College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Almeida wins Brattle Award


Professor Heitor Almeida was awarded First Prize of the Brattle Award yesterday at the annual meeting of The American Finance Association in San Francisco. Almeida received the award with his co-author Thomas Philippon for their paper “The Risk-Adjusted Cost of Financial Distress,“ which appeared in the December 2007 issue of the Journal of Finance.

The authors argue that distress risk premia can help explain why firms appear to use debt conservatively. The authors also offer a way to adjust the valuation of financial distress costs to take such systematic risks into account. Their key insight is that the market information built into default risk premia should be considered by corporate managers and incorporated into applied capital structure models.

Each year, associate editors of the Journal of Finance, the flagship journal of the finance discipline, choose the most outstanding paper addressing corporate finance. A representative of the The Brattle Group, Inc. presents the award and $10,000 to the winning authors. Additional “Distinguished Paper Awards” may also be presented for other papers and come with $5,000 prizes.

The College of Business is very proud of Almeida’s significant achievement and the timely contribution it represents.

Heitor Almeida is currently an Associate Professor of Finance. He joined the ILLINOIS Department of Finance in 2007 after serving as an associate professor of finance at New York University in 2006 and an assistant professor of Finance at New York University from 2000 to 2006. He is a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and member of the American Finance Association, the American Economic Association, the Econometric Society, and the Western Finance Association. He serves as an ad hoc reviewer for the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Financial Intermediation, Journal of Banking and Finance, and Journal of Money Credit and Banking. He also reviews grants for the National Science Foundation and the Social Sciences. He teaches courses in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. His research interests include corporate finance, international finance, monetary economics and political economy.

Almeida earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 2000, an M.S. in economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in 1995, a B.A. in economics from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in 1991, and a B.A. in business administration from the College of Business and Administration, UNA-MG, in 1992.

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