The realm of finance is like a body of water; one moment it is turbulent and choppy and at other times it resembles the smoothness of glass.
It’s no wonder Amrita Nain, assistant professor, enjoys her work as a finance researcher, because she’s accustomed to navigating complex financial issues and she’s spent plenty of time in literal rough waters.
“Exploring finance in the United States, the most capitalistic society in the world, is really interesting,” she says. “Free markets create incentives that are needed for growth, but also create disparity like that which you find in any profit models.”
“I find those tradeoffs fascinating.”
Amrita studied economics at the University of Delhi and completed a Master’s of Science degree in finance and economics at the University of Warwick in London. She earned her Ph.D. in finance from the University of Michigan.
“Finance is effectively applied economics. My field of interest is corporate finance, which examines how corporations, i.e. people running the corporations, make decisions in an attempt to maximize profits and shareholder value. There are so many trade-offs and factors at play that can create conflicts of interest.”
Her research has included exploring the impact of mergers and acquisitions on product pricing and how that affects customers who purchase products from merging companies. Her paper, “The Product Market Impact of Minority Stake Acquisitions,” with co-author, Yan Wang, was recently accepted for publication at a quality journal. Publications details are forthcoming.
This paper is the result of four years of intensive work. Working as a researcher requires professional endurance and stamina, concepts Amrita is very familiar with.
While teaching a class in the Executive MBA Program, she was first asked by a student to join a triathlon team as the swimmer. In the 2013 Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines, the student, Shane Morris, EMBA12, biked 40k, another teammate, ran 10k, and Amrita swam 1.5k in open water.
“The runner, Ryan Harms was outstanding. He is the husband of another Tippie EMBA graduate, Brea Harms, EMBA12. Shane Morris, who was the driving force behind the team, also biked a super fast 40k. And then there was me.”
The team placed 11th out of 137 teams and had the opportunity to advance to a higher level of triathlon competition.
“I really don’t swim for competition. I do it because it’s healthy and I love being in the water.”
Amrita has also participated in Chicago’s Big Shoulders 2.5k Swim where swimmers face the ruthless conditions of Lake Michigan.
Amrita generally trains in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center’s 50-meter pool about three times a week and logs 3,000 meter per session.
“I’ve also had a good experience taking part in the iCOWS,” (Iowa City Open Water Swimmers group) Although some admirable iCOWS members eagerly slip into the water at Lake MacBride, near Solon, at temperatures below 50 degrees, Amrita’s coldest iCOWs swim was in 59 degree water. This open water helps her body adjust to real-life conditions and temperatures that a swimming pool simply can’t duplicate.
“I find the distance not to be a problem because I can train and prepare myself for the distance; however, the open water conditions can sometimes be more difficult to overcome.”
Amrita’s future research plans include considering health policy complexities with the goal of providing more transparency to a multifaceted topic.