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Student Spotlight: Kirill Pervun

By Jamie Boyle

Kirill Pervun

ST. PETERSBURG (October 6, 2020) -- Kirill Pervun began the PhD in finance program in 2016 and over the past several years he has presented his research at a number of conferences. Most recently, Pervun presented his paper, "Athlete CEOs and Corporate Outcomes," at FMA (New Orleans, 2019), SFA (Orlando, 2019), Florida Finance (Orlando, 2019), EFA (Boston, 2020 canceled due to COVID-19). The paper shows that firms managed by chief executive officers with a background in competitive sports are more profitable, invest more in long-term projects and take on less debt. A second study, "Excellence in Motion: Athletic CEOs and Corporate Social Responsibility," co-authored with Ninon Sutton and a group of researchers from Hong Kong, finds that athlete-CEO-run companies have significantly higher corporate social responsibility ratings. Another research paper, "From Athletes to Entrepreneurs: Participation in Youth Sports as the Precursor of Future Business Endeavors," co-authored with Dirk Libaers and Ninon Sutton, reveals that former youth athletes with background in individual sports, but not in team sports, are three times more likely to start a business and become entrepreneurs.

Kirill's current research is centered on the effects of an individual's participation in athletics on business outcomes and entrepreneurial action. His research interests are personal and reflect his being an athlete himself. He first moved to the United States from Russia to play tennis in college. His studies explain how athlete personality traits and cognition, including competitive spirit, goal setting, work ethic and sportsmanship, can be beneficial for businesses.

Pervun is teaching personal finance and behavioral finance, a course he suggested for the USF Muma College of Business. The course is a marriage between finance, economics and psychology. Students learn about irrational aspects in investor decision making, such as emotions and biases, and how to avoid most common mistakes. Behavioral finance will be offered a second time this spring.

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