Karl Schmedders

Karl Schmedders
Global warming is the defining problem of our times, which deserves the attention of business leaders. It is not just short-term hype.
Karl Schmedders

Karl Schmedders' research and teaching currently focuses on sustainability and the economics of climate change. He is therefore able to provide key insights on the transition risk arising from the shift to a greener economy and help companies face up to the challenges of potential asset degradation and increasing carbon prices.

He says finance and economics offer many tools to combat climate change, and the power of incentives and markets can be employed to make progress, and argues that businesses and consumers need to take a leading role in the search for solutions to the climate crisis, and not just wait for governments and policy makers to introduce climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

Schmedders is passionate about the importance of a "just transition" in which no one loses out as a result of action to tackle climate change. He believes that more attention needs to be paid to the S and G elements of the ESG (environmental, social and governance) equation, to ensure that action on the environmental component does not adversely affect poor people and those living in developing countries. In his view, humanity will fail in its fight against climate change and global warming if it does not also address inequality and ensure a just transition.

His expertise in computational methods in finance means that he is able to apply numerical solution techniques to complex economic and financial models and shed light on a range of topical market issues and industry problems for organizations. He was Director of IMD’s custom program for Malaysian bank Maybank and has worked with a range of clients such as ABB, Airbus, Eneva, Evonik, Orkla and Julius Bär.

He is also Director of IMD’s new online certification course for structured investment products in partnership with Swiss company Leonteq, teaches in the Advanced Management Concepts (AMC) and Executive MBA programs, and is an advisor on International Consulting Projects in the MBA program.

He has published numerous research articles in international academic journals such as Econometrica, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Management Science and Operations Research.

Before joining IMD in 2019, Schmedders was Professor of Quantitative Business Administration at the University in Zurich and Associate Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He received his PhD from Stanford University and received several teaching awards from both Stanford and Kellogg.

He remains a Visiting Professor of Executive MBA Education at Kellogg School of Management and is a board member of Swiss firms LPX Group and SYLVA AG. He is also a fellow of the Game Theory Society.


Selected publications

A large-scale optimization model for replicating portfolios in the life insurance industry (Operations Research, 2021)

Asset pricing with heterogeneous agents and long-run risk (Journal of Financial Economics, 2021)

What managers need to know about data exchanges (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2020)

Higher-order effects in asset-pricing models with long-run risk (Journal of Finance, 2018)

Optimal and naive diversification in currency markets (Management Science, 2017)

A polynomial optimization approach to principal agent problems (Econometrica, 2015)

Bond ladders and optimal portfolios (Review of Financial Studies, 2011)

On price caps under uncertainty (Review of Economic Studies, 2007)



Kellogg-HKUST EMBA program Best Faculty Award (2017)

Kellogg-WHU EMBA program Best Teacher Award (2008, 2009, 2011-2015, 2017, 2019)

Rochester-Bern EMBA program Superior Teaching Award (2014 and 2016)

Kellogg-Recanati EMBA program Best Teacher Award (2014)

Kellogg EMBA program Outstanding Professor Award (2009, 2011-2013, 2015)

WHU Koblenz Best Teacher Award (2002-2004)

L.G. Lavengood Professor of the Year, Kellogg School of Management (2002)

Walter J. Gores Award, Stanford University (1996)



MS (Operations Research)

Stanford University


PhD (Operations Research)

Stanford University


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Karl Schmedders's Publications
ESG – Making sense of the madness
DIY Cambridge Analytica: Running Personality Analytics
Case study
"Hordes of zombies and fallen angels point to horror recovery"