Richard S. Ruback

Willard Prescott Smith Professor of Corporate Finance

Richard S. Ruback is the Willard Prescott Smith Professor of Corporate Finance at the Harvard Business School. He is currently focusing his research in applied corporate finance, especially on corporate-control transactions and valuation. His course development work parallels his research interests. He has taught a variety of corporate finance courses throughout his career.  Over the last few years, he and Royce Yudkoff have been developing and teaching a new second year case course titled “The Financial Management of Smaller Firms” and a field course called “Entrepreneurship through Acquisition”.  Recently, Ruback and Yudkoff published their book, HBR Guide to Buying a Small Business.  Published by Harvard Business Review Press, the book is a practical roadmap through the steps required to find, evaluate, negotiate and finance the acquisition of a smaller firm.

Ruback earned his Ph.D. in business administration at the University of Rochester in 1980 and taught at MIT's Sloan School before joining the HBS faculty as a visiting professor in 1987. He was appointed associate professor in 1988 and full professor in 1989. Ruback has served as an editor for the Journal of Financial Economics and is the author of numerous articles on corporate finance and valuation.

Ruback has served as a consultant to corporations on corporate finance issues and has acted as an independent advisor to outside directors. He also served as an expert witness on valuation and security issues.

  1. Corporate Control and Valuation

    by Richard S. Ruback

    Richard S. Ruback's research and course development focus on applied corporate finance-in particular, corporate control transactions and valuation. His research on corporate control has yielded case studies on major transactions, such as the RJR Nabisco leveraged buyout, and their consequences (examined in a three-case series on Southland Corporation, owner of the 7-Eleven convenience-store chain). It includes a study (with Paul Healy and Krishna G. Palepu) that examines the postmerger performance and determinants of the long-term financial success of large merged firms. Ruback's work on valuation has produced a series of cases that highlight effective valuation tools and the consequences of their use. It includes a study (with Steven Kaplan) of how cash flow forecasts are valued in capital markets.