Young CBS researcher is offered position at Yale: “I am most excited about learning from some of the best scientists in the world”
Absorbing knowledge and learning something new is very important to 30-year-old Theis Ingerslev Jensen. As is his ambition to share his knowledge and have it transformed into solutions that could make a difference to society.
During the last five years, the young researcher of finance has studied company appraisements and examined the relationship between risks and returns, which is pivotal to, for example, Danish pension funds, who must invest our money as well and responsibly as possible.
Theis Ingerslev Jensen has only just handed in his PhD thesis, but his career is already up and running. Come summer, he will be moving to Connecticut, US, where he has been offered a position as assistant professor at Yale University.
“I am very happy and excited about it all. In terms of research, it will be much like my work at CBS, where the research carried out on financing and investing is also top rate. However, I think that teaching American MBA students who already have a job rather than bachelor students will be quite different,” says Theis Ingerslev Jensen.
A long process preceded this job offer. The young researcher had applied to 60 different universities and criss-crossed the globe to do interviews before finally landing an offer from Yale.
“When we help investors, we help society”
Theis Ingerslev Jensen’s research examines what actually happens in the financial markets. For his PhD, he decided to explore an underlying thesis in financial theory that assumes a linear correlation between returns and risks, i.e. the higher the risk for the investor, the higher the return must be in order to compensate the investor.
Many people believe that this type of research only benefits investors, but it is important to provide investors with tools to make sound investments
- Theis Ingerslev Jensen
“I examined whether it was actually true that the higher the risk, the higher your return, and it turns out that if we look back over the last 30 years, low-risk shares have yielded the same return as high-risk shares,” Theis Ingerslev Jensen explains.
Thus, his study refutes the common assumption that you will be compensated if you make high-risk investments on the stock market. Knowledge that will help society in general, he points out.
“Many people believe that this type of research only benefits investors, but it is important to provide investors with tools to make sound investments. Investors are important to society, because they make sure that capital is allocated to the most productive companies and they withdraw capital from the most unproductive companies, which increases the financial prerequisites for growth and innovation,” he explains.
Danish modesty and American ambitions
I think that a lot of researchers will recognise the fear of not being good enough, and that feeling will not decrease when you are heading for Yale
- Theis Ingerslev Jensen
When talking to Theis Ingerslev Jensen about his impressive achievement, he is not keen on blowing his own horn. Instead, he highlights his more experienced research colleagues at CBS, who have taught him a lot. However, while he is reluctant to brag, he is not shy about his ambitions.
“When I found out that I wanted to pursue a career in research, working at an elite university soon became my dream. You are, however, subject to ridiculous amounts of coincidences. Perhaps you are just not good enough, or maybe you are just unlucky.”
His modesty also shows when asked about his expectations regarding this new position.
“What I am most excited about is learning from some of the best researchers and getting their input on my research,” Theis Ingerslev Jensen explains. He also says that his greatest fear is falling flat on his face:
“Writing a PhD will quickly bring you right back down to earth, because you are surrounded by wise people, which humbles you in terms of your own abilities. I think that a lot of researchers will recognise the fear of not being good enough, and that feeling will not decrease when you are heading for Yale.”
He does, however, have plenty to shamelessly brag about.
Because it is in fact quite rare that a Danish PhD fellow lands a position at such a prestigious university. As emphasised by Lasse Heje Pedersen, Professor at the Department of Finance of CBS, who was Theis Ingerselv Jensen’s supervisor.
“It is quite exceptional that Theis is offered a position at Yale, which is one of the world’s top universities. Theis has been offered a position as assistant professor immediately following his PhD at CBS and will be working with many of the world’s leading financial researchers,” says Lasse Heje Pedersen, who does not shy away from praising Theis lavishly:
“Theis has landed this impressive position due to the incredible creativity he has shown throughout his research, his amazing ability to work with huge amounts of data in a way that provides us with exciting new insights, his great dedication, positive personality and clear communication. I have truly enjoyed being his supervisor, and I look forward to watching him develop in a new, fertile environment – and I hope that he will return inspired to CBS in a few years.”
Contact: Martine Mengers, journalist, CBS (email@example.com)