Randolph B. Cohen

MBA Class of 1975 Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurial Management

Randolph B. (Randy) Cohen is a Senior Lecturer in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School.

Cohen will teach FIN 1 and FIELD 3 at HBS this year; he will also be teaching Investment Management as a visitor at MIT Sloan School of Management.  He has previously held positions as Associate Professor at HBS and Visiting Associate Professor at MIT Sloan.

Randolph B. (Randy) Cohen is a Senior Lecturer in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School.

Cohen will teach FIN 1 and FIELD 3 at HBS this year; he will also be teaching Investment Management as a visitor at MIT Sloan School of Management.  He has previously held positions as Associate Professor at HBS and Visiting Associate Professor at MIT Sloan.

Cohen's main research focus is the interface between the actions of institutional investors and price levels in the stock market. Cohen has studied the differential reactions of institutions and individuals to news about firms and the economy, as well as the effect of institutional trading on stock prices. He also has researched the identification of top investment managers and the prediction of manager performance, as well as studying the market for municipal securities. 

In addition to his academic work, Cohen has helped to start and grow a number of investment management firms, and has served as a consultant to many others.

Cohen holds an AB in mathematics from Harvard College and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago.


Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Jefferson County (E): Postscript

    Daniel Bergstresser and Randolph B. Cohen

    Jefferson County, Alabama, faces an EPA mandate requiring sewer system upgrades. How will they finance the upgrades? What consequences will follow?

    Keywords: local government; political process; bankruptcy; Urban development; debt management; financial planning; Urban Development; Infrastructure; Borrowing and Debt; Government and Politics; Public Administration Industry; Alabama;

    Citation:

    Bergstresser, Daniel, and Randolph B. Cohen. "Jefferson County (E): Postscript." Harvard Business School Supplement 213-060, December 2012. (Revised January 2013.) View Details
  2. Jefferson County (D): February of 2008

    Daniel Bergstresser and Randolph B. Cohen

    Jefferson County, Alabama, faces an EPA mandate requiring sewer system upgrades. How will they finance the upgrades? What consequences will follow?

    Keywords: local government; political process; bankruptcy; Urban development; debt management; financial planning; Urban Development; Environmental Sustainability; Infrastructure; Government and Politics; Borrowing and Debt; Alabama;

    Citation:

    Bergstresser, Daniel, and Randolph B. Cohen. "Jefferson County (D): February of 2008." Harvard Business School Supplement 213-059, December 2012. View Details
  3. Jefferson County (C): Subsequent Issuance

    Daniel Bergstresser and Randolph B. Cohen

    Jefferson County, Alabama, faces an EPA mandate requiring sewer system upgrades. How will they finance the upgrades? What consequences will follow?

    Keywords: local government; political process; bankruptcy; Urban development; debt management; financial planning; Urban Development; Environmental Sustainability; Infrastructure; Government and Politics; Borrowing and Debt; Alabama;

    Citation:

    Bergstresser, Daniel, and Randolph B. Cohen. "Jefferson County (C): Subsequent Issuance." Harvard Business School Supplement 213-058, December 2012. View Details
  4. Jefferson County (B): Borrowing in March 1997

    Daniel Bergstresser and Randolph B. Cohen

    Jefferson County, Alabama faces an EPA mandate requiring sewer system upgrades. How will they finance the upgrades? What consequences will follow?

    Keywords: local government; political process; bankruptcy; Urban development; debt management; financial planning; Urban Development; Environmental Sustainability; Infrastructure; Government and Politics; Borrowing and Debt; Alabama;

    Citation:

    Bergstresser, Daniel, and Randolph B. Cohen. "Jefferson County (B): Borrowing in March 1997." Harvard Business School Supplement 213-057, December 2012. View Details
  5. Jefferson County (A): An EPA Mandate

    Daniel Bergstresser and Randolph B. Cohen

    Jefferson County, Alabama, faces an EPA mandate requiring sewer system upgrades. How will they finance the upgrades? What consequences will follow?

    Keywords: local government; Urban development; debt management; bankruptcy; political process; financial planning; Urban Development; Financing and Loans; Infrastructure; Government and Politics; Public Administration Industry; Alabama;

    Citation:

    Bergstresser, Daniel, and Randolph B. Cohen. "Jefferson County (A): An EPA Mandate ." Harvard Business School Case 213-056, December 2012. View Details
  6. AQR's DELTA Strategy (TN)

    Daniel Bergstresser, Lauren Cohen, Christopher Malloy, Randolph B. Cohen and Timothy Gray

    Citation:

    Bergstresser, Daniel, Lauren Cohen, Christopher Malloy, Randolph B. Cohen, and Timothy Gray. "AQR's DELTA Strategy (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 212-084, March 2012. (Revised February 2013.) View Details
  7. AQR's DELTA Strategy

    Daniel Bergstresser, Lauren Cohen, Randolph B. Cohen and Christopher Malloy

    In the summer of 2008, AQR Capital Management was considering the launch of a new hedge fund strategy. The proposed DELTA portfolio would offer investors exposure to a basket of nine major hedge fund strategies. The DELTA strategy would be innovative in two ways. First, in terms of its structure, AQR would implement these underlying strategies using a well-defined investment process, with the goal being to deliver exposure to a well-diversified portfolio of hedge fund strategies. Second, in terms of its fees, the new DELTA strategy would charge investors relatively lower fees: 1% management fees plus 10% of performance over a cash hurdle (or, alternatively, a management fee of 2% only). This fee structure was low relative to the industry, where 2% management fees plus 20% of performance, often with no hurdle, was standard.

    Keywords: Investment Portfolio; Investment Funds; Financial Strategy; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Bergstresser, Daniel, Lauren Cohen, Randolph B. Cohen, and Christopher Malloy. "AQR's DELTA Strategy." Harvard Business School Case 212-038, October 2011. (Revised March 2012.) View Details
  8. AQR's Momentum Funds (B)

    Daniel Baird Bergstresser, Lauren H. Cohen, Randolph B. Cohen and Christopher J. Malloy

    This is a (B) case for AQR's Momentum Funds. It follows the first year of performance of the funds after launching, and gives students a critical inflection point for analyzing the nascent stages of a new product launch and the potential path dependence of the product depending on initial returns. It allows students to wrestle with the way forward given these conditions, and how (if at all) it changes their views, pitch, and perspective on the strategy, and traditional long-short strategies more generally.

    Keywords: Change; Decision Choices and Conditions; Investment Funds; Product Launch; Product; Performance; Perspective; Strategy;

    Citation:

    Bergstresser, Daniel Baird, Lauren H. Cohen, Randolph B. Cohen, and Christopher J. Malloy. "AQR's Momentum Funds (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 211-075, April 2011. (Revised May 2011.) View Details
  9. AQR's Momentum Funds (A)

    Daniel Baird Bergstresser, Lauren H. Cohen, Randolph B. Cohen and Christopher J. Malloy

    AQR is a hedge fund based in Greenwich, Connecticut, that is considering offering a wholly new line of product to retail investors, namely the ability to invest in the price phenomenon known as momentum. There is a large body of empirical evidence supporting momentum across many different asset classes and countries. However, up until this point, momentum was a strategy employed nearly exclusively by hedge funds, and thus not an available investment strategy to most individual investors. This case highlights the difficulties in implementing this "mutual fund-itizing" of a hedge fund product, along with the challenges that the open-end and regulatory features that a mutual fund poses to many successful strategies implemented in other contexts. In addition, it gives students the ability to calculate and interpret various horizons of correlations between many popular investment strategies using long time-series data and then thinking about the potential complementarities of strategies from a portfolio construction context.

    Keywords: Financial Strategy; Investment Funds; Investment Portfolio; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Product Development; Financial Services Industry; Greenwich;

    Citation:

    Bergstresser, Daniel Baird, Lauren H. Cohen, Randolph B. Cohen, and Christopher J. Malloy. "AQR's Momentum Funds (A)." Harvard Business School Case 211-025, September 2010. (Revised March 2012.) View Details
  10. Dice-K: The Hundred (Plus) Million Dollar Man

    Describes the efforts made by the Boston Red Sox to sign superstar Japanese pitcher Daisuke (Dice-K) Matsuzaka within the context of the team's attempts to keep pace with longtime rival, the New York Yankees. In late 2006, Dice-K is viewed as the prize of the free agent pitching market. However, negotiations between the Red Sox and Dice-K's camp have broken down with the signing deadline less than 24 hours away (if Dice-K is not signed by the deadline, he must return to Japan for a year). How high should the Red Sox be willing to go with their offer? What are the alternatives if they fail to sign Dice-K? What kind of performance should they expect from Dice-K in the 2007 season? And finally, how does the signing fit into the greater strategic context of competing with the much-better funded Yankees?

    Keywords: Negotiation; Cash Flow; Forecasting and Prediction; Financial Strategy; Sports Industry;

    Citation:

    Cohen, Randolph B., Michael Barry, and F. Mark D'Annolfo. "Dice-K: The Hundred (Plus) Million Dollar Man." Harvard Business School Case 208-043, September 2007. View Details
  11. The Children's Investment Fund, 2005

    TCI, The Children's Investment Fund, is a London-based hedge fund. The firm donates a significant fraction of the fees it earns to a charitable foundation. In 2005, TCI took a large stake in Deutsche Borse, the stock exchange in Frankfurt. Its battle with management disrupted a proposed merger and caused the CEO to exit. Addresses a variety of issues in the investments business, including: How do stock pickers create value? What are the benefits of long-term vs. short-term orientation, buying vs. selling short, and a generalist vs. a specialist approach? What is the role of shareholder activism in corporate governance? Do the investment business and charitable giving mix?

    Keywords: Value Creation; Financial Markets; Investment Activism; Giving and Philanthropy; Financial Services Industry; London; Germany;

    Citation:

    Cohen, Randolph B., and Joshua B. Sandbulte. "The Children's Investment Fund, 2005." Harvard Business School Case 206-092, February 2006. (Revised October 2006.) View Details
  12. Protege Partners: The Capacity Challenge

    In February 2005, Jeffrey Tarrant (HBS '85) and Ted Seides (HBS '99) considered their strategy for Protege Partners, founded in July 2002 as a fund of hedge funds (FOHF) specializing in small hedge funds. Protege's assets under management had grown to $1.1 billion, and Protege's development almost exactly mirrored the founders' expectations from 2001. Although the founders saw benefits to growth, they remained committed to the integrity of managing a small fund and wanted to continue generating superior performance for their clients. Should they close the Protege FOHF to new investors and focus on managing the existing assets as they originally intended? Could they continue to increase assets under management without taking on more top-level professionals? Should they hire additional analytical staff to help them grow Protege? Should they leverage Protege's special relationships with seeded managers to create a multistrategy hedge fund? Perhaps most important, how would their valued clients react to change?

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Business Growth and Maturation; Investment Funds; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Cohen, Randolph B., and Brian DeLacey. "Protege Partners: The Capacity Challenge." Harvard Business School Case 205-100, April 2005. (Revised January 2006.) View Details
  13. Building Hedge Funds at Prospero Capital

    This case discusses the issues facing a relatively new and small equity hedge fund as it attempts to expand its investor base.

    Keywords: Expansion; Business Startups; Finance; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Chacko, George C., Randolph B. Cohen, Andrew J. Blackburn, and Mei Hu. "Building Hedge Funds at Prospero Capital." Harvard Business School Case 204-007, December 2003. (Revised December 2004.) View Details
  14. Risk Arbitrage: Abbott Labs and Alza (A)

    A hedge fund is trying to decide whether to capitalize on a seeming risk arbitrage opportunity that exists during the Abbott Labs acquisition of ALZA.

    Keywords: Risk and Uncertainty; Mergers and Acquisitions; Investment Funds;

    Citation:

    Chacko, George C., Randolph B. Cohen, Marc Chennault, and Andrew Kuhlman. "Risk Arbitrage: Abbott Labs and Alza (A)." Harvard Business School Case 203-003, March 2003. (Revised June 2003.) View Details
  15. Dimensional Fund Advisors, 2002

    Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) is an investment management firm that prides itself on basing its investment strategies on sound academic research. Many of the best-known finance research papers of the past two decades (especially those by Eugene Fama and Kenneth French, who work closely with DFA) have led to DFA investment strategies. DFA began as a small-stock fund, attempting to take advantage of the "size affect" (excess performance of small stocks) that had been discovered by a number of academic researchers. Later, DFA added "value" strategies to its mix of offerings. After academic research documented superior performance by value stocks in a multitude of countries, DFA began to create a variety of international value-stock and small-stock investment funds. The company was highly successful, despite missing out on the great 1990s growth-stock boom. DFA's assets under management grew from $8 billion to $40 billion between 1991 and 2002. With value stocks having performed well in the first two years of the new decade, DFA is experiencing continued growth of its investor base and is now seeking new areas in which it can add value for investors while continuing to claim to have no special "stock-picking" ability.

    Keywords: Knowledge Use and Leverage; Research; Success; Investment; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Cohen, Randolph B. "Dimensional Fund Advisors, 2002." Harvard Business School Case 203-026, September 2002. (Revised January 2003.) View Details
  16. A-Rod: Signing the Best Player in Baseball

    This case analyzes a large investment decision considered by the Texas Rangers in 2000: whether to spend $252 million for the services of shortstop Alex Rodriguez. The signing was probably the most controversial sports contract of the past decade.

    Keywords: Selection and Staffing; Investment; Sports; Brands and Branding; Sports Industry;

    Citation:

    Cohen, Randolph B., and Jason Wallace. "A-Rod: Signing the Best Player in Baseball." Harvard Business School Case 203-047, September 2002. (Revised January 2003.) View Details
  17. State of South Carolina, The

    This case presents the managerial dilemma faced by the treasurer of South Carolina in 1998. Until last year, the South Carolina state pension fund (with over $17 billion in assets) was barred by the state constitution from investing in equities. After the constitution was amended, the state government had to decide how much to invest in equities and what assets to choose. Using domestic and international data, the concepts of standard deviation, correlation, covariance, diversification, and risk are introduced. Additionally the case looks at the equity premium from a global setting. This case covers two days and will be used early in the Risk and Return module, just before the introduction of the CAPM.

    Keywords: Risk and Uncertainty; Capital Markets; Investment Return; Public Administration Industry; South Carolina;

    Citation:

    Cohen, Randolph B., and Mark L. Mitchell. "State of South Carolina, The." Harvard Business School Case 201-061, November 2000. (Revised May 2001.) View Details