I am an Assistant Professor at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, focusing on empirical research at the intersection of accounting and financial economics. My research interests span two broad topics: (1) understanding how the firm-level and macroeconomic-level information environments interact, and (2) examining the economic consequences of institutional characteristics such as disclosure, regulation, and culture. I teach financial accounting and financial reporting analysis to accounting and finance students. Previously, I worked for ten years in investment banking in New York and London. Most recently, I was an Executive Director at UBS Investment Bank advising technology, software, and services companies on corporate finance strategy, capital raisings, and mergers and acquisitions. My clients included IBM, Xerox, Motorola, Infosys and BAE Systems, among others. I hold a PhD from London Business School (2015), an MSc with distinction in International Accounting and Finance from London School of Economics (1999), and an MBA from Lahore University of Management Sciences (1997). I have also held the professional designation of Chartered Financial Analyst since 2003.
Atif Ellahie CV. Atif Ellahie, PhD, CFA - Media Coverage and Research Mentions. Atif Ellahie, PhD, CFA - Contact Me Information. Atif Ellahie, PhD, CFA - Curriculum Vitae. Atif Ellahie, PhD, CFA - Teach Financial Accounting in MAcc. Summary At the David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, I teach financial accounting in the Master of Accounting (MAcc) Intensive summer program geared towards preparing students with non-accounting backgrounds to enroll in the MAcc degree program in the fall.
I have also taught financial reporting analysis to accounting, finance, and business administration students enrolled in the MAcc, Master of Finance, and MBA programs at the University of Utah. Previously, I conducted tutorials in financial accounting for the MBA and executive education programs at London Business School. By leveraging my industry experience I bring a ‘user’ perspective to my teaching in the classroom, which I strongly believe helps students to better understand how the quality of financial disclosures can be influenced by the incentives of the ‘preparer’ of financial disclosures and by the discretion allowed in applying accounting principles.
Useful Links Learn about the MAcc Intensive program at Utah. Atif Ellahie, PhD, CFA - Published Research and Working Papers. Show Me the Money!
Dividend Policy in Countries with Weak Institutions (with Zachary Kaplan). AbstractMinority shareholders in countries with weak institutions face greater agency conflicts related to the separation of ownership and control. To mitigate these agency conflicts, we hypothesize that firms will return more of current earnings to investors as dividends, leaving fewer resources to be depleted due to these conflicts. Specifically, we show that firms in weak institution countries (i) have higher speed of adjustment (SOA) to their target payout ratio, (ii) are more likely to disclose a dividend policy specifying a minimum payout ratio, and (iii) pay dividends earlier in their life-cycle. Tests examining earnings announcement returns are consistent with these differences in dividend policy affecting the pricing of earnings. Atif Ellahie, PhD, CFA - Assistant Professor University of Utah. Government purchases reloaded: Informational insufficiency and heterogeneity in fiscal VARs.
Do common inherited beliefs and values influence CEO pay? - ScienceDirect. Information Content of Mandated Bank Stress Test Disclosures by Atif Ellahie. Risky Value by Atif Ellahie, Michael Katz, Scott A. Richardson. Abstract We use an accounting-based approach to link two primary measures of ‘value’ to expected returns for countries: earnings-to-price (E/P) and book-to-price (B/P).
We document that when country-level earnings are less affected by accounting distortions related to conservative accounting for uncertain investments, E/P is close to a sufficient statistic for expected returns. Growth Matters: Disclosure and Risk Premium by Atif Ellahie, Rachel M. Hayes, Marlene Plumlee. Abstract A number of theoretical studies predict an unconditional negative association between firm risk premium and firm disclosure, where additional disclosure reduces estimation risk or information asymmetry.
Empirical studies based on these models frequently report mixed results. Dutta and Nezlobin (2017) propose a model where the effect of disclosure on risk premium differs based on the firm’s long-term growth rate relative to a threshold rate, which reflects the relative importance of short-term cash flows and long-term cash flows. When the long-term growth rate exceeds the threshold, greater disclosure increases the firm’s risk premium, rather than decreasing it. Motivated by the findings in their model, we estimate two long-term growth rate thresholds and reexamine the relation between risk premium and disclosure conditional on those thresholds.
Information Intermediaries in the Crypto-Tokens Market by Thomas Bourveau, Emmanuel T. De George, Atif Ellahie, Daniele Macciocchi. Abstract Using a global sample of 2,357 attempted initial coin offerings (ICOs), we examine whether ICO rating providers act as information intermediaries that may reduce information asymmetry and the associated adverse selection problem in the crypto-tokens market.
We find that issuer-supplied voluntary disclosures alone are not consistently associated with ICO success and post-ICO performance. In contrast, our analysis suggests that ICOs with higher ratings are more likely to succeed in raising funds, and list on a crypto-exchange. They are also more liquid and less likely to crash after the completion of the ICO. Show Me the Money! Dividend Policy in Countries with Weak Institutions by Atif Ellahie, Zachary Kaplan. Government purchases reloaded: Informational insufficiency and heterogeneity in fiscal VARs.
Redirecting. Management Forecasts of Volatility by Atif Ellahie, Xiaoxia Peng. Abstract Forecasting stock return volatility is important but inherently difficult.
We examine the predictive information content of the management forecasts of stock return volatility (i.e., expected volatility) that are disclosed in annual reports. We find that expected volatility predicts near-term and longer-term stock return volatility and earnings volatility incremental to implied volatility, historical volatility, firm characteristics, and alternative measures of uncertainty. We also find that expected volatility reflects managers’ private information about their firms’ future investment activities, such as mergers and acquisitions and R&D intensity.
Finally, we find that the predictive power of expected volatility is reduced when managers have stronger incentives to manage earnings. Firm Fundamentals and Sensitivity to Aggregate Earnings by Atif Ellahie. Abstract Prior studies on ‘cash flow’ beta primarily use return on equity as the basis for estimating systematic risk.
However, the way a conservative accounting system deals with uncertainty makes return on equity less suitable to use as the basis for estimating ‘earnings’ beta. I argue that since earnings are the primary firm payoffs at risk, changes in expectations of earnings are more suitable to estimate beta. Atif Ellahie : Contact Information. Atif Ellahie : Teaching.
At the David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, I teach financial accounting in the Master of Accounting (MAcc) Intensive summer program geared towards preparing students with non-accounting backgrounds to enroll in the MAcc degree program in the fall.
I have also taught financial reporting analysis to accounting, finance, and business administration students enrolled in the MAcc, Master of Finance, and MBA programs at the University of Utah. Previously, I conducted tutorials in financial accounting for the MBA and executive education programs at London Business School. By leveraging my industry experience I bring a 'user' perspective to my teaching in the classroom, which I strongly believe helps students to better understand how the quality of financial disclosures can be influenced by the incentives of the 'preparer' of financial disclosures and by the discretion allowed in applying accounting principles.
I have been recognized for my teaching through the Kenneth J. Atif Ellahie : Media Coverage & Research Mentions. The big picture: unifying the macro with the micro, Eccles Experience Magazine, Fall 2018. linkBittorrent's creator wants to build a better Bitcoin, WIRED, October 2018. linkBetter disclosures cut risk of crypto coin crashes, Reuters, August 2018. linkCrypto market raises $13 billion since 2014 amid zero regulation, London Business School, August 2018. linkThe role of disclosure in the unregulated crypto market, The Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog, July 2018. linkValue investing, UBS Academic Research Monitor, December, 2015. link.
Atif Ellahie : Published Research & Working Papers. Atif Ellahie, PhD, CFA. Show me the money Dividend policy in countries with weak institutions Atif Ellahie. Risky Value Research Papers Atif Ellahie. Management Forecasts of Volatility Atif Ellahie. Information Intermediaries in the Crypto Tokens Market Atif Ellahie. Information Content of Mandated Bank Stress Test Disclosures Atif Ellahie. Growth Matters Disclosure and Risk Premium Atif Ellahie. Firm Fundamentals and Sensitivity to Aggregate Earnings Atif Ellahie.