Benjamin Esty is the Roy and Elizabeth Simmons Professor of Business Administration. He served as Head of the Finance Unit (department) at Harvard Business School from 2009-2014. Before that, he was the founding faculty chairman of the General Management Program (GMP), a comprehensive leadership program designed to create outstanding business leaders. Professor Esty currently teaches the introductory finance course in the first year of the MBA program, but has taught a variety of elective courses including advanced corporate finance and project finance. The project finance course, called Large-Scale Investment (LSI), analyzed how firms structure, value, finance, and negotiate large capital investments. He also teaches in a variety of executive education programs and served as the faculty chairman for the Summer Venture in Management Program for 14 years (SVMP is a management training program for college students designed to promote educational diversity and opportunity--see the article describing the program). Professor Esty has received the Student Association Award for teaching excellence multiple times, the Charles M. Williams Award for contributions to student learning, the Apgar Award for teaching innovations, and the Greenhill Award for outstanding service to the school (twice). The more recent Greenhill Award recognized his leadership of the Conflicts of Interest Task Force, a committee responsible for writing policies governing the faculty's outside activities, and his service as the School's de facto co-Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) from 2011-14.
His current research focuses on corporate finance, project and infrastructure finance, and financial strategy. His articles have been published in a variety of academic and practitioner-oriented journals. In addition, he has written more than one hundred case studies, technical notes, and teaching notes on project finance, financial strategy, mergers and acquisitions, leadership, and valuation issues. Collectively, HBS Publishing has sold more than a million copies of his cases, and nine of them are currently or have been classified as HBS "bestsellers" (most popular designation). The case studies and notes on project finance are contained in a book entitled Modern Project Finance: A Casebook (Wiley). Formerly, he was an associate editor of the Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Journal of Money, Credit & Banking (JMCB), Emerging Markets Review (EMR), Financial Management (FM), Journal of Financial Services Research (JFSR), and Journal of Project Finance (JPF). He was also an editor of the on-line journal called Financial Educator: Courses, Cases, & Teaching Abstracts (part of the SSRN) which publicizes the newest ideas in teaching materials, approaches, and methods.
In addition to his academic research, Professor Esty has served as a consultant to and led training programs for investment banks, consulting firms, government agencies, and multi-national corporations on a broad range of investment, financing, valuation, and leadership issues. These activities have ocurred with firms or organizations on six different continents. In addition, he has served as an expert witness and consultant for litigation involving project finance, corporate finance, and complex valuation issues; was an independent trustee for the Eaton Vance family of mutual funds; and was a director of the Harvard University Employees Credit Union (HUECU). He currently serves as a director and the chairman of the Audit & Risk Committee for Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE: RJF), a diversified financial services holding company.
Professor Esty received his Ph.D. in Business Economics with a concentration in finance from Harvard University; his MBA with high distinction (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School; and his BA degree in Economics with honors and distinction from Stanford University.