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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A model of imperfection

Mainstream finance theory offers an idealised view of how financial markets work and, as a result, fails to provide practitioners with a useful basis for decision-making. By studying the effects of delegation from asset owners to asset managers, we develop a more realistic and useful understanding of financial markets and point towards actions that would improve outcomes for savers and wider society.

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Misdiagnosing the crisis of capitalism

Much of the commentary on the crisis of capitalism ignores the role of institutional investors in creating the conditions in which corporate short-termism can thrive. We argue that a greater focus on long-run value creation in the capital markets – instigated by long-horizon asset owners – could help restore trust in the financial system and deliver meaningful benefits to society.

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