Head of Accounting and Finance Division
Professor of Credit Management
Director of the Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC)

+44 (0)113 34 34472
Academic, Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC), Accounting and Finance


BA (Hons), Nottingham
PhD, Nottingham



Professor Nicholas Wilson has held the Chair in Credit Risk and Finance at Leeds University Business School since 1998 and is Director of the Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC). He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Credit Management (FICM). Professor Wilson gained a BA honours degree in Industrial Economics from the University of Nottingham and completed a Phd at the same institution. He was appointed as a Research Fellow at the WissenschaftsZentrum Berlin (WZB Industrial Policy Unit) in 1980. Professor Wilson was appointed to a lectureship in Applied Economics at the University of Bradford in 1984 and was appointed to the first Chair in Credit Management in July 1993, establishing the Credit Management Research Group. In 1998 the ICM Chair and the Credit Management Research Centre moved to the University of Leeds with significant commercial sponsorship. CMRC enjoyed continual commercial sponsorship for 15 years. He has been Director of Research for the Accounting and Finance Division of the School and a member of the Schools Research Committee. He has received a number of large research grants from the ESRC, Government departments, commercial sponsors and other funding bodies. Most recently he has attracted funding in relation to new ‘Big data’ funding initiatives specializing in business data analytics and developed and launched new post graduate and undergraduate courses on credit and financial analytics. He has recently led the development of the Leeds Institute of Data Analytics, a cross faculty initiative on ‘Big data’. He is co-investigator on the Consumer Data Research Centre (ESRC, £5m grant). He was recipient of a Leeds University Research Impact Award in 2016 for outstanding contribution.

Professor Wilson’s work combines academic rigour with practical and policy relevance. His work as well as being published in leading academic journals has had considerable impact at the level of government policy and business practices. His work on entrepreneurial and growth finance (Venture Capital and Private Equity) and the nature and scale of ‘equity gaps’ has influenced government policy on tax advantaged venture capital schemes (Summer Budget 2015). He has published a number of reports with the British Venture Capital Association on the performance of private equity portfolio firms. Earlier work, with particular policy relevance, focussed on small firm financing; debt management in the corporate and government sector; corporate governance, board diversity and corporate performance; corporate and personal insolvency; credit scoring and credit risk modelling. His work on the build up of corporate and household debt and warnings around the consequent fragility of the UK economy was widely reported in the media prior to the financial crisis of 2008.

Professor Wilson sat on the Better Payment Practice Group (1997-2007). He provided analysis to BIS and Ministers on the impact of legislation (The Late payment of Commercial Debts Interest Act, 1998) and other interventions aimed at improving trade credit payment behaviour towards small firms. BIS commissioned him, to write a policy report: An Investigation into Payment Trends and Behaviour 1997-2007, published in 2008. Professor Wilson has acted as a consultant on issues of credit and debt management, credit scoring and modelling and policy for major organisations in the financial services, corporate sector and government. He has acted as a consultant for the National Audit Office, Office of Fair Trading, Department of Trade and Industry, The Stationery Office (Insolvency Forecasting) and UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) amongst others. He has competed a series of commissioned reports on debt management and collection in the government sector (e.g. HMRC, The Redundancy Payment Service and the Criminal Justice System). The work on the HMRC collections and recovery systems was reported in a series of NAO reports and recommendations. He has completed other consultancy projects on diverse subjects such as; advertising and competition policy (OFT); labour demand and training in the Museums sector; advertising on BBC radio (Peacock Inquiry). He produced a report for Business Environment and Regulatory Reform (now BIS) on an evaluation of late payment legislation in the UK. He was appointed to a Government ‘Expert Working Group’ on consumer credit information in 2008. A series of reports for the Welsh Assembly was produced in 2010-2013 on SME performance in Wales and on growth firms in Wales and the regions. He was a panel member for the Independent Commission on Banking’s public forum in Leeds, November 2010. He was on the Expert Economists sub-panel of the Breedon Task Force 2012 which was commissioned to “examine structural and behavioural barriers to the development of alternative debt markets in the UK” in advance of the 2012 Budget. His work on board composition and female directorships was cited in the recent Davies Report, ‘Women on Boards” (BIS, 2011) and reported in the international press. Joint work with Imperial College (Professor Mike Wright) on Private Equity and Venture Capital Investments has been published in leading academic journals and has been widely reported in the international business press (e.g. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Dow Jones, Thomson Reuters, Economist). His collaborative work with the financial services industry was recognised in 2007 by a national award for work on ‘Knowledge Transfer’ from the Economic and Social Research Council. He was awarded a University of Leeds certificate of Outstanding Achievement for “Academic Excellence in Enterprise and Knowledge Transfer” in 2006. He was listed in Credit Today Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the Credit Industry in 2008.

Professor Wilson has published widely in academic journals, government policy documents and the business press. He has published over 70 papers in leading academic journals in economics, finance, labour relations, marketing and business forecasting including: Economic Journal, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Corporate Finance, Small Business Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Journal of Market Research, International Business Review, Journal of Credit Risk, Business History, International Small Business Journal, Journal of Operations Research Society Managerial and Decision Economics. He has over 3500 citations as listed in Google Scholar and an H-Index of 30. His work is regularly referred to in government publications, the House of Commons (Hansard) and the International Press, TV and Radio. Professor Wilson has presented keynote speeches, papers and seminars at Credit Conferences across Europe, the US, South America, Australia and the Far East.

Professor Wilson has been active in raising research funds from the research councils and commercial sponsors. He has been awarded a number of ESRC grants and Knowledge Transfer Partnership awards. Recent awards include: ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre (c £5m coinvestigator); The Welsh Assembly (2010-13); Rake Fund, ISBE (2011); British Venture capital Associations (2011). The Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC) received over £900,000 in commercial sponsorship 1993-2008. CMRC has produced many industry reports including: the Credit Management Quarterly Review, The Atradius Export Survey, the Euler Hermes Survey of European Businesses, the CSA survey of Debt Management and Collection and a regular survey of SME’s in the UK. The Credit Management Research Centre have developed and maintained ‘www. PaymentScorer.com’ to monitor the payment behaviour of UK Plc’s until 2009.

In September 2001 Professor Wilson set up CreditScorer Ltd, a Leeds University spin-out company. CreditScorer Ltd was established with funding from the White Rose Innovation Fund (£250,000) and houses a credit reference database for the population of UK businesses. The company received a second round investment of £1,000,000 from the Bonnier Group in July 2003 and was acquired by Bisnode in 2007. The company has developed an on-line benchmarking and risk management service for businesses (CreditScorer.com; RiskScorer.com), the Utilities sector (UtilityScorer.com) and a debt pricing service for the debt sale and purchase market (Debtpricer.com). Professor Wilson has developed alogorithms that generate real time risk scores and default probabilities (PDs) for the population of UK Companies and Small Businesses and on-line portfolio management facilities. CreditScorer built commercial risk scores for the credit agency ICC Ltd (part of the Bisnode Group) and Basel II compliant risk management systems for major banks.

Professor Wilson’s early career was as an applied economist. His work at the WZB involved modelling multivariate times series and macroeconomic forecasting, modelling the impact of advertising at macro and micro levels, modelling labour demand and investigating the impact of internal organisation, participation and profit-sharing on the productivity performance of British and German companies. He was appointed senior Research Fellow at the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick in 1983 to work on an ESRC funded study of productivity performance in British and German Manufacturing with Professor John Cable. This work led to publications in international journals including the Economic Journal and Industrial and Labor Relations Review and collaboration with the London School of Economics, Centre for Economic Performance. Since taking up the Chair Management and Finance his academic work has focussed on corporate finance and corporate risk including studies of Private Equity and leveraged buyouts, bankruptcy prediction, board dynamics and gender, family business, trade credit, financial and working capital management, credit management practice, credit scoring and modelling, and new statistical and econometric methodologies for credit risk modelling. His work combines academic rigour with practitioner and policy relevance.

Professor Wilson has held visiting academic, lecturing and research positions at the University of Economics, Bratislava; Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics, The European University in Florence, The Dauer Institute, Sao Paulo, Brazil, The University of Mauritius and the China-EC Management Institute, Beijing, China. In 1989 he taught Decision Sciences in Beijing MBA programme. He is Visiting Professor at the National University of Economics, Bratislava. He has acted as external examiner for the University of Nottingham, University of Wales (Overseas Programmes in Cyprus and Spain), University of Huddersfield, University of Lancaster, Dublin Institute of Technology, the University of Mauritius and The University of Loughborough. He has examined over 20 Phd theses at UK and Overseas Universities. His teaching at Leeds covers: Credit Scoring; Credit Risk and Credit Management (Masters, Phd); Financial Econometrics (Masters, Phd); Research Methods (Phd) and Current Issues in Finance (Undergraduate). He has acted on Editorial Boards of a number of leading journals and edited Special Issues.


His current research includes: private equity portfolio company performance; venture capital, the equity gap, growth companies; family business; Corporate governance and board diversity; UK audit market and audit pricing and switching, trade credit: theory and empirical analysis; credit risk modeling, sovereign ratings, credit management practice; corporate distress and failure prediction modeling; small firm working capital management and relationships with the banks; applications of neural network simulation in credit and financial management, and business forecasting and market modeling techniques. His work has been published widely in academic journals covering economic, finance and business.



  • LUBS 2225 Credit and Financial Analytics
  • LUBS 5025 Financial Analysis and Modeling
  • LUBS 5036 Consumer and Corporate Credit

Other Subjects

  • Corporate Finance
  • Credit Management
  • Credit Risk Modeling and Scoring
  • Business Economics and Forecasting
  • Entrepreneurial Finance

2010 to 2017 (published or accepted)

Innovation, intermediation and the nature of entrepreneurship: A historical perspective, (with S Toms and M Wright).  Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Forthcoming (4*).

Polytomous Response Financial Distress Models: the role of Accounting, Market and Macroeconomic Variables (with P. Holmes and M. Tinoco), International Review of Financial Analysis (Forthcoming).

The Equity Gap and Knowledge-based Firms, (with M. Wright and M. Kacer), Journal of Corporate Finance, doi.org/10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2017.12.008 (Forthcoming), (4).

On the Persistence and Dynamics of Big 4 Real Audit Fees: Evidence from the UK (With D. Peel, M. Peel and M. Kacer), Journal of Business Finance and Accounting (Forthcoming) DOI: 10.1111/jbfa.12310.

Brexit, Private Equity and Management (with M. Wright, K. Amess, N. Bacon and J. Gillighan) British Journal of Management, Volume 27, Issue 4, Pages 682-686, 2016 DOI: 10.1111/1467-8551.12191, (4*).

The Importance of Family Firm Trusts in Family Firm Governance (with L. Scholes), Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Volume 38, Issue 6, November 2014, Pages: 1285–1293, 2014 DOI: 10.1111/etap.12124, (4*).

Gender diversity and educational attainment in limited companies: Evidence from Slovakia (with P. Ochotnicky, M. Kacer and M. Alexy), Acta Oeconomica (accepted).

The Evolution of Private Equity: Corporate Restructuring in the UK, c.1950-2010 (with S. Toms and M. Wright), Business History, Volume 57 Issue 5, Pages 736-768, 2015.

Sovereign Credit Rating and the New EU member States, (with M. Kacer and P. Ochotnicky), Journal of Credit Risk, Volume 10 Number 4, 2014.

Creation and Destruction’ in Transition Economies: SME Sector in Slovakia (with M. Kacer and P. Ochotnicky), International Small Business Journal, doi: 10.1177/0266242614555877, 2015.

The Effect of Internationalization on Modeling Credit Risk for SMEs: Evidence from UK Market (with J. Gupta), Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions & Money, Volume 31, July 2014 pages 397-413.

Effects of Alternative Investments on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Growth, Managerial and Decision Economics Special Issue (Editor, with D. Siegel, P. Klein and M. Wright), Vol 35 Issue 2 p67-72 2014.

Financial Restructuring and Recovery in Private Equity Buyouts: The UK Evidence (with M. Wright and R. Cressy), Venture Capital: An International Journal, Volume 6 Issue 2 Pages 109-129, 2014, DOI:10.1080/13691066.2013.863065.

The Value of Operating Cash Flow in Modelling Credit Risk for SME’s, (with J. Gupta, A. Gregoriou and J. Healy). Applied Financial Economics 2015, Volume 24, Number 9, Pages 649-660.

Improving the Bankruptcy Prediction in Micro-entities by using Non-linear Effects and Non-financial Variables (with A. Blanco), Czech Journal of Economics and Finance, Volume 65, Issue 2 Pages 144-166, 2015.

Buyouts Private Equity and Insolvency Risk (with M. Wright), Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, 2013 Vol 40. Issue 7-8 pp. 949-900. doi: 10.1111/jbfa.12042.

Private Equity Portfolio Company Performance During The Global Recession (with M. Wright, D. Siegel and L. Scholes) Journal of Corporate Finance, 2012, 18, 193-205, (4*).

Family Business Survival and the Role of Boards (with L. Scholes and M. Wright), Presented to ‘Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice’, Special Issue Conference, May 2012. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Volume 37 Issue 6 Pages 1369-1389, 2013, (4*), doi: 10.1111/etap.12071.

Company Failure Prediction with Limited Information: Newly Incorporated Companies, (with A. Altanlar), Journal of the Operations Research Society, Vol 65 pages 252-264 2013 doi:10.1057/jors.2013.31.

Financial Distress and Bankruptcy Prediction amongst Listed Companies using Accounting, Market and Macroeconomic Variables (with M. Hernandez), International Review of Financial Analysis, Vol 30. Pages 394-419, December 2013 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057521913000227
(Most downloaded paper in 2014, top 3 in 2013, 2015, top 10 in 2016 and 2017).

The Survival of Newly Incorporated Companies and the Impact of Director Characteristics (with A. Altanlar and M. Wright), International Journal of Small Business, 2014, Vol 32 No 7 pages 733-758  doi:10.1177/0266242613476317.

The value of non-financial information in small and medium-sized enterprise risk management (with E. Altman and G. Sabato), 2010, TheJournal of Credit Risk. Vol 6. No. 2.

Papers to 2007

Value Gains on Flotation and IPO Underpricing (with Paula Hill), Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Vol 33 Issue 9-10 pp1435-1459, 2006.

Employee Financial Participation and Productivity: An Empirical Reappraisal, (with A. Robinson), British Journal of Industrial Relations, 44(1), 31- 50, 2006, (4*).

Participation and Productivity: A Stochastic Frontier Approach (with A. Robinson), Economic and Industrial Democracy, Vol 27 No 4 pp 609-636, 2006.

The determinants of trade credit demand: survey evidence and empirical analysis (with S. Paul), Journal of Accounting, Business and Management, 2007 14: 96-116.

Trade Credit Supply: An Empirical Investigation of Company Level Data, (with S. Paul), Journal of Accounting, Business and Management, 2006 13.

The Separation of Ownership from Control and the Modelling of Directors Pay Decisions in UK SMEs: an empirical analysis (with R. Watson), Small Business Economics, Vol 24 pp 465-476, 2005.

Disequilibrium in the UK Corporate Loan Market (with C. V. Atanasova), Journal of Banking and Finance, Vol 28 Issue 3 pp 595-614, 2004.

Borrowing Constraints and the Demand for Trade Credit: Evidence from Panel Data (with C. V. Atanasova), Managerial and Decision Economics, Vol 24, Issue 6-7, 2003.

An Examination of the factors Associated with Bank Switching in the UK Small Firm Sector (with C. Howorth and M. J. Peel), Small Business Economics, Vol 20 No 4 pp 305-317 2003.

Trade Credit and Customer Relationships (with B. Summers), Managerial and Decision Economics, Vol 24, Issue 6-7, 2003.

Small Firm Finance: An Empirical Investigation of the Pecking Order Hypothesis (with R. Watson), Journal of Business Finance and Accounting,Vol 29, 2002.

Trade Credit Terms Offered by Small Firms: An Empirical Investigation (with B. Summers), Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Vol 29 N0 4, 2002.

An Empirical Investigation of Trade Credit Demand (with B. Summers), International Journal of the Economics of Business, 2002 Vol 9, No 2 pp 257-270.

Specific Human Capital and Partial Employee Ownership: A Transaction Cost Analysis", (with A. Robinson and H. Zhang), Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory and Labour-Managed Firms, 7, 211-226, 2002.

Corporate Failure Rates and the Impact of the 1986 Insolvency Act: An Econometric Analysis (with J. Lieu), Managerial Finance, 2002 Vol 28, No 6, pp 61-71.

Do Organisational Routines in Manufacturing Inform Contracting Choices Distribution. (N. Wilson and H. Zhang, 2002). Management Decision, 40(1/2), 50-57.

Trade Credit Management and the Decision to Use Factoring (with B. Summers) Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Vol 27 No 1 2000.

Late Payment and Credit Management in the Small Firm Sector:  Some Empirical Evidence (with M. J. Peel and C. Howorth) International Journal of Small Business, Vol 18 No 2 February 2000.

Predicting Corporate Failure and Payment Behaviour (with B. Summers and R. S. Hope) International Journal of the Economics of Business, Vol 7 No 3 2000 pp 333-346.

Late Payment and the Small Firm: An Examination of case studies (with C. Howorth) Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol 5 No 4 1999.

Trade Credit: A Strategic Tool? The Journal of Risk Finance, Vol 7 No 3 1999.

Using Neural Networks for Credit Risk Management (with B. Summers), Journal of Credit Management, Issue 1, pp 4-10, 1998.

The Perception and Effects of ‘Ownership’ in Employee Buy-Outs: Some Empirical Evidence (with A. Pendleton and M. Wright) British Journal of Industrial Relations, 1998, Vol 36 No 1 p99-123, (4*).

The Longer Term Effects of Management-Led Buy-Outs (with M. Wright and K. Robbie) Journal of Entrepreneurial and Small Business Finance, 1998, 5(1) p213-23.

Small Business Start-ups: Success Factors and Support Implications (with K. Watson and S. Hogarth-Scott), International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, Vol 4 No 3 1998 p217-238.

Profit-Sharing in OECD Countries: A Review and Some Evidence (with S. Estrin, V. Perotin and A. Robinson), Business Strategy Review, 1997  Vol 8, Issue 4, p27-32.

An Analysis of Management Buy-out Failures (with M. Wright, K. Robbie C. Ennew), Managerial and Decision Economics, Vol 17, pp57-70, 1996.

Working Capital and Capital Budgeting Practices in the Small Firm Sector (with M. J. Peel), International Small Business Journal, Vol 14 No 2, Issue 54, pp52-68 1996.

Employee Participation and Corporate Governance in Employee-Owned Firms (with A. Pendleton et al) Work, Employment and Society, Vol 10, No 2, pp205-226, 1996, (4*).

Do small businesses have to practice marketing to survive and grow (with S. Hogarth-Scott and K Watson), Marketing Intelligence and Planning, Vol 14 No 1, 1996 p5-17.

Neural Network Simulation and the Prediction of Corporate Outcomes: Some Empirical Findings (with K. S. Chong and M. J. Peel) International Journal of the Economics of Business, Vol 2, No 1, pp31-50, 1995.

The Impact of ESOPs on Employee Participation and Industrial Democracy (with A. Pendleton, A. Robinson, J. McDonald) Human Resource Management Journal, Vol 5, No 4 1995 p 44-6.

Does Employee Ownership Weaken Trade Unions? Recent Evidence from the UK Bus Industry (with A. Pendleton, A. Robinson and J. McDonald), Economic and Industrial Democracy,August 1995, Vol 16 pp 577-605.

Co-operative vs Private Firms: An Empirical Comparison of Cooperative and Private Small Firms in Britain, (with A. Robinson), International Business Review, 2(3), 281-296, 1994.

Forecasting International Tourism Flows Using Quarterly Data (with C. Witt and S. Witt) Annals of Tourism Research, 1994 Vol 21 No 3, (4*).

Restructuring and Failure in Buy-outs and Buy-ins (with M. Wright and K. Robbie) Business Strategy Review, summer 1994, Issue 2 Vol 5 pp 21-40.

Advertising, Barriers to Entry and Competition Policy (with C. Pass and B. Sturgess), Journal of Product and Brand Management, Vol 3 No 3 1994.

Emerging Forms of Organisation and Ownership in Europe (with H. Mirza), International Business Review, Vol 2 No 3, 1993 pp221-222.

The Impact on Absenteeism and Quits of Profit-Sharing and Other Forms of Employee Participation (with M. J. Peel), Industrial and Labor Relations Review, April 1991, Vol 44 No 3 (18 pages).

Unionisation, Wages and Productivity: Some UK Evidence (with J. R. Cable), Applied Economics, 1991, January 1991. Vol 23 pp 219-227.

Profit-Sharing and Productivity: Some Further Evidence (with J.R. Cable) Economic Journal, 1990, vol 100 No 399.pp 550-63), (4*).

Quit Rates, the Impact of Participation Profit-Sharing and Unionisation: Empirical Evidence from UK Engineering Firms (with J. R. Cable and M. J. Peel) British Journal of Industrial Relations, 1990 vol 28 No 2, July, pp 197-213, (4*).

The Impact of Profit-Sharing, Voice and Participation on Labour Absenteeism (with M. J. Peel), International Journal of Manpower, 1990 Vol 11 Number 7 pp 17-25.

Profit-Sharing and Productivity: An Analysis of UK Engineering Firms (with J. R. Cable) Economic Journal, 1989, vol 99 No 396.pp 366-76, (4*).

Some Evidence on Discriminating between Failing and Distressed Acquired Firms in the UK Corporate Sector (with M. J. Peel), Managerial and Decision Economics, 1989, Vol 10 No 3 pp 209-221.

Modelling the Effects of Advertising: Some Methodological Issues (with G. J Hooley), Journal of the Market Research Society, 1988, Vol 30, No 1.pp 45-58.

Modelling the Effects of Advertising: Further Methodological Issues (with G. J. Hooley), Journal of the Market Research Society, 1988, Vol 30, No 2.

Advertising Expenditure and Aggregate Consumption in Britain and West Germany: An Analysis of Causality. Managerial and Decision Economics, 1984 Vol 5, No 4. pp 290-306.

Forecasting Advertising Expenditure (with B. T. Sturgess), International Journal of Advertising, 1983, Vol 2. pp 301-316.

Worker Cooperatives and the Promotion of   Cooperative Development in Britain (with J. Coyne), Industrial Relations Journal, March 1981 pp 30-45.

Recent Working Papers

On the Persistence and Dynamics of Big 4 Real Audit Fees: Evidence from the UK (with D. Peel, M. Peel and M. Kacer)

The Impact of Financial and Product Market Innovation on the Nature of Entrepreneurship: A Historical Perspective (with S. Toms and M. Wright)

Audit Fees, Auditor Switching and Competition in the UK Auditor Market: An Analysis of UK Companies (1998-2012) (with M. Kacer) http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2596206

The Initial Discount for New Audit Engagements: Case of UK 1998-2012 (with M. Kacer)

Ethnic and Gender Diversity: An Exploratory Analysis of UK Directorships

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