Research with Impact: Access to Finance for Business Growth, Innovation and Working Capital

Credit Management Research Centre

Professor Nick Wilson has held a Chair in Credit Management and Finance at Leeds University Business School since 1998 and is the Director of the Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC). He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Credit Management (FICM). Nick’s 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; and credit risk modelling.

Research with Impact: Access to Finance for Business Growth, Innovation and Working Capital | Blog | Centres and institutes | University of Leeds

About the research:
“My research on the financing, ownership and governance of the UK corporate sector has  investigated small  firm access  to  financing, working  capital and trade debt management; growth finance and the role of private equity and the funding  of  high  technology  and  knowledge  intensive  ventures. 

The empirical  findings  have  been  published  in  high  quality  international academic  journals;  have  been  widely  covered  in  the  media  and international  press;  debated  in  the  commons  and  have  had  a direct  influence  on  government  policy,  particularly  recent  legislation (Summer Finance Bill, 2015) which you can read about here on this blog

I have been invited to contribute to a number of government expert groups and consultations including the Breedon Task Force, 2012; Better Payment Practice Group; Expert Working Group on Consumer Debt; National Audit Office and HMRC; and the Bank of England. 

Recent work for HM Treasury and HMRC investigated the nature and scale  of  the  ‘equity  gap’  for  high  technology  and  knowledge  intensive companies. The findings  directly  influenced  the  formulation  of  policy amendments  to  the  Enterprise  Investment  Scheme  and  Venture  Capital Trusts. An important aspect of this work was to gain ‘State Aid Approval’ from the European Commission for the proposed policy based on  evidencing  a  'market  failure’  in  the  provision  of  risk  finance  in  the UK. The EU granted approval in October.

Further work  on  private  equity  has  been  published  in  a  4*  journal  and  in reports published by  the British Venture Capital Association. Current work in association with the BVCA is investigating corporate growth in the North of England.

Empirical  work  on  board  diversity  was  cited  in  the  Davies  Report  (2011) “Women  on  Boards”  and  subsequent  recommendations. The  academic paper  was  widely  cited  in  the  international  press  and  Harvard  Business School Newsletters and we continue to work on the theme of diversity and economic performance.

It is very satisfying to produce research that can be shown to have an influence on government policy and/or industry practice. Researchers should be encouraged to think about ways in which they can achieve a wider dissemination of academic outputs in order to demonstrate fully the relevance of research at policy and practitioner levels. Hopefully these awards will go some way to accomplish this.”

You can view the presentation Professor Wilson made at the awards here.

Comment from the judges:
“Professor Wilson has many years’ experience working with government departments and task forces and it is clear that his research has a major impact on policy in an area that is particularly important to businesses. This recent work over the summer of 2015 was an exceptional feat of big data analysis that provided crucial findings to enable the European Commission to endorse a government policy which finally appeared in the Finance Act, 2015 – the approval was granted in an official document released by the EU in October 2015 which cites Professor Wilson’s work.”

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