Stuart C. Gilson

Steven R. Fenster Professor of Business Administration

Professor Stuart Gilson is the Steven R. Fenster Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and former chairman of the Finance Unit.  His research, teaching, and consulting focuses on the financial, business, and legal strategies that companies use to revitalize their business, improve performance, and create value when facing significant financial and operating challenges.  He is an expert on corporate restructuring, valuation, business bankruptcy, credit analysis, and financial strategy.

Professor Gilson’s research has been published by leading academic and practitioner journals and has been cited by the national news media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week, The Economist, and Bloomberg.  His work has received numerous honors, including the prestigious Graham and Dodd Award for his article on investment strategies used by hedge funds to acquire control of distressed companies. He has also written more than sixty HBS case studies that are used in business schools around the world.  His best-selling book,  Creating Value Through Corporate Restructuring: Case Studies in Bankruptcies, Buyouts, and Breakups (John-Wiley), is now in its second edition.

He is the recipient of the Charles M. Williams award in recognition of outstanding teaching in executive education at Harvard Business School.  He currently teaches in the Advanced Management Program (AMP) and various other executive programs including YPO/WPO and Finance For Senior Executives.  For twenty years he taught one of the most popular MBA courses at HBS, Creating Value Through Corporate Restructuring.

Professor Gilson consults for a variety of companies and organizations.  He is a director of Advanced Alloy Processing LLC, and served on the advisory boards of the Turnaround Management Association and several investment funds.  He provides expert testimony in corporate litigation, and is an academic affiliate of Cornerstone Research, a leading economic consulting firm.  He also teaches Finance in custom executive training programs that he designs for individual client companies.

  1. Winner of the 2012 Distinguished Paper Award from the Business Policy and Strategy Division of the Academy of Management for his paper with Emilie Feldman and Belén Villalonga, “Do Analysts Add Value When They Most Can? Evidence from Corporate Spinoffs” (Strategic Management Journal).

  2. Appointed Business Law Advisor to the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bankruptcy Association, 2008–2010.

  3. Nominated for the 1998 Smith Breeden Prize for best paper in the Journal of Finance for “Transactions Costs and Capital Structure Choice: Evidence from Financially Distressed Firms” (1997).

  4. Awarded the John M. Olin Visiting Professor Fellowship, University of Virginia Law School, 1997.

  5. Winner of the 1995 Graham and Dodd Award for Excellence in Financial Writing from the Financial Analysts Journal and the CFA Institute for "Investing in Distressed Situations: A Market Survey" (1995).

  6. Nominated for the 1994 Smith Breeden Prize for best paper in the Journal of Finance for "CEO Compensation in Financially Distressed Firms: An Empirical Analysis" (with M. R. Vetsuypens, 1993).

  7. Winner of the 1991 Outstanding Paper in Financial Management at the Financial Management Association Annual Meetings for "CEO Compensation in Financially Distressed Firms: An Empirical Analysis" (with M. R. Vetsuypens).