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Alexander Wagner
SFI Junior Chair
Associate Professor of Finance

Alexander Wagner is an Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Zurich. He joined SFI in 2006 and has held an SFI Junior Chair since 2012. He obtained his PhD in Political Economy from Harvard University. His research has been published in leading academic journals worldwide. Prof. Wagner is Chairman of Swipra, the independent Swiss proxy advisor, and an independent counsel for PwC. He is a regular speaker at conferences and panel debates both in Switzerland and abroad.


Listen to Prof. Alexander Wagner speak about his research:

Research Interests:
His main research interests are executive compensation, corporate governance, and behavioral economics.
Recent Research:
In one of his most recent coauthored studies, Professor Wagner shows that managers conducting earnings conference calls display distinctive styles in their choice of words. Some CEOs and CFOs are straight talkers. Others, by contrast, are vague talkers. Vague talkers routinely use words such as “approximately”, “probably”, or “maybe”. Analysts and the stock market are attentive to the style of managerial talk. They find earnings news less informative when managers are vague; they respond less and more slowly as a result. Overall, quantitative information and straightforward contextual information are complements. Large firms with vague managers receive lower valuations relative to their book value.