Colin Mayer

Colin Mayer CBE

Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies


Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street
Oxford
OX1 1HP

Profile

Colin is an expert on all aspects of corporate finance, governance and taxation, the regulation of financial institutions and the role of the corporation in contemporary society.

He teaches the elective course on Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructurings on the MBA and the Masters in Financial Economics, the core programme on Responsible Business for MBA students, an elective on the Nature of the Corporation for MBA and Masters in Financial Economics students, and the Principles of Financial Regulation on the Masters in Law and Finance. 

Colin studied as an undergraduate at Oriel College, Oxford, and received his DPhil from Oxford University in 1981. He was a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University, a Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England, the first Leo Goldschmidt Visiting Professor of Corporate Governance at the Solvay Business School, Université de Bruxelles, and has had visiting positions at Columbia, MIT and Stanford universities. In 1994, Colin became the first professor at Saïd Business School, and was appointed the Peter Moores Dean of the Business School between 2006 and 2011. He was the first Director of the Oxford Financial Research Centre at the University of Oxford between 1998 and 2005.

Colin has served on the editorial boards of several leading academic journals and assisted in establishing prestigious networks of economics, law and finance academics in Europe at the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the European Corporate Governance Institute. He was a founding editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy and a founding co-editor of the Review of Finance.

Colin was a director and chairman of Oxera between 1986 and 2010, and was instrumental in building the firm into what is now one of the largest independent economics consultancies in Europe.  He is a director of Aurora Energy Research Limited, an energy modelling company. He has consulted for numerous large corporations and for governments, regulators and international agencies around the world.

Colin is an Honorary Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, and St Anne’s College, Oxford, and he is a Professorial Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford.  He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the European Corporate Governance Institute.  He is an Ordinary Member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal and a Trustee of the Oxford Playhouse.

Expertise:

  • Corporate finance
  • Corporate governance
  • Corporate taxation
  • The regulation of financial institutions
  • The role of the corporation in contemporary society

See Colin's CV.

Read an interview with Colin.

    Research

    Colin researches in the fields of corporate finance, governance, regulation, taxation and the role of the corporation in contemporary society.

    He works on the nature of the corporation, the regulation of financial markets and institutions, international comparisons of financial systems and corporate governance, and their effects on the financing and control of corporations.

    View Colin's research.

    Engagement

    Colin is an acknowledged expert in his field, and, alongside his academic research, he is active in many aspects of financial study and practice.

    He is a member of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal which hears appeals of cases from the Competition Commission and regulatory bodies, such as Ofcom. He has also been a member of the UK Government’s Natural Capital Committee which is designed to ensure that the Government is better informed about natural capital and will prioritize activities to support and improve the UK’s natural capital. In particular, Colin has advised on methods of valuation and accounting for natural capital by both governments and business and ways of engaging businesses and investors in the promotion of natural capital.

    Colin has consulted for numerous large firms and for governments around the world, and has been actively involved in policy discussions in the UK, Europe and internationally. He has acted as an advisor and contributed to debates about the financing of industry, corporate governance and corporate control in the European Commission, the OECD, and the World Bank amongst many other international organisations. In addition, he has acted as an advisor to companies and regulators about utility and financial regulation. 

    Colin has served on the editorial boards of several leading academic journals, including the Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting, the Journal of Corporate Law Studies, and the Review of Economic Studies. He was also a Delegate of the Oxford University Press between 1996 and 2006, Chairman of Oxford University Press Audit Committee, and a Member of the Finance Committee of Oxford University Press (1998-2006).

    He has been an Associate Editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Editor of the Annals of Finance and European Financial Management, Associate Editor of the Journal of Industrial Economics (1983-1995), Associate Editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics (1990-1996), and Founding Co-Editor of the Review of Finance (2004-2009).

    Colin has held many advisory positions, including as a Member of the Board of the European Corporate Governance Institute, Brussels, and he has been both Chair of its Research Committee and a Member of its Nominations Committee. He is a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London and an Academic and Policy Board Member of Oxonia at the Oxford Institute for Economic Policy.

    He has also been a Member of the Panel of Economic Policy (1988-1989); Chairman of the European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets (1989-1995); a Co-director of the Centre for Economic Policy Research Programme in Applied Microeconomics (1987-1995); a Member of the Council of the Royal Economic Society (1998-2002); a Member of the Executive Committee of Council of the Royal Economic Society (2002-2006); a Member of the 2001 and 2007 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) Panels for Business and Management; a Member of the DTI Study Group into Pre-Emption Rights (2004); and a Member of the Advisory Board of the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (2007 to 2011).. 

    Colin is also an Endowment Governor of Modern Art Oxford, a Trustee of the Oxford Playhouse and he was a Governor of St Paul’s School, London between 2002 and 2011.

    Colin is frequently called upon as a keynote speaker by governments, regulators and academic institutions.

    Teaching

    Colin teaches his MBA and Masters in Financial Economics students on a course organised around case studies.

    Lecture-type sessions provide the information, financial tools and theory useful to discuss case studies within this strong conceptual framework; and there are practitioner presentations, where investment bankers, CFOs, corporate treasurers and consultants focus on specific transactions and current developments. Students are encouraged to engage in understanding both theory and practice along with the importance of research, and vigorous questioning and interaction is a vital part of the teaching process.

    This course is designed to give real insights into the takeover process, to link practice to theories of takeovers and to determine the valuation process. It helps students develop a “view” about a deal efficiently and to understand the current regulatory debate and forecast the implications for practice. To do this, students study takeover waves; regulation and takeover tactics; hostility and takeover defences; deal structuring; leveraged buyouts and shareholder activism; divestitures, informal workouts and bankruptcies.

    Colin has helped to design a new core course in Responsible Business and he gives an introductory lecture on this to the incoming MBA class.  He has also created an elective on the Nature of the Corporation which gives fundamental insights into the source of success of corporations: their purpose, ownership, governance and performance measurement, the way in which they are regulated, the role of the financial system and financial institutions, and socially inclusive forms of business.  The course involves an outstanding group of outside speakers from a range of different institutions and sectors who bring some insights into the nature of the corporation.

    The Principles of Financial Regulation course on the Masters in Law and Finance is a seminar joint with several members of the Law Faculty designed to give students insights into the design and implementation of financial regulation. The course views financial regulation from a law, economics and finance perspective and is highly international in its approach. Active student participation in the seminar is encouraged. Coming out of the course, the lecturers are in the process of writing a textbook which will be the first book to take a law, finance and economics approach to providing a comprehensive overview of financial regulation.

    Teaching:

    • Elective course on Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructurings on the MBA and the Masters in Financial Economics
    • Core MBA course on Responsible Business
    • Elective course on the Nature of the Corporation for the MBA and Masters in Financial Economics
    • Principles of Financial Regulation on the Masters in Law and Finance