Professor Nicholas Wilson

Professor Nicholas Wilson


I am Professor of Credit and Finance and Director of the Credit Management Research Centre. My academic work focuses on credit analytics and forecasting, corporate finance and performance, private equity portfolio company performance, venture capital, diversity, governance and performance, trade finance and entrepreneurship. I have a keen interest in the development of Financial Technology and work closely with financial services and the credit industry on the development and application of analytics in lending and debt management including AI and neural networks. I am an associate and founding member of the Leeds Institute of Data Analytics and a co-investigator in the Consumer Data Research Centre and the ESRC Productivity Institute project on small firm growth. See our new paper at The Productivity Institute

Research Impact

In my research I endeavour to combine academic rigour with policy and practitioner relevance. I have worked closely with the credit industry and government (HM Treasury, Department of Business and Trade, National Audit Office) over the years. Most recently our work  on venture capital investment has informed policy and practice. Research that quantified the nature and scale of the ‘equity gap’ was used directly by the government in their case and rationale for policy intervention (Enterprise Investment Scheme).  Changes to the EIS were announced (2015) and implemented (April 2018) based on recommendations in the research. Further analysis commissioned by BEIS has quantified the size of the equity gap in the UK regions and informed the development of  regional investment funds (REF2021 Impact Case).  Since 2020 we have worked with the Department of Business and Trade on business finance forecasting and policy modelling. This work involved modelling the policy interventions and guaranteed business loans (Covid loan schemes).  Our work on finance for high growth companies and the impact of proposed pension reforms was cited in the Autumn Statement 2024

My research is published in a wide range of journals including the Journal of Corporate Finance, Economic Journal, Regional Studies, British Journal of Management, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Enterpreneurship: Theory and Practice, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Business History. I have written more than 150 papers in academic and professional journals (c9000 citations, h-index 45). Most recently I have published on small firm finance and growth, private equity backed firms, venture capital investment, corporate risk, board diversity, family business, and related topics. I have researched and written many reports for business, professional bodies and government.

My research findings have been reported in the international press (e.g. Financial Times, Wall Street Journal) and Professional and Trade Magazines on a regular basis.

A recent panel roundtable organised by ICAEW discussed “How do resilient companies manage adversity ?”

Our work on boosting Venture Capital and Growth Finance for private companies is cited in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2023


  • Director, Credit Management Research Centre
  • Head of Department 2017-2021
  • ESRC Productivity Project: ES/W010259/1 : SME finance, investment and productivity

Research interests

I am working with the Department of Business and Trade (formerly BEIS) on the evaluation of the Bounce Back and COVID Business Interruption Loan Schemes; Business Finance Forecasting and Policy Modelling; and policy related work on Venture Capital Finance with HM Treasury.  Phase II of the DBT project is funded by the UKRI and the Innovation Caucus. I am a member of the Expert Peer Review Panel for policy evaluation studies coordinated by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). I am currently co-investigator on the ESRC project: Understanding how constraints on access to finance and under-investment impact on productivity growth in smaller firms (grant ES/W010259/1) with a focus on equity finance (venture capital and private equity).

Recent publications examine:  Private equity backed firms performance during crises, and portfolio firm performance post exitGovernment loan guarantee schemesDefault and insolvency risk in the Covid Loan Portfolio; Convertible loans and the Future Fund; Mechanical correlation in econometric modellingRegional disparities in equity finance demand and supply; Credit scoring using machine learning and AI; Venture Capital Investment in the UK: 2011-2023.

Phd Graduates

Robert Hope (1998); Andrew Robinson (1998); Carole Howarth (1999);  Kathryn Watson (2001); Barbara Summers (2002); Paula Hill (2002); Christina V Atanasova (2004); Norazman Ismail (2007); Salima Paul (2007); Alena L Audzeyeva (2008); Duc T Le (2008); Ali Altanlar (2008); Felix Aveh (2011); Sharon K Sewards (2012); Abd Razak Ahmad (2003); Andreea Bordianu (2014); Mario Hernandez Tinoco (2014); Nnamdi J Uzonwanne (2014); Pananda Pasaribu (2016); Boon Ping Hong (2017); Mingchen Li (2021); Xinyue Cai (2023);



  • BA (hons) Applied Economics
  • Phd (Nottingham)

Professional memberships

  • FICM
  • Certified Management and Business Educator

Student education

LUBS2226 Applied Credit Analytics

Research groups and institutes

  • Credit Management Research Centre

Current postgraduate researchers