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New Ivey faculty: George Malikov

Jul 29, 2021

George Malikov

Ivey welcomes 12 new faculty members to campus! To help you get to know our new colleagues, we asked each of them a list of questions about their academic – and personal – interests.

Get to know: George Malikov

George Malikov joins Ivey as Assistant Professor of Finance where he will teach the HBA1 core finance course. His research interests include market microstructure, information economics, and asset management. Earlier this summer, he received his PhD in Finance from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. Prior to that, he spent more than six years in the asset management industry working at two hedge funds, Citadel and Millennium, as a fundamental equity investor, and about a year in financial litigation consulting at Charles River Associates. He also has  Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics and Economics from Harvey Mudd College, a small liberal arts school in Southern California, known for its STEM specialization. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing soccer, travelling, and spending time with family.

Q&A with George Malikov

What is the most important thing business executives can learn from your research/area of expertise?

Publicly traded firms broadly rely on the functionality of the financial markets for attracting investors, raising capital, and compensating employees. The recent acceleration in the amount of capital allocated by investors to passive funds, such as broad market index and exchange trade funds, has sparked concerns regarding the effects that this trend will have on market efficiency and the functionality of the markets. Many view this capital as “uninformed” and are worried about potential price distortions as market prices disconnect from firm fundamentals.

My research assuages some of these concerns. I demonstrate that the growth in passive investing may at least in part be driven by lower costs to the acquisition of fundamental information. This seems to be a reasonable assumption: after all, advancements in information technology, ranging from the development of the internet to the growth in computing power, have all led to wider accessibility of information generally at lower financial costs. With this as a driver, I highlight that the growth in passive investing is accompanied by greater market efficiency, implying that security prices are in fact becoming more reflective of future fundamentals. Therefore, passive investing need not distort market prices and detrimentally affect market efficiency. 

Where did you grow up and what was it like there?

I spent the first six years of my life in Moscow, Russia and would frequently return thereafter. Moscow is a beautiful and culturally-rich city, one that I highly recommend everyone visit in their lifetime. 

Who have been your strongest influences in life?

The most obvious personal influences would be my parents. Without their love and support, I wouldn’t be who I am and where I am today. On the professional side, much of my career path can be traced back to my undergraduate finance professor and adviser, Lisa Meulbroek, who sparked my interest in finance in particular and academia more generally. This interest ultimately led me to return to finance academia after many years in the industry. 

What led you to your career?

I always wanted to augment my mathematics background with a more applied subject in the social sciences, such as economics. To accomplish this during my undergraduate studies, I decided to pursue a second degree in economics at one of Harvey Mudd’s sister schools: Claremont McKenna. There, I connected with a finance professor, who gave me my first exposure to academic research in finance. Upon graduating, I considered immediately pursuing a PhD, but ultimately decided that industry experience may benefit my research agenda in the long term. After several years in asset management, I enrolled in the University of Michigan to pursue a PhD in finance and a career in academia. 

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I love to run, swim, and cycle, especially outdoors. I am also an avid soccer player and fan, and have supported Arsenal Football Club in the Premier League for more than 13 years (not fun!). Any type of travel excites me, and I very much look forward to exploring what Ontario has to offer. Last but not least, spending time with my family is perhaps my favourite pastime. 

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I took a gap year between jobs to backpack through South America by bus. I augmented the travel by Spanish immersion courses, which, in my view, is the most rewarding form of travel, as one can immediately apply the learned concepts in day-to-day interactions.

What is the most played song on your playlist as of now?

I primarily listen to music while exercising so my playlist is mostly motivational, and mostly ’80s/’90s (“golden age”) hip hop: Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, 2Pac, etc. For road trips, I am a big fan of Colombian salsa (a habit that I picked up while travelling by bus from Bogota to Medellin). 

What book would you recommend to others? On the personal side?

Some of my favourite novels are works of classic Russian literature, which I tend to recommend to my non-Russian friends. These include  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, and In the First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.  

On the business side?

I greatly enjoyed reading The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence during my undergrad. The book sparked my interest in thinking about the financial markets in a rigorous and mathematically-disciplined manner.  

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