Our Academic Leads

GWI scholars learn the core tenets of finance and investing from leading academics and industry professionals through four weeks of rigorous study on campus. Lead instructors include professors of finance and private equity at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and professors of financial management and personal finance at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business.


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Bilge Yilmaz is the Wharton Private Equity Professor and a professor of finance at The Wharton School. Prior to his current appointment, he was a faculty member at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He received his first degrees in electrical engineering and physics from Bogaziçi University and his Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.

Professor Yilmaz’s research focuses on corporate finance, alternative investments, and political economy. Recently, he has written on corporate governance, credit rating agencies, hedge funds, private equity, security design, short-selling constraints, corporate bankruptcy, and banks’ internal risk models. His earlier articles appeared in leading academic journals including the top three in the field: Econometrica, American Economic Review, and Journal of Political Economy.

Professor Yilmaz has designed a number of courses in corporate finance and alternative investments. He currently teaches courses on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate bankruptcy, and European financial markets. He also leads The Wharton School’s Alternative Investments Initiative. Outside of Wharton, he is actively involved in asset management.


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Burcu Esmer is a research fellow at Wharton’s Alternative Investments Initiative and a lecturer at The Wharton School. Previously, she was a faculty member at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and at Bilkent University in Turkey. She received her Ph.D. in finance and master’s in economics from the University of Iowa.

Esmer’s research interests are in empirical corporate finance and alternative investments. Her most recent research focuses on agency conflicts in financial contracts, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity investments. Her articles have appeared in leading academic journals such as the Journal of Banking and Finance. Esmer has presented her work to different audiences at various conferences and workshops, and she frequently serves as a reviewer for academic journals and conferences. She is a member of the American Finance Association, Financial Management Association, Midwest Finance Association, Eastern Finance Association, European Finance Association, and the European Financial Management Association.


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Carl ackermann

university of notre dame, gwi curriculum lead

Carl Ackermann teaches financial management and personal finance to University of Notre Dame undergraduates. He crusades against excessive fees in the investment industry, redirecting them to fight poverty and despair.

Ackermann has had the good fortune of receiving several awards for his teaching and service. He has received over a dozen major teaching awards, and in 2012 was named one of the ten favorite business professors nationwide. Despite teaching a sophomore class, he is a multiple-time recipient of the Senior Class Fellow Award for the member of the Notre Dame community who has made the most positive and lasting impression on the senior class. In 2016, he received the University’s Grenville Clark Award, for the faculty member or administrator whose voluntary activities have advanced the causes of peace and human rights. Ackermann is active in several university service projects and mentoring programs, and participates in football and basketball recruiting. He holds an A.B. from Amherst College, and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



shane corwin

university of notre dame

Shane Corwin is a professor in the Department of Finance and serves as the Faculty Director of the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing. Professor Corwin received a B.S. and an MBA from Mankato State University and a Ph.D. in finance from The Ohio State University. He was an assistant professor at the University of Georgia prior to joining the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2000. Professor Corwin teaches security analysis and investments at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and has received several teaching awards at Notre Dame, including the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Kaneb Teaching Award, the BP Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Chicago EMBA Outstanding Professor Award. Shane is the proud father of four children and enjoys spending time with his family. He and his family also lived in London for a semester, where he taught in Notre Dame’s London Undergraduate Program.

Professor Corwin’s research focuses on security market design and investment banking. He has published articles in numerous finance journals, including The Journal of Finance, The Journal of Financial Markets, The Journal of Financial Intermediation, and Financial Management. In recent articles, he has studied the role of limited attention in securities trading, the measurement of transaction costs, and conflicts of interest related to maker-taker fees on U.S. stock exchanges. Professor Corwin has also served as a member of the Nasdaq Economic Advisory Board and has been awarded research grants from the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership, Morgan Stanley, and the Q Group.