Paul is a co-founder and Chairman of Ricardo Research. He is involved in the management and consulting activities of the business, while retaining an active role in the research undertaken at the PW Centre.

Paul’s career has spanned the private sector, academia and policy-orientated institutions. Starting working life in stockbroking, latterly as a partner in his firm, he then went on to study Economics at the University of York (UK) receiving a BA and D Phil. He was Esmée Fairbairn Lecturer in Finance at York 1970-76, also serving as Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Committee on the EEC 1975-76. He was at the International Monetary Fund in 1976-83, initially as an Economist and later as an Advisor and then head of the Division responsible for the Fund’s borrowing and investment activities.

Returning to the UK, Paul served four years on the board of merchant bank, Baring Brothers. In 1987 he co-founded and was Managing Director of GMO Woolley, the London affiliate of GMO, serving on the GMO board (1998-2003).

Paul returned to academic life in 2007, funding the Paul Woolley Centre for the Study of Capital Market Dysfunctionality at the LSE. He is a Senior Fellow at the LSE and a member of the Centre’s research team. He has co-authored a number of academic papers and books, and writes occasional policy op-eds.

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Stabilising and destabilising strategies

The social utility of an ever-expanding asset management industry is rarely discussed. In this note we distinguish between different strategy types on the basis of their impact on market stability. We argue that destabilising strategies impose a largely unrecognised negative externality on society.

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Defensive diversification

By treating diversification as an unmitigated good, investors by and large ignore the damage that it does to returns. We would do well to channel Buffett who once remarked that “diversification is protection against ignorance; it makes little sense if you know what you’re doing.” The outcome of an obsession with benchmark-relative performance together with principal-agent problems is “defensive diversification”.

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