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Seven Questions with David Brown

Assistant Professor of Finance
Department of Finance
Ph.D. in Finance, University of Colorado Boulder


“I am able to show the students how the models we build in class relate to the models I build for my research. It gives them a good idea of what is possible through financial modeling.”

What brought you to the Eller College?

David BrownAs a rookie on the job market, I was attracted to the opportunity of being part of such a high quality finance department. When we finally visited, my wife and I fell in love with the town and the area around campus.

How long have you been at Eller?

Three years — I started in fall 2014 after graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder.

What is your current research, and what most excites you about that area of focus?

Right now I am focused on exchange traded funds (ETFs) and crowdfunding. I particularly like that both topics have important implications for society at large. ETFs allow small investors inexpensive access to diversified investment products. However, my research suggests that ETFs may be more expensive than advertised. Crowdfunding is a new way of raising money from investors online (think Kickstarter, but for raising equity), and may provide the financing for many new and exciting startups.

What are you currently teaching, and what do you most enjoy about teaching?

Financial Modeling. I like being able to bring real-world examples into the classroom. I built financial models in a number of industries prior to graduate school, and those experiences allow me to provide my students a practical and applied curriculum. I also encourage my students to participate in a world-wide financial modeling competition, ModelOff. Last year, I was a finalist — top 20 in world.

How do you bring your research into your teaching?

I incorporate personal financial planning into my financial modeling classes, encouraging students to build models of their own financial situations as well as their retirement planning. I have a few papers on retirement planning, so I am able to show the students how the models we build in class relate to the models I build for my research. It gives them a good idea of what is possible through financial modeling.

Beyond research and teaching, what are your passions?

I really enjoy being outdoors. My wife and I regularly hike, rock climb, and try to visit as many national parks as we can. I am also passionate about cooking, baking bread, and brewing beer.

What does the Eller Experience mean to you? 

The Eller Experience is about making the most of the wealth of opportunities provided to all of us. We are incredibly fortunate to be part of such a strong community — in research within and across departments, in corporate connections for students and research opportunities for faculty, in the community connections across Tucson and Southern Arizona, and in the friends we can make all around Eller. The Eller Experience is about taking advantage of these opportunities and creating new opportunities for others in the Eller community.

Learn more about David Brown on his faculty page.


Photo of David Brown by Eller College of Management.