Six years ago, Johan Cassel graduated from the Master’s program in Banking and Finance at SBS. Since then he has earned a PhD in Finance at Saïd Business School in Oxford, and secured a post-doc research position at Harvard Business School. Before moving to Boston, he is back at SBS Finance as a visiting researcher.

Johan Cassel
Johan Cassel

Johan, welcome back!

Thanks, I am delighted to be back at SBS! I have great memories from my time here, both as a student and as an “amanuens”, and I am extremely happy to see how well the department is doing!

What is your goal with the research project at Harvard?

I am a post-doc at HBS and part of the Private Capital Project, a research group studying companies that are not publicly listed on a stock exchange. In one of my projects we examine the ability of firms owned by ethnic minorities to attract capital to private capital funds. Minorities are underrepresented in most job roles in private capital firms and particularly among owners. The ability of minorities to raise private capital funds has implications for which entrepreneurs gets funded.

What makes this research interesting?

I find private equity a fascinating research field for several reasons. Private equity is a field of extremes, containing venture capital that finance innovative entrepreneurs and startups, and buyouts that acquire more mature companies and load them with debt. Whether one is interested in the effect of leverage or contracting theory and interactions between investors and entrepreneurs with ideas but scarce capital, private equity contains that research topic!