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Karen Hopper Wruck

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Karen Hopper Wruck is Dean’s Distinguished Professor and Professor of Finance at the Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University. Professor Wruck joined the Fisher faculty in 1999. In addition to her faculty position, she has served as Associate Dean for all Graduate Programs at Fisher since 2009. From 2003-2009, she was Associate Dean for MBA. Prior to her appointment at Fisher, she served on the faculty of the Harvard Business School.

Professor Wruck conducts research and teaches in the fields of financial and organizational economics, specializing in corporate finance, restructuring, financial distress, corporate governance and management compensation.  She has published numerous articles in leading academic journals and developed highly successful courses for delivery to MBAs and executives. 

In addition, her work and opinions have been highlighted in business periodicals. Two of her articles are recognized as “all star papers” by the Journal of Financial Economics (based on citations). Professor Wruck is an associate editor of the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Financial Research and European Financial Management.  In addition, she has served as an ad hoc referee for many other academic journals.

She has been selected multiple times as the outstanding faculty member by students in the full time MBA program and the executive MBA program at Ohio State.  She has also received Fisher’s Westerbeck Graduate Teaching Award for exceptional contribution toward graduate student intellectual and cultural growth and has been awarded the College’s Bostic-Georges Faculty Service Award.

Professor Wruck has served as an academic director of the Financial Management Association and the Turnaround Management Association.  She has served as a consultant to major corporations and has worked on a number of high profile corporate litigation projects as an expert witness.  Professor Wruck earned her PhD in Finance, with a secondary emphasis in Accounting, from the University of Rochester.  She also holds an M.S. in Economics from Rochester and a B.A. degree in Economics from Davidson College.  She is widowed and has three children (Dated:  December 5, 2011).

Areas of Expertise

  • Corporate Finance
  • Organizational Economics
  • Financial Economics

Education

  • PhD, Finance, Accounting, Economics, University of Rochester, Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
  • AB, Economics, Davidson College

Selected Administrative Responsibilities and Service Activities

  • Interim Administrative Appointment, July 2007- April 2009.  Assumed responsibilities associated with senior associate dean’s position during interim period in which search for a new dean was underway.
  • Associate Dean of MBA Programs and Chair of MBA Program Committee, May 2003-present.
  • Member, College Executive Committee, May 2003-present.
  • Member, College Rankings Committee, May 2003-present.
  • Member, Executive MBA Committee, July 1999-present.
  • Member, Executive MBA Curriculum Assessment Committee, January 2004-present.
  • Member, Peer Review and Teaching Assessment Committee, September 2003-present.
  • Primary faculty lead and organizer for Annual Fisher First Year MBA Case Competition, Annual Big 10 Case Competition and primary faculty advisor to most MBA student case competition teams (roughly 6 or more per year).
  • Faculty advisor to the following student clubs and organizations:  MBA Student Council, MBA Finance Association, MBA Strategy and Consulting Club, Fisher Graduate Women in Business.
  • Member, The Ohio State University NCAA Recertification, Fiscal Responsibility Committee, March 2002-March 2003.
  • Member, MBA Program Committee, 1999-May 2003 (became committee chair at that time).

Awards and Honors

  • Pacesetter Service Award, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, for exceptional service to the College, awarded April 2006.
  • Outstanding Core Faculty Award, full time MBA program, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, awarded by MBA class of 2005.
  • Outstanding Core Faculty Award, full time MBA program, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, awarded by MBA class of 2004.
  • Academic Director, Member of Nominating Committee, Financial Management Association, Elected April 2003.
  • Two publications (Warner, Watts and Wruck (1988) and Wruck (1989)) recognized as Journal of Financial Economics “All-Star” papers based on top two papers per volume in terms of citations for papers published between 1974 and 1995, December 2002.
  • Outstanding Core Faculty Award, full time MBA program, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, awarded by MBA class of 2002.
  • Outstanding Faculty Award, Executive MBA program, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, awarded by MBA class of 2002.
  • Westerbeck Graduate Teaching Award, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, for exceptional contribution toward graduate student intellectual and cultural growth, awarded April 2002.
  • Turnaround Management Association, Academic Director, 2001-present.
  • Outstanding Core Faculty Award, full time MBA program, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, awarded by MBA class of 2001.
  • Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Honor Society), 1988.
  • State Farm Companies Foundation Fellowship for Doctoral Dissertation in Business, 1985-1986.
  • Earhart Foundation Fellowship for Doctoral Dissertation in Business, 1984-1985.
  • American Accounting Association Doctoral Consortium Fellow, 1984.
  • University of Rochester fellowship and full tuition waiver, 1982-1987.
  • Phi Beta Kappa (Undergraduate Honor Society), 1982.
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics Honor Society), 1981.
  • Lunsford Richardson Honors Scholarship, Davidson College, 1981-1982.
Finance 821 - Advanced Corporate Finance

This purpose of this course is to provide students the opportunity to develop deep skills and understanding of the theory and practice that underlie corporate financial policy and related complex financial transactions.

Topics covered will include the interaction between financial policy and corporate strategy, the market for corporate control, bankruptcy and restructuring and special advanced topics including project finance, asset-backed securities and loan syndication. The course content will be useful to students whose career goals and objectives include work in corporate finance at a public or private firm, consulting to corporations regarding financial policy and the structure of financial transactions, and conducting financial analysis to assess the financial decisions made and transactions undertaken by management.

Publicly Available Course Materials

Publications in Refereed Journals
  • Wruck, Karen H. and Yilin Wu, 2008, Relationships, Corporate Governance, and Performance: Evidence from Private Placements of Common Stock, forthcoming Journal of Corporate Finance.
  • Wruck, Karen H., 2008, Private Equity, Corporate Governance and the Reinvention of the Market for Corporate Control, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Vol. 20, No. 33, pp. 8-21, based on an original presentation, given at the American Enterprise Institute, Conference on The History, Impact and Future of Private Equity: Ownership, Governance and Firm Performance, November 27, 2007, Washington D.C.
  • Wruck, Eric G. and Karen H. Wruck, 2002, Restructuring Top Management: Evidence from Corporate Spinoffs, Journal of Labor Economics 20, S176-S218.
  • DeAngelo, Harry, Linda DeAngelo and Karen H. Wruck, 2002, Asset Liquidity, Debt Covenants and Managerial Discretion in Financial Distress: The Collapse of L.A. Gear, Journal of Financial Economics 64, 3-34.
  • Wruck, Karen Hopper, 2000, Compensation, Incentives and Organizational Change: Ideas and Evidence from Theory and Practice, Breaking the Code of Change, Michael Beer and Nitin Nohria, eds., Harvard Business School Press, Boston.
  • Kaplan, Steven N., Mark L. Mitchell, and Karen H. Wruck, 2000, A Clinical Exploration of Value Creation and Destruction in Acquisitions: Organization Design, Incentives and Internal Capital Markets, Productivity of Mergers and Acquisitions, Steven Kaplan, ed., National Bureau of Economic Research, Conference Volume.
  • Dyck, I.J. Alexander and Karen H. Wruck, 1998, The Government as Venture Capitalist, Organizational Structure and Contract Design in Germany's Privatization Process, European Financial Management.
  • Wruck, Karen Hopper and Michael C. Jensen, 1998, The Two Key Principles Behind Effective TQM Programs, European Financial Management, volume 4, 401-423.
  • Dyck, I.J. Alexander and Karen H. Wruck, 1998, Organization Structure, Contract Design and Government Ownership: A Clinical Analysis of German Privatization, Journal of Corporate Finance: Contracting, Governance and Organization, volume 4, pp. 265-299.
  • Weiss, Lawrence A. and Karen H. Wruck, 1998, Information Problems, Conflicts of Interest, and Asset Stripping: Chapter 11's Failure in the Case of Eastern Airlines, Journal of Financial Economics, volume 48, pp. 55-97.
  • Wruck, Karen Hopper and Michael C. Jensen, 1997, Science, Specific Knowledge and Total Quality Management, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Summer, volume 10.
  • Wruck, Karen Hopper, 1995, Financial Policy as a Catalyst for Organizational Change: Sealed Air Corporation's Leveraged Special Dividend, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, volume 7, pp. 20-37.
  • Wruck, Karen Hopper and Michael C. Jensen, 1994, Science, Specific Knowledge and Total Quality Management, Journal of Accounting and Economics, volume 18, pp. 247-287. Reprinted in The Practice of Quality Management, 1996, edited by Uday Karmarkar and Phillip Lederer, (Kluwer Academic Publishers).
  • Wruck, Karen Hopper, 1994, Financial Policy, Internal Control, and Performance: Sealed Air Corporation's Leveraged Special Dividend, Journal of Financial Economics, volume 36, pp. 157-192.
  • Wruck, Karen Hopper, 1991, What Really Went Wrong at Revco?, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Summer 1991, pp. 79-92. Reprinted in The New Corporate Finance: Where Theory Meets Practice, 1993, edited by Donald Chew (McGraw Hill).
  • Baker, George P., and Karen H. Wruck, 1991, Lessons from a Middle Market LBO: The Case of O.M. Scott, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Spring 1991, pp. 46-58. Reprinted in The New Corporate Finance: Where Theory Meets Practice, 1993, edited by Donald Chew (McGraw Hill).
  • Wruck, Karen Hopper, 1990, Financial Distress, Reorganization, and Organizational Efficiency, Journal of Financial Economics, volume 27, pp. 419-444. Reprinted in Bankruptcy and Distressed Restructurings: Analytical Issues and Investment Opportunities, 1992, edited by Edward I. Altman (Business One Irwin Publishers).
  • Baker, George P., and Karen H. Wruck, 1989, Organizational Changes and Value Creation in Leveraged Buyouts: The Case of O.M. Scott & Sons Company, Journal of Financial Economics, volume 25, pp.163-190. Reprinted in The Challenge of Organizational Change, 1992, edited by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Barry A. Stein and Todd D. Jick, (Free Press, New York), pp. 349-365, Performance Measurement, Evaluation, and Incentives, 1992, edited by William J. Bruns (Harvard Business School Press, Boston), and Management Buyouts, 1994, edited by Mike Wright (Dartmouth Publishing Company Limited, Hampshire, England).
  • Wruck, Karen Hopper, 1989, Equity Ownership Concentration and Firm Value: Evidence From Private Equity Financings, Journal of Financial Economics, volume 23, pp. 3-28. (Journal of Financial Economics "All-Star" paper based on top two papers per volume in terms of citations for papers published between 1974 and 1995).
  • Warner, Jerold B., Ross L. Watts, and Karen H. Wruck, 1988, Stock Prices and Top Management Changes, Journal of Financial Economics, volume 20, pp. 461-492. (Journal of Financial Economics "All-Star" paper based on top two papers per volume in terms of citations for papers published between 1974 and 1995).
Published Comments and Book Reviews
  • Wruck, Karen H., 1997, Review of Corporate Bankruptcy: Economic and Legal Perspectives, edited by Jagdeep S. Bhandari and Lawrence A. Weiss, Cambridge University Press, Journal of Finance, volume 52, pp. 1752-1755.
  • Wruck, Karen H., 1993, Stock-Based Incentive Compensation, Asymmetric Information and Investment Behavior: A Comment, Journal of Accounting and Economics, volume 16, pp. 373-380.
Classroom Materials
  • Paine, Lynn S. and Karen H. Wruck, Sealed Air Corporation: Globalization and Corporate Culture Case Series.
    • Sealed Air Corporation: Globalization and Corporate Culture (A), Harvard Business School Case N9-398-096.
    • Sealed Air Corporation: Globalization and Corporate Culture (B), Harvard Business School Case N9-398-097.
  • Wruck, Karen H. and Sherry P. Roper, American Cyanamid Case Series.
    • American Cyanamid (A): Board Response to a Hostile Takeover Offer, Harvard Business School Case 9-897-048 (Rev. 12/3/97).
    • American Cyanamid (B): Management's Response to the (A) Case, Harvard Business School Case 9-897-178 (Rev. 12/3/97).
    • American Cyanamid (C): Epilogue, Harvard Business School Case 9-897-064 (Rev. 12/3/97).
    • Teaching Note, American Cyanamid (A, B & C), Harvard Business School Case 5-897-161.
    • American Cyanamid (A & B) Combined, Harvard Business School Case 9-898-120 (12/3/97).
  • Wruck, Karen H. and Sherry P. Roper, Cytec Industries' Spin-Off Case Series.
    • Cytec Industries' Spin-Off (A): Sink or Swim?, Harvard Business School Case 9-897-053 (12/8/97).
    • Cytec Industries' Spin-Off (B): Managing the Challenges of Success, Harvard Business School Case 9-897-054 (2/12/98).
    • Teaching Note, Cytec Industries' Spin-Off (A & B), Harvard Business School Case 5-897-195.
  • Dyck, I. J. Alexander and Karen H. Wruck, Germany's Evolving Privatization Policies: The Plaschna Management KG, Harvard Business School Case 9-795-120 (3/15/95).
    • Teaching Note, Germany's Evolving Privatization Policies: The Plaschna Management KG , Harvard Business School Case 5-796-036.
  • Baker, George P., Perry Fagan, Michael C. Jensen and Karen H. Wruck, Value Creation, Harvard Business School Case 1-396-089.
  • Baldwin, Carliss Y., Michael C. Jensen and Karen H. Wruck, The Case of the Colored Post-It Notes, Harvard Business School Case 9-897-069 (12/6/96).
  • Wruck, Karen H. and A. Scott Keating, Sterling Chemicals Inc. Quality and Process Improvement, Harvard Business School Case 9-493-026 (Rev. 12/1/97).
    • Teaching Note, Sterling Chemicals Inc. Quality and Process Improvement, Harvard Business School Case 5-897-160 (Rev. 12/1/97).
  • Wruck, Karen H. and Steve-Anna Stephens, Safeway, Inc.'s Leveraged Buyout Inc. Case Series.
    • Safeway, Inc.'s Leveraged Buyout (A), Harvard Business School Case 9-294-139 (Rev. 12/1/97).
    • Safeway, Inc.'s Leveraged Buyout (B), Harvard Business School Case 9-294-140 (Rev. 12/1/97).
    • Safeway, Inc.'s Leverage Buyout (C): Media Response, Harvard Business School Case 9-294-141 (Rev. 12/1/97).
    • Teaching Note, Safeway, Inc.'s Leverage Buyout (A), (B) and (C), Harvard Business School Case 5-897-184 (Rev. 12/1/97).
  • Wruck, Karen H., Revco D.S. Inc Case Series.
    • Revco D.S., Inc. (A), Harvard Business School Case 9-294-125 (Rev. 12/5/97).
    • Teaching Note, Revco D.S., Inc. (A), Harvard Business School Case 5-897-166 (Rev. 12/5/97).
    • Revco D.S., Inc. (B) and Zell/Chilmark Partners, with Perry Fagan, Harvard Business School Case 9-294-126 (Rev. 12/5/97).
    • Teaching Note, Revco D.S., Inc. (B) and Zell/Chilmark Partners, Harvard Business School Case 5-897-167 (rev. 12/5/97).
  • Wruck, Karen H., Sealed Air Corporation Case Series.
    • Sealed Air Corporation's Leveraged Recapitalization (A), Harvard Business School Case 9-294-122 (Rev. 12/5/97).
    • Sealed Air Corporation's Leveraged Recapitalization (B), Harvard Business School Case 9-294-123 (Rev. 12/5/97).
    • Teaching Note, Sealed Air Corporation's Leveraged Recapitalization (A) & (B), Harvard Business School Case 5-295-143 (Rev. 12/5/97).
  • Baker, George P. and Karen H. Wruck, The O.M. Scott & Sons Company, Harvard Business School Case 9-190-148 (Rev. 9/28/90).
    • Teaching Note, The O.M. Scott & Sons Company, Harvard Business School Case 5-191-216.
  • Jensen, Michael C. and Karen H. Wruck, Fighton Inc. Case Series.
    • Fighton, Inc., (A), Harvard Business School Case 9-391-056 (Rev. 10/1/92).
    • Fighton, Inc., (B), Harvard Business School Case 9-391-265.
    • Teaching Note, Fighton Inc., (A) & (B), Harvard Business School Case 5-491-111.
  • Wruck, Karen H., Siemens Electric Motor Works Case Series.
    • Siemens Electric Motor Works (A): Process Oriented Costing, with Robin Cooper, Harvard Business School Case 9-189-089 (Rev. 6/28/93).
    • Teaching Note, Siemens Electric Motor Works (A): Process Oriented Costing, with Robin Cooper, Harvard Business School Case 5-189-127 (Rev. 1/7/93).
    • Siemens Electric Motors (B): Pricing Interdivisional Sales, Harvard Business School Case 9-189-090 (Rev. 12/27/89).
    • Teaching Note, Siemens Electric Motor Works (B): Pricing Interdivisional Sales, Harvard Business School Case 5-190-128 (Rev. 3/1/89).
    • Siemens Electric Motor Works (A) and (B) Combined, Harvard Business School Case 9-190-052.
  • Wruck, Karen H. and Yilin Wu, 2005, Large Shareholders and Firm Value: Evidence from Private Placements of Equity by U.S. Public Firms, Unpublished manuscript, Max M. Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
  • Wruck, Karen H. and Michael C. Jensen, 2005, Management Revolution: The Legacy of the Market for Corporate Control, volume 2, Book Manuscript under contract with Harvard University Press.
  • Minton, Bernadette A. and Karen H. Wruck, 2005, Leverage, Asset Liquidity and Management Credibility: New Evidence on the Determinants of Corporate Borrowing, Unpublished Manuscript, Max M. Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University.
  • Minton, Bernadette A. and Karen H. Wruck, 2002, Is Low Leverage Good for Shareholders? Stock Price Performance and the Determinants of Capital Structure, Dice Center Working Paper, Max M. Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University.
  • Palepu, Krishna G. and Karen H. Wruck, 1992, Consequences of Leveraged Shareholder Payouts: Defensive versus Voluntary Recapitalizations, Harvard Business School Working Paper.
Editorial Activities
  • Associate Editor:
    • Journal of Corporate FinanceJournal of Financial Economics
    • Journal of Financial Research
    • European Financial Management
    • Journal of Accounting and Economics
  • Advisory Editor:
    • Social Sciences Electronic Publishing (http://www.ssrn.com)
    • FEN-Educator Electronic Journal
    • Organizations and Markets Electronic Journal
  • Ad Hoc Referee:
    • Financial Management, Journal of Accounting and Economics
    • Journal of Business
    • Journal of Corporate Finance
    • Journal of Economics and Management Strategy
    • Journal of Finance
    • Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
    • Journal of Industrial Organization
    • Journal of Industrial Economics
    • Journal of Law
    • Economics and Organizations
    • Journal of Management Studies
    • Managerial and Decision Economics
    • Rand Journal
    • Review of Financial Studies