Eugene F. Soltes

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Eugene Soltes is an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Professor Soltes has taught in both the MBA ("Financial Reporting and Control") and Executive Education ("Driving Corporate Performance") programs. He currently teaches in the Executive Education program "Program for Leadership Development."

Professor Soltes' research focuses on investor communications. He investigates how managers can effectively distribute news and information to investors. In recent research, Professor Soltes examined ways in which firms gain press coverage. He has also investigated the impact of private meetings with investors and the consequences of greater dissemination of firm news. This work has been featured in numerous industry publications including IR Magazine and IR Update, the monthly publication of the National Investor Relations Institute.

Professor Soltes received his Ph.D. and MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Prior to his graduate work, he earned a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in statistics at Harvard University.

Journal Articles

  1. Incorporating Field Data into Archival Research

    I explore the use of field data in conjunction with archival evidence by examining Iliev, Miller, and Roth's (2014) analysis of an amendment to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. This regulatory amendment allowed depositary banks to cross-list firms without the cooperation of foreign issuers. Iliev, Miller, and Roth (2014) argue that the regulation failed to fulfill its intended purpose and imposed significant costs on foreign firms for the benefit of depositary banks. Drawing on evidence from lawyers, issuers, depositary banks, and regulators involved in the design and implementation of the amendment, I describe a more optimistic assessment of the amendment and its effects on capital markets. I conclude by discussing opportunities for field data in financial reporting and disclosure research.

    Keywords: Data and Data Sets; Research; Financial Reporting;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene F. "Incorporating Field Data into Archival Research." Journal of Accounting Research 52, no. 2 (May 2014): 521–540.
  2. Private Interaction Between Firm Management and Sell-Side Analysts

    Although sell-side analysts often privately interact with managers of publicly traded firms, the private nature of this contact has historically obscured direction examination. By examining a set of proprietary records compiled by a large-cap NYSE traded firm, I offer insights into which analysts privately meet with management, when analysts privately interact with management, and why these interactions occur. I also compare private interaction to public interaction between analysts and managers on conference calls. The evidence suggests that private interaction with management is an important communication channel for analysts for reasons other than firm-specific forecasting news.

    Keywords: Interpersonal Communication;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene F. "Private Interaction Between Firm Management and Sell-Side Analysts." Journal of Accounting Research (forthcoming).
  3. Winners in the Spotlight: Media Coverage of Fund Holdings as a Driver of Flows

    We show that media coverage of mutual fund holdings affects how investors allocate money across funds. Controlling for fund performance, fund holdings with high past returns attract extra flows only if these stocks were recently featured in major newspapers. In contrast, holdings that were not covered in the media do not affect flows. We present evidence that media coverage tends to amplify investors' chasing of past returns rather than facilitate the processing of useful information in fund portfolios. Fund managers exploit this behavior by purchasing media-covered past winners at reporting dates, a strategy most prevalent among poorly performing funds. Our evidence suggests that media coverage can exacerbate investor biases and that it is the primary mechanism that makes window-dressing effective.

    Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Media; Investment Funds; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene F., David H. Solomon, and Denis Sosyura. "Winners in the Spotlight: Media Coverage of Fund Holdings as a Driver of Flows." Journal of Financial Economics (forthcoming).
  4. What Do Dividends Tell Us About Earnings Quality

    Over the past 30 years, there have been significant changes in the distribution of earnings (cross-sectional variation has increased, with increasing left skewness) as well as in corporate payout policy, with many fewer firms paying dividends and the emergence of stock repurchases. We investigate whether the informativeness of payout policy with respect to earnings quality changes over this period. We find that the reported earnings of dividend paying firms are more persistent than those of other firms, and that this relation is stable over time. We also find that dividend payers are less likely to report losses and those losses that they do report tend to be transitory losses driven by special items. Overall, the evidence shows that dividends are consistently informative with respect to earnings quality. These results do not hold as strongly for stock repurchases, consistent with repurchases representing less of a commitment.

    Keywords: Distribution; Business Earnings; Change; Policy; Stocks; Investment Return; Performance Consistency; Quality;

    Citation:

    Skinner, Douglas, and Eugene F. Soltes. "What Do Dividends Tell Us About Earnings Quality." Review of Accounting Studies 16, no. 1 (March 2011).

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Mara Group (B)

    Mara Group is a rapidly growing Pan-African conglomerate run by its entrepreneurial CEO Ashish Thakkar. The case explores Thakkar's decision on which African markets to expand operations into.

    Keywords: telecommunications manufacturing; Business Ventures; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Pulp and Paper Industry; Real Estate Industry; Shipping Industry; Telecommunications Industry; Africa;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene, and Sara Hess. "Mara Group (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 114-061, February 2014.
  2. Mara Group

    Mara Group is a rapidly growing Pan-African conglomerate run by its entrepreneurial CEO Ashish Thakkar. The case explores Thakkar's decision on which African markets to expand operations into.

    Keywords: telecommunications manufacturing; Business Ventures; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Pulp and Paper Industry; Real Estate Industry; Shipping Industry; Telecommunications Industry; Africa;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene, and Sara Hess. "Mara Group." Harvard Business School Case 114-060, February 2014. (Revised March 2014.)
  3. Monocle (TN)

    Keywords: media and publishing; monocle; tyler brule; Media; Journals and Magazines; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Publishing Industry;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene, and Sara Hess. "Monocle (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 113-064, February 2013.
  4. Monocle

    Monocle, a magazine on global affairs, culture, and business, was founded by Tyler Brûlé to counter a perceived deterioration in the quality of print publications available at the newsstand. Monocle differentiates itself from other publications through its diverse international coverage and related newspaper, radio, and shop offerings. The case investigates the growth of Monocle and how the publication has developed its unique relationship with readers and advertisers.

    Keywords: media and publishing; monocle; tyler brule; Media; Journals and Magazines; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Publishing Industry;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene, and Sara Hess. "Monocle." Harvard Business School Case 113-024, July 2012. (Revised May 2013.)
  5. Aman Resorts (Abridged)

    This case describes the operating model and philosophy of this high-end set of global properties. Aman relies on employees taking considerable initiative to deliver the highest quality personalized service in the hospitality industry. The case also highlights Aman's strategy and operations, which differ in many ways from industry standards. "Aman Resorts (Abridged)" is a slightly shorter version of "Aman Resorts," HBS No. 111-012.

    Keywords: global business; management skills; performance appraisals; customer service; incentives; hospitality; Globalized Firms and Management; Business Model; Employees; Service Delivery; Customer Focus and Relationships; Business Strategy; Accommodations Industry;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene, and Aldo Sesia. "Aman Resorts (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 112-100, June 2012.
  6. Aman Resorts and Aman Resorts (B) (TN)

    Teaching Note for 111-012 and 111-015.

    Keywords: Strategy; Operations; Employees; Quality; Accommodations Industry;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene. "Aman Resorts and Aman Resorts (B) (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 112-008, July 2011.
  7. Aman Resorts

    This case describes the operating model and philosophy of this high-end set of global properties. Aman relies on employees taking considerable initiative to deliver the highest quality personalized service in the hospitality industry. The case also highlights Aman's strategy and operations, which differ in many ways from industry standards.

    Keywords: Business Model; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Satisfaction; Globalized Firms and Management; Employees; Service Delivery; Business Strategy; Accommodations Industry;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene, and Aldo Sesia. "Aman Resorts." Harvard Business School Case 111-012, November 2010. (Revised April 2011.)
  8. Aman Resorts (B)

    The (B) case describes how employees are rewarded and compensated and is used to supplement the (A) case.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Satisfaction; Globalized Firms and Management; Compensation and Benefits; Employees; Performance Evaluation; Motivation and Incentives; Accommodations Industry;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene, and Aldo Sesia. "Aman Resorts (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 111-015, November 2010. (Revised April 2011.)
  9. A Letter from Prison

    Stephen Richards, the former global head of sales at Computer Associates, Inc. (CA), is serving a seven-year prison sentence for financial fraud. In the case, Richards responds to a number of questions about managerial responsibility and the manipulation of financial performance in a letter written to a graduate student.

    Keywords: Accounting; Crime and Corruption; Ethics; Corporate Accountability; Managerial Roles;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene F. "A Letter from Prison." Harvard Business School Case 110-045, December 2009. (Revised March 2011.)
  10. A Letter from Prison (TN)

    Teaching Note for [110045].

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene F. "A Letter from Prison (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 110-059, March 2010. (Revised January 2011.)
  11. Spans of Control and Accountability

    Overview of Spans of Control and Accountability.

    Keywords: Organizational Design;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene F. "Spans of Control and Accountability." Harvard Business School Background Note 111-066, November 2010.

Other Publications and Materials

  1. Managerial Control of Business Press Coverage

    The business press plays a significant role in distributing firm news to investors. We investigate the extent to which managers can influence their firm's level of coverage in newswires and newspapers. We consider three choices under managerial control: press release timing, press wire service, and ease of firm access. We find evidence that issuing press releases during the day instead of the evening increases the probability of coverage in both newspapers and newswires. Nonetheless, the largest determinants of coverage are firm and news specific factors which lie outside managerial control. We also examine how media incentives affect coverage choices. We find that newspapers, but not newswires, are more likely to cover negative news which suggests that papers cover particular business events for reasons other than informativeness.

    Keywords: Announcements; Governance Controls; News; Communication Strategy; Journalism and News Industry;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene F., and David H. Solomon. "Managerial Control of Business Press Coverage." October 2012.
  2. What Are We Meeting For? The Consequences of Private Meetings with Investors

    Executives of publicly-traded firms spend considerable time meeting privately with investors, despite regulation restricting their ability to convey material nonpublic information. Using a set of records of all one-on-one meetings between senior management and investors for a NYSE traded firm, we investigate which funds meet privately with management and the consequences of these interactions. We find that hedge funds, large block holders, geographically close investors, and investors with higher turnover meet more frequently with management. We also find that trades are more correlated among funds that meet with management and these trades better predict future performance. Overall, our results suggest that private meetings help some investors make more informed trading decisions.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Investment; Investment Funds; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Management Teams; Public Ownership; Business and Shareholder Relations;

    Citation:

    Soltes, Eugene F., and David H. Solomon. "What Are We Meeting For? The Consequences of Private Meetings with Investors." September 2012.