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Raj Aggarwal is an author and contributor to the fields of finance and international business studies. Aggarwal was the dean of the University of Akron College of Business Administration from 2006 until 2009. He was elected as a fellow of the Academy of International Business. He has been a Fulbright research scholar. He has worked as an engineer, financial analyst, strategic planner, department chair, university budget planner and corporate board member. He has authored or co-authored over a dozen books or monographs and over a hundred scholarly articles that have cited over 5,000 times according to his profile in Google Scholar.
Aggarwal received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institutes of Technology in 1968. He then earned his MBA in operations management from Kent State University in 1970, then studied international economics at the University of Chicago from 1972 to 1973. He earned his doctorate in corporate finance and international business at Kent State in 1975. In 2000, he became a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder (CFA).
Aggarwal is the finance area editor for the Journal of International Business Studies and was an editor of Financial Education and Practice, a journal published by the Financial Management Association. He has served on editorial boards of scholarly journals in international business and many journals in finance and economics. In a 2005 issue of the Journal of International Business Studies, Aggarwal was ranked as the most influential scholar in international business literature.
He has held many elected and appointed leadership positions in academia and in business, including; president of the Eastern Finance Association and the Northeast Ohio Financial Executives International. He has been a consultant to the UN, the World Bank, the US SEC and Fortune 100 companies. He serves on business and non-profit boards including Manco Inc (Duck, LePage, and Loctite brands), Ancora Mutual Funds, Financial Management Association, the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, and the Financial Executive Research Foundation. The Eastern Finance Association elected Raj Aggarwal as their president, and he has been a trustee since 1999. In 2002, Aggarwal co-founded the CIO Forum, which is an invitation only best practices group of large company CIOs in Northeast Ohio with meetings limited to CIOs with no direct reports. Aggarwal has spoken numerous times on WCPN and NPR, including several interviews on NPR affiliate, WCPN concerning the financial crisis of 2007–2010. Additionally, he has been considered an authority on Northeast Ohio's business and financial markets. Finally, Raj Aggarwal’s academic leadership is reflected in Hoshino, M., “An Interview with Professor Raj Aggarwal, Department Editor for JIBS”, and his business leadership was reflected in, “The Super CFO: Changing Roles of the CFO”.
Since 2006, Aggarwal has served as the Frank C. Sullivan Professor of International Business and Finance of the University of Akron College of Business Administration and was dean for three years until he was removed following a recommendation from the university president to the board of trustees in March 2009. While Aggarwal was serving as dean, the College of Business Administration (CBA) received its first ever ranking of their business program in BusinessWeek, in 2009. Additionally, the CBA received a 'Best Graduate Business School' ranking from The Princeton Review.
The capital structure of a company is the proportion of its assets financed with other people’s money, also defined as the proportion of its capitalization financed by long-term debt. Too little debt often means foregoing the tax, monitoring, and other advantages of debt, a less expensive form of capital compared to equity. However, too much debt can expose a company to a higher than acceptable risk of default or not being able to pay its creditors (who can then sue to bankrupt the company). Trade-offs like these become more complicated when companies have operations and debt in many countries. Aggarwal has been writing about this topic for many years, and has demonstrated that average levels of debt used by companies differ in various countries in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Additionally, he has been able to show that this average proportion of corporate debt varies across national borders depending on a number of factors including the level of disclosure timeliness, institutional trading activities, and enforcement of anti-insider trading laws. Finally, Aggarwal showed that financing activities by the 300 largest banks in the world are determined first by the location (country) of the bank and second by the bank’s size itself.
Foreign financial risk management
Financial risk management takes a new meaning when applied to companies operating internationally with many currencies as currency values can change abruptly and unexpectedly. To combat the associated foreign exchange risks, companies have implemented many of the following tactics and strategies; First, multinational companies have to assess at the individual country and consolidated levels three kinds of foreign exchange exposure for various future time horizons, transactions exposure, accounting exposure, and economic exposure. Once a company has these measures, it can develop policies and hedge these various exposures directly by buying or selling offsetting currencies in spot and futures markets or indirectly by making appropriate offsetting operating changes. Additionally, his research focused on countertrade opportunities that allow MNCs to take money out of restricted countries. Aggarwal began writing about these topics when he discussed the importance of FASB 8 within the multinational corporation’s needs.
Third World multinational corporations
A recent development in the evolution of multinational corporations (MNCs) is that they have started originating in emerging markets. While traditional MNCs from the industrialized countries have used brand names and technology to overcome the liability of foreignness when they invest overseas, there is much interest in understanding how the new MNCs from the emerging economies overcome the liability of being foreign when they invest overseas. Research in this field is important and shows how large companies in emerging markets develop. Especially, how they overcome the liabilities incurred when investing overseas and this research has exposed specific dynamics of these entities. Beginning two decades ago, Aggarwal began writing and researching on this topic. His research began by determining the dynamics and characteristics of MNCs in developing nations. He has also modeled the business-government relations during the process of firm nationalization, which accompany the economic development of several nearly industrialized countries. He has also focused his research on the challenges that Western firms face because of the emergence of multinational corporations from developing countries.
- Raj AggarwalCitations scholar.google.com
- Journal of International Business Studies 2005, 36#4
- Speaking on NPR concerning the 2002 US Recession: http://www.wcpn.org/index.php/WCPN/news/14353
- Speaking about investment bank failures in NorthEast Ohio: http://www.wcpn.org/index.php/WCPN/news/14353
- Discussing Goodyear's layoffs during 2009 recession: http://www.10tv.com/live/content/onnnews/stories/2009/02/19/goodyear.html?sid=102
- Discussing the federal government's scrutiny of Cleveland's AmTrust Bank in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis: http://www.wcpn.org/index.php/WCPN/news/15460/
- Japanese Journal of Administrative Science 19 (No. 1, Dec. 2005): 45-51
- Washington CEO (January 2006), 55-61
- Mortland, Shannon (March 25, 2009). "University of Akron to seek new business school dean". Crain's Cleveland Business. Crain Communications.
- Aggarwal, Raj, Cynthia Harrington, Adam Kobor, and Pamela Peterson Drake, "Capital Structure and Leverage”, Chapter 4 in Michelle R. Clayman, Martin S. Fridson and George H. Troughton, (eds.) (Discussing risk factors and how leverage can prevent these risks).
- "Capital Structure Differences Among Large Asian Companies" ASEAN Economic Bulletin 7 (No. 1, July 1990): 39-53. (Demonstrates that industry and country are significant factors influencing the capital structure in Asia).
- http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3265/is_nSPEISS_v34/ai_n28649849/?tag=content;col1 (Size by itself or in conjunction with other variables is not a significant determinant of capital structure, both country and industry classifications seem to be significant determinants of capital structure. Furthermore, the country factor is even a more important determinant of capital structure among large industrials than is industry classification)
- http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=21797B72768B2D5F27C996898CB15EC5?contentType=Article&contentId=1648907 (both country and industry are significant determinants of capital structure in Latin America not only in bivariate tests but also in multivariate statistical tests)
- http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1317931 (transparency that reduces owner-creditor agency costs that helps creditors control business risks, such as disclosure timeliness, institutional trading activities, and enforcement of anti-insider trading laws, are associated with higher corporate debt levels. Among other transparency measures, levels of financial and governance disclosures are negatively associated with debt ratios and higher levels of audit intensity and accounting disclosures are positively associated with debt ratios. Further, transparency factors are more important for large firms and for firms in services and high technology.)
- https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/riibaf/v22y2008i3p409-439.html (Showing that MNC affiliates substitute external debt with parent debt using internal capital markets to overcome weak external financial markets and institutional environments)
- Aggarwal, Raj, "Variations in the Capital Ratios of the World's Largest Bank's." Management International Review 22 (No. 4, 1982): 45-54.
- Aggarwal, Raj, and L. Soenen, "Cash and Foreign Exchange Management: Theory and Corporate Practice in Three Countries." Journal of Business Finance and Accounting 16 (No. 5, Winter 1989): 599-619. (comparing the corporate practices in cash and foreign exchange management in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium).
- http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=EFA8D4FB63329F2C94F48279646551BF?contentType=Article&contentId=1649008 (contrary to conventional wisdom it may be rational to hedge translation exposure. Empirical evidence of agency costs and the managerial tendency to report higher levels of translated income, based on the early adoption of Financial Accounting Standard No. 52).
- Aggarwal, Raj, "The Translation Problem in International Accounting: Insights for Financial Management." Management International Review 15 (Nos. 2-3, 1975): 67-79. (Proposed accounting framework for evaluating and developing translation procedures for multinational corporations).
- Aggarwal, Raj, and A. Hosseini, "Evaluating Foreign Affiliates: Impact of Alternative Currency Translation Methods." International Journal of Accounting 19 (No. 1, Fall 1983): 63- 87. (Examines the impact of procedures used for the translation of foreign currency accounts on the management of multinational enterprises. Generally accepted accounting principles; Description of subsidiary types; Patterns of exchange rate movement; Absolute deviation of reported return on investment from internal rate of return).
- Aggarwal, Raj, and L. Soenen, "Managing Persistent Real Changes in Currency Values: The Role of Multinational Operating Strategies" Columbia Journal of World Business 24 (No. 3, Fall 1989): 60-67 (Hypothesizing that traditional hedging is not appropriate for MNCs, who need to protect against losses from long-term exchange rate fluctuations using their marketing, production and financial strategies).
- http://www.iijournals.com/doi/abs/10.3905/jpm.1997.409611 (Discusses the benefits for hedging in foreign currencies for MNCs).
- http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=645141 (In exchange rate fluctuations, the Closing Rate Method is preferred because the greater relative importance of foreign operations which are carried out in an independent way, vis-a-vis those which are mere extensions of the parent company's).
- Aggarwal, Raj, "Seeking Out Profitable Countertrade Opportunities: A Proactive Approach." Industrial Marketing Management 18 (No. 1, January 1989): 65-71. (with A. Reisman and D. C. Fuh). (The paper analyzes the demand and supply of countertraded goods, and defines and uses the Likelihood of Profitable Countertrade and the Market Synergy concepts, directing the trader to those industries that show the greatest benefit potential).
- Aggarwal, Raj, "FASB No. 8 and Reported Results of Multinational Operations: Hazards for Managers and Investors" Journal of Accounting Auditing and Finance 1 (No. 3, Spring 1978): 197-216. (The translation process and the effect of FASB No. 8 on reported financial statements, and spotlights operating and accounting changes—and attendant problems—induced in MNCs by its use).
- Aggarwal, Raj, "Emerging Third World Multinationals: A Case Study of the Foreign Operations of Singapore Firms." Contemporary Southeast Asia 7 (No. 3, December 1985): 193-208. (Case study on emerging multinationals in Singapore and the high percentage, almost 80% of those firms having foreign operations and these implications).
- Aggarwal, Raj; Weekly, James K. (1 January 1982). "Foreign Operations of Third World Multinationals: A Literature Review and Analysis of Indian Companies". The Journal of Developing Areas. 17 (1): 13–30. JSTOR 4191088.
- Aggarwal, Raj and Tamir Agmon, "The International Success of Developing Country Firms: Role of Government-Directed Comparative Advantage" Management International Review 30 (No. 2, 1990): 163-180.
- Aggarwal, Raj and J.K. Weekly, "Western Firms Face Challenge of Third World Multinationals." Modern Asia (October 1982): 51-52. (with J. K. Weekly). (How 1,000 new multinationals in the developing world are pressuring US and European trading giants)
- Aggarwal, Raj, "Third World Multinationals: A New Strategic Challenge for Western Multinationals," in Guth, William D. (ed.) Handbook of Business Strategy: 1985/1986 Yearbook (New York: Warren, Gorham & Lamont, 1985): 3-1 - 3-5.