Professor Merih Sevilir, PhD

Professor Merih Sevilir, PhD
Current Position

since 6/22

Head of the Department of Laws, Regulations and Factor Markets

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 6/22

Professor

European School of Management and Technology Berlin (ESMT)

Research Interests

  • finance
  • labour economics
  • corporate governance

Merih Sevilir joined the institute in June 2022. She is head of the Department of Laws, Regulations and Factor Markets at IWH and Professor of Finance at European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin.

Merih Sevilir studied at Bogazici University, University of Warwick, and INSEAD. She obtained her PhD degree in 2003 from INSEAD. Prior to joining IWH, she was Associate Professor of Finance at Indiana University.

Your contact

Professor Merih Sevilir, PhD
Professor Merih Sevilir, PhD
Leiter - Department Laws, Regulations and Factor Markets
Send Message +49 345 7753-808

Publications

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Access to Public Capital Markets and Employment Growth

Alexander Borisov Andrew Ellul Merih Sevilir

in: Journal of Financial Economics, No. 3, 2021

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of going public on firm-level employment. To establish a causal effect, we employ a novel data set of private firms to investigate employment growth in IPO firms relative to a group of firms that file for an IPO but subsequently withdraw their offering. We find that employment increases significantly after going public, and the increase is more pronounced in industries with requirements for highly skilled labor and greater dependence on external finance. Improved ability to undertake acquisitions and a strategic shift toward commercialization, rather than agency problems, explain employment growth. Overall, these results highlight the importance of going public for firms' employment policies.

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Activism and Empire Building

Nickolay Gantchev Merih Sevilir Anil Shivdasani

in: Journal of Financial Economics, No. 2, 2020

Abstract

Hedge fund activists target firms engaging in empire building and improve their future acquisition and divestiture strategy. Following intervention, activist targets make fewer acquisitions but obtain substantially higher returns by avoiding large and diversifying deals and refraining from acquisitions during merger waves. Activist targets also increase the pace of divestitures and achieve higher divestiture returns than matched non-targets. Activists curtail empire building through the removal of empire building chief executive officers (CEOs), compensation based incentives, and appointment of new board members. Our findings highlight an important channel through which activists improve efficiency and create shareholder value.

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Venture Capitalists on Boards of Mature Public Firms

Ugur Celikyurt Merih Sevilir Anil Shivdasani

in: Review of Financial Studies, No. 1, 2014

Abstract

Venture capitalists (VCs) often serve on the board of mature public firms long after their initial public offering (IPO), even for companies that were not VC-backed at the IPO. Board appointments of VC directors are followed by increases in research and development intensity, innovation output, and greater deal activity with other VC-backed firms. VC director appointments are associated with positive announcement returns and are followed by an improvement in operating performance. Firms experience higher announcement returns from acquisitions of VC-backed targets following the appointment of a VC director to the board. Hence, in addition to providing finance, monitoring and advice for small private firms, VCs play a significant role in mature public firms and have a broader influence in promoting innovation than has been established in the literature.

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