Karin Thorburn

Karin Thorburn
  • Adjunct Full Professor of Finance

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2300 Steinberg-Dietrich Hall
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: bankruptcy, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, ipos, takeovers

Links: CV, SSRN


Karin S. Thorburn is a Visiting Professor of Finance at the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Research Chair Professor of Finance at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). Prior to joining NHH in 2009, she was a faculty member at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College for 11 years. She is regularly a Visiting Professor and teaches MBA courses at top US business school, including Haas, Wharton, and Tuck. In 2015, she won the master students’ award for teaching excellence at NHH and became a member of Haas’ Club 6.

Thorburn’s research focuses on takeovers, bankruptcy, IPOs, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility. She regularly publishes in the top academic journals, including Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Corporate Finance, and Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

In 2016, Thorburn serves on a task force appointed by the Norwegian government to assess the equity portion of the $900 billion Government Pension Fund Global. She is a Research Associate of the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London, a Research Affiliate of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) in Brussels, a Director of the Executive Committee of the European Finance Association, and Director of the board of Maritime & Merchant Bank ASA and SEB Investment Management AB. She holds a PhD in financial economics from the Stockholm School of Economics.

Continue Reading


Thorburn’s research focuses on takeovers, bankruptcy, IPOs, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility.


Past Courses


    The course focuses on financial tools, techniques, and best practices used in buyouts (financial buyers) and acquisitions (strategic buyers). While it will touch upon various strategic, organizational, and general management issues, the main lens for studying these transactions will be a financial one. It will explore how different buyers approach the process of finding, evaluating, and analyzing opportunities in the corporate-control market; how they structure deals and how deal structure affects both value creation and value division; how they add value after transaction completion; and how they realize their ultimate objectives (such as enhanced market position or a profitable exit). The course is divided into two broad modules. The first module covers mergers and acquisitions, and the second one studies buyouts by private equity partnerships. During the spring semester this course cannot be taken pass/fail. FNCE 203 or FNCE 207 may be taken concurrently.


    The focus of this course is on buying (or acquiring controlling stakes in) firms. The main topics to be covered are mergers and friendly acquisitions, hostile takeovers and buyouts. Using case studies, the course surveys the drivers of success in the transactions. While issues regarding motive and strategy will be discussed, financial theory would be the main lens used to view these control acquiring transactions. This will allow students to (1) evaluate transactions through valuation approaches and (2) structure deals employing financial innovation as a response to legal framework and economic frictions. This course should be of interest to students interested in pursuing careers as private equity investors, advisors in investment banking and corporate managers that deal with these issues. This course assumes familiarity with valuation analysis. During the spring semester students are not permitted to take this course pass fail. In addition to prerequisites, FNCE 726 or 728 are recommended but not required.


Latest Research

Karin Thorburn, B. Espen Eckbo, Tanakorn Makaew (2017), Are stock-financed takeovers opportunistic?, Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming.
All Research