How Enron and Parmalat Changed Stefano Rossi's LifeWHEN THE TWO FINANCIAL SCANDALS BROKE, THE NEW FULL PROFESSOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE WAS STUDYING IN LONDON AND THEY STRENGTHENED HIS WILL TO STUDY CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
Stefano Rossi was studying for a PhD in Finance at London Business School when the Enron and Parmalat scandals broke. “The idea that CEOs and board members always act in the best interest of shareholders and investors was proved wrong. Corporate scandals boosted my will to research on corporate governance”. This February Stefano, whose research interests span from Law and Finance to Sovereign Debt Crisis and International Finance, entered the Department of Finance at Bocconi University. This is a comeback: he graduated here in 1998.
“I don’t remember having had any other academic interest than corporate finance”, he says. “I discovered very early on that my beloved mathematics was far more than an abstract exercise. It was used to explain economic phenomena and therefore it had implications on people’s lives. That was a revelation”. After the mandatory military service, a Master in Economics at Bocconi and the PhD in London, Stefano taught at Stockholm School of Economics and Imperial College Business School. He then moved to the U.S. to teach at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
A passionate piano player and a voracious reader, Stefano admits he missed playing five-a-side-football during his five years’ tenure in American universities, “because football means something completely different in the US”. He has studied sovereign debt crises and the mechanisms that encourage governments not to announce default on their debt, “with results that were later corroborated by the Greek and European crisis”. More recently, he has dedicated himself to the study of quantitative trading. He was surprised by what he saw after fifteen years of absence from Bocconi. “I am impressed by the huge leap the university has made and by its future prospects. This is a great time to be at Bocconi University”.
by Claudio Todesco