Professor of Corporate Finance, University of Exeter

Alan Gregory is a Professor of Corporate Finance. Prior to taking up this position, he held professorial positions at both the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the University of Glasgow. In addition to his position at Exeter, he was a full panel member of the Competition Commission for two successive for year terms until September 2009 and is now External Advisor to the Commission‘s Finance and Regulation Group.

His consulting experience includes acting as advisor to one of the largest accounting firms on a number of issues, advising HM Treasury, and consulting for fund managers on investment strategies and asset allocation strategies. His work at the Competition Commission involved being a panel member on a number of inquiries, including a regulatory inquiry into airport pricing, market inquiries into domestic bulk liquid petroleum gas and the UK grocery market, and merger inquiries relating to the GUS / Littlewoods mail order operations and the takeover bids for the London Stock Exchange by Euronext and Deutsche Börse. In addition, he has acted as a consultant to other inquiries including the mobile phone and storecards inquiries. He has also undertaken expert witness work for the Treasury Solicitors’ Department, and in connection with Australian Gas Distribution pricing cases.

My current research interests are as follows:
The general area of market-based empirical research, particularly with regard to the robustness of conclusions that can be drawn from such studies in the light of documented risk factors. At present, this interest principally focuses upon the areas of take-overs and mergers together with returns to, and valuation of, corporate social responsibility agendae. Related work has focused on market reaction to directors’ trading activity, and the success of initial public offerings. A Leverhulme research grant of approximately £78k funding work on directors’ dealing around takeovers has recently been completed.

The empirical estimation of cost of capital, which has included the award of a an ESRC Grant of approximately £300k (started in December 2012). Outputs to date include a recent JBFA paper the empirical testing of the Fama-French and Carhart models in the UK, and a working paper to be presented to the BAFA Conference later in 2016 on beta estimation. Both these papers are with Dr Rajesh Tharyan and Dr Shan Hua, with whom I provide downloadable data on Fama-French style portfolios and factors for the UK and the ESRC grant is, inter alia, to to support the regular updating of these data for benefit of UK academic researchers via the Xfi website. I am lead researcher on the grant with three other co-reaserachers at Exeter.

My interest in CSR has included two studies of the performance of ethical and non-ethical UK unit trusts which were published in the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting (JBFA). Current work is investigating the returns to, and market valuation of, CSR in relation to the US and two papers have been published in Journal of Business Ethics on this theme. A final paper on eranings persistence and firm value is forthcoming in JBFA.
I have had a long standing interest in the long run returns to UK acquirers. This led to me being invited to give a keynote paper at the 2015 ICAEW “Better Markets” Conference. The paper, “How far does financial reporting allow us to judge whether M&A activity is successful?” is forthcoming in Accounting and Business Research.


  • –present
    Professor of Corporate Finance, University of Exeter