Ajay Patel

Professor and Thomas S. Goho Chair in Finance, School of Business, Wake Forest University

Ajay joined Wake Forest University in 1993. He is Area Chair for the Accounting and Finance areas and Chair of the Tenured Faculty. While at Wake Forest, he has served as Associate Dean for Faculty and Alumni Affairs (2002 - 2004) and Interim Dean and Dean (2003 - 2008) of the Babcock Graduate School of Management. He served as the Director of the Center for Enterprise Research and Education between 2010 and 2015. He served as Faculty Director for Global Business Outreach between 2008 and 2014.

Ajay's research work has been widely published in scholarly journals such as The Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, The Journal of Business, Financial Management, The Journal of Banking and Finance and the Journal of Corporate Finance. He has also published in the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, an outlet targeted to practitioners. His research has won seven awards from academic associations and two from practitioner associations. His research has focused on executive compensation, analysts and conflicts of interest, cross-border M&A, and the impact of security offerings on valuation and firm performance. His current research focuses on the impact of formal (law), informal (culture) and behavioral factors on CEO compensation, liquidity management, the role of analysts in corporate financial decisions, and the value of access to management.

As Director of the Center for Enterprise Research and Education, he worked in Nicaragua with an interdisciplinary team of faculty studying the role of culture, gender, religion and community on the development of microenterprises into small and medium sized businesses in emerging economies.

As Faculty Director of Global Business Outreach between 2008 and 2014, he worked with graduate business students and faculty in providing training on business skills that are of importance in starting, managing and growing a business. They have trained business owners in Nicaragua, artisans in Benin and Hispanic business owners in Winston-Salem, NC.

During his tenure at the Babcock School, he has received the Educator of the Year Award thirteen times across all the MBA programs. He has also received the Kienzle Teaching Award, given by alumni to the faculty member who represents the highest standards of teaching excellence. He was also recognized as the Teacher of the Year three times by graduates of the MBA program at the University of Missouri prior to joining Wake Forest University.

Ajay has taught in executive education programs for American Express, BB&T Banking School, Duke Energy, Wachovia Banking Corporation, Stephens Inc. and Wells Fargo. He has also been widely cited by the media.

Ajay serves on the Board of Trustees of the Financial Management Association International (FMA). He has served, or currently serves, as a member of the Board of Directors, or Board of Advisors, for Amarr Garage Doors, Altadonics, Aegis Mechtronics, The Collaborative Design Group, the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Winston-Salem Business Inc., Winston-Salem Industrial Development Corporation, the Center for Design Innovation, and the Southern Finance Association. He served as the Secretary/Treasurer of FMA between 2002 and 2012. He has also served on the Campaign Cabinet for the United Way of Forsyth County.

Ajay has a PhD in Finance from the University of Georgia, and MBA from the University of Baltimore, and a B.Sc. in Chemistry, Botany and Zoology from St Joseph’s College in Bangalore, India.