantsfrom recent deals, including the CEO or chairman of the company, the judge, the lead banker and lead lawyer, and the lead investors to give their insight and perspectives to the class. These panels will provide students real-world insights into the most current issues in the field. By Video application only. send a short 30 second to 1 minute video why you want to take this course. The video must go to Kyle.Ferrier@Kirkland.com by 8-1-19

  • FNCE811 - ASP INFRASTRUCTURE INVES

    The world economy runs on the infrastructure which has been built over the past10,000 years. Each year, this infrastructure requires updating and new additions, from roads and bridges (the original infrastructure), to railroads, airports (the more recent infrastructure), to telecommications and solar and wind power installations (modern infrastructure). There is a vast amount of public (i.e., taxpayer money directed by government officials) and private (i.e., individuals' money typically managed on their behalf and directed by private equity or banks into infrastructure investments). In this course, we will cover Infrastucture Financing and investing from various angles. We will provide descriptions of types of infrastructure, examine the financing needs of infrastructure projects, consider the historic role of government and non-government funding, and assess the changing needs of consumers and role of technology and the increasing demands posed by a globalizing economy. As private equity firms continue to build infrastructure funds, the need for, and role for, private money continues to evolve, so we will also examine infrastructure investing as a alternative asset class from the investors' perspective. FNCE 728 is recommended but not required.

  • FNCE841 - ASP DISTRESSED INVESTING

    This course familiarizes students with financial, strategic and legal issues associated with the restructuring of financally distressed firms and investment in distressed securities. The objective is to give students the concepts and tools necessary to assess the often-complex situation facing a firm facing financial distress. The participants will gain a basic understanding of the various options available for distressed firms, such as out-of-court workouts, exchange offers, prepackaged and pre-negotiated, bankruptcies, distressed asset sales, 363 auctions, and Chapter 11 reorganization. We will explore the difference between economic and financial distress, and the implications for the restructuring process. Finally, we will consider distressed debt as an asset class and develop techniques for investing in distressed securities. We will approach the investment opportunities using the concepts of value investing, in which we sharply distinguish the value of an asset from its price (as Warren Buffet explains, "Price is what you pay, value is what you get") Students will sharpen their conceptual knowledge of finance and valuation in order to properly estimate the value of a distressed firm, and then supplement that with the complexities of valuing specific securities with the capital structure.

  • FNCE887 - ASP-SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM

    The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to shareholder activism. The course makes use of lectures and case studies. The lectures expose the students to the institutional and empirical facts as well as approaches followed by leading shareholder activists. The case studies are designed to provide students an experience on identifying potential opportunity for value creation thrugh active engagement. Assignments require students to develop/practice skills on fundamental analysis.

  • FNCE899 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

    Independent Study Projects require extensive independent work and a considerable amount of writing. ISP in Finance are intended to give students the opportunity to study a particular topic in Finance in greater depth than is covered in the curriculum. The application for ISP's should outline a plan of study that requires at least as much work as a typical course in the Finance Department that meets twice a week. Applications for FNCE 899 ISP's will not be accepted after the THIRD WEEK OF THE SEMESTER. ISP's must be supervised by a Standing Faculty member of the Finance Department.

Awards and Honors

INSEAD MBA: Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
INSEAD MBA Graduating Class: Award:
July 2004 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
July 2005 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
December 2005 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
July 2006 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
December 2006 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
July 2007 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
December 2008 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
July 2009 INSEAD Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Teaching
December 2010 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
INSEAD Global Executive MBA (GEMBA): Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
INSEAD GEMBA Graduating Class: Award:
December 2007 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
December 2011 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
December 2012 INSEAD – Outstanding Teacher of Elective Courses
INSEAD Executive Education (awards instituted 2013/14)
Year Award:
2013/14 INSEAD – Teaching Excellence in Executive Education
2013/14 INSEAD – Programme Direction Excellence in Executive Education
2014/15 INSEAD – Teaching Excellence in Executive Education
2014/15 INSEAD – Programme Direction Excellence in Executive Education
2015 INSEAD – Outstanding Contribution to Executive Education (Distinguished Service award)
2015/16 INSEAD – Teaching Excellence in Executive Education
2015/16 INSEAD – Programme Direction Excellence in Executive Education
Non-INSEAD Awards
Year Award:
2013   Finalist, Economist Intelligence Unit, Business Professor of the Year
“Kevin Kaiser uses his deep knowledge of management practice to deliver lectures that go far beyond basic textbook teaching. Yet he presents such complex ideas with engagement and panache.”
William Ridgers, Business Education Editor, The Economist

    Knowledge@Wharton

    Investing in ‘Rockstars’: How One Fund Is Building Businesses with Women of Color

    Wharton’s Katherine Klein speaks with Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne and Pialy Aditya, who are using their early-stage investment fund to boost tech startups owned by women of color.

    Knowledge @ Wharton - 2020/07/28
    Leading Diversity: Why Listening and Learning Come Before Strategy

    As part of a new series called “Leading Diversity at Work,” Wharton’s Stephanie Creary and global diversity expert Rohini Anand discuss what it takes to create an inclusive culture.

    Knowledge @ Wharton - 2020/07/28
    Taiwan’s Tech-savvy Citizens Helped Flatten Its COVID-19 Curve

    Taiwan’s government cannot take sole credit for flattening the curve during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. A case study by Wharton’s Steven O. Kimbrough and Christine Chou of National Dong Hwa University explains how citizens banded together to help.

    Knowledge @ Wharton - 2020/07/27