Accountability, Governance and the Capital Market Research Hub

We contribute to build effective, accountable and inclusive organisations through examining the tenets of sustainable and inclusive governance.

The Accountability, Governance and the Capital Market research hub (AGCM, previously known as the Capital Markets research group) brings together academics and practitioners in the field of accounting and finance, specifically engaged with research in the capital markets. We are committed to research that can lead to the advancement of the field and support a capital market environment that is more transparent and socially responsible.

About the AGCM Hub

The Accountability, Governance and the Capital Market Research Hub includes academics and practitioners that engage in a wide variety of research using different methodologies. It strives to undertake cutting-edge research in the world of financial markets, identifying trends in, and developing insight into, the interaction between investors, regulators and companies, set against prevailing economic conditions. This involves understanding the role of investors, board of directors, and executives in the financial and non-financial activities of the firm and reporting decisions.

The research conducted is supported through the use of the Bloomberg Trading Room within the School of Business, with access to data from Bloomberg and Datastream.

Research areas include identifying drivers of firm performance, valuation of securities, the relationship between accounting measures and capital market values, performance around events such as initial public offerings. Recently, the focus has shifted from financial to non-financial performance measures, encompassing factors such as environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Banking regulation is another strand of the hub's research, covering such areas as Basel regulation, risk capital and adequacy, systemic risk models for banking supervision, and the effect of International Accounting Standards on banking supervision.

Hub members

Academic Lead

Core members

Associate members

PhD students

Current research

Ongoing research and research in development includes focus on:

  • The relationship between accounting measures and capital market values.
  • Corporate social responsibility disclosures and the capital market.
  • Earnings management and the capital market.
  • Impact of UK regulatory reforms on executive compensation and firm risk.
  • Capital market performance around events such as initial public offerings and seasoned offerings.
  • Information disclosure by companies.
  • Banking regulation and the capital market effect.

Funded projects:

  • A longitudinal examination of corporate modern slavery disclosures: A gender socialisation perspective (PI: Dr Mahmoud Elmarzouky)
  • The effect of goodwill capitalisation on goodwill and business combination related Key Audit Matter's (PI: Dr Mahmoud Elmarzouky)
  • The impact of priming on market participants' ‘myopic loss aversion' (PI: Dr George Giannopoulos)
  • Future performance following benchmark beating under information uncertainty (PI: Professor Salma Ibrahim)
  • Impact of overbearing compliance requirements in corporate charities (PI: Dr Farooq Mahmoud)
  • What comes first: integrated reporting or integrated thinking? (PI: Dr John Pereira)
  • The Relationship between the Tone of Earnings Calls, ESG Performance, and Market Reaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic (PI: Dr John Pereira)
  • Recovering Turgot's missing manuscripts (PI: Dr Richard Van Den Berg)
  • Do economic crises cause trading in Bitcoin? (PI: Dr Jinsha Zhao)
  • Risk management in real estate finance: insight from alternative mortgage designs (PI: Dr Jinsha Zhao)

Events and seminars

  • 23 February – Professor Len Skerratt and Dr Siming Liu, Brunel University
  • 16 March – Dr Mahmoud Elmarzouky, AGCM Hub, Kingston Business School
  • 18 May – Dr Farooq Mahmoud, AGCM Hub, Kingston Business School
  • 15 June – Professor Khaled Hussainey, University of Portsmouth

External events

British Accounting & Finance Association (BAFA)

  • South-East Area Group 2022 Annual Conference
  • Friday 10 June 2022
  • Held at: Brunel University London.

This conference's theme is on 'Current Topics in Accounting and Finance Research'.

To find out more, including details on speakers, submissions, tickets and registration, please visit the event's website.

Postgraduate opportunities

AGCM Hub members are accepting applications for PhD supervision. You will find examples of topics listed below under 'Capital market and risk'. We strongly encourage you to contact the supervisor(s) directly to discuss your application.

Capital market and risk

Non-financial disclosure practices: antecedents, consequences, measurements, linguistics and materiality
Supervisors: Dr John Pererira and Dr Mohamed Nurullah

The way firms communicate to their stakeholders is continuously evolving and research in this field is barely catching up with the new reporting trends and practices. Researching and specialising in this front, by means of adding to the discourse and contributing to recent evidences in financial reporting practices would provide unique and important contribution to the academic knowledge and more broadly to the Accounting & Finance profession.

One aspect of corporate communication could explore the linguistic dimensions of reporting, exploring the tone, the level of impression management and how these are manifested through the various reporting tools. Studies in this context can explore the quality, clarity, coherence and conciseness of communication to stakeholders and how these can be deciphered and quantified to benefit all interested parties. Another dimension could explore the drivers and the benefits of voluntary disclosure practices using  both internal and external factors, soft and hard measures and investigate its effect on informed (analysts, institutional investors) and naïve (stock and bond holders) investors. Another area could be expanded into the field of sustainability reporting and its linkage with UN sustainability development goals, exploring the materiality of ESG disclosure by addressing the measurement and quantification challenges associated with reporting on sustainability goals and targets i.e. reporting for the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic is providing opportunities for further exploration on the role of non-financial information, business resilience, and share price resilience in times of crisis.

Topic: Risk, regulation and governance of Fintech
Supervisors: Dr Mohamed Nurullah and Dr Elena Fitkov-Norris

Under the 4th industrial revolution Fintech is growing rapidly and more and more financial institutions are adopting financial technology. But Fintech is rapidly moving out from the regulatory and supervisory ‘radar' and there is a growing concern of risks that need supervisory scrutiny. This research will address the concern of potential systemic risk as well as risks associated with Fintech and technology providers. This research will investigate how both the banks and financial supervisors jointly can come up with a balanced regulatory and supervisory framework for sustainable development of the Fintech and financial stability.

Topic: Investment and risky decision making – a neuroscience approach
Supervisors: Dr Mohamed Nurullah and Professor Sabira Mannan

Standard finance based on efficient market hypothesis (EMH) considers the investors to be rational while behavioural finance opposes this and supports the view that the investors' decisions are affected by behavioural biases. Neuro-finance has moved a step further by examining the processes that take place in the brain when investors are faced with risk while making financial decisions. This field focuses on understanding the brain processes so that it can help in providing tools which can effectively help in improving the financial decision making. Adaptive Market Hypothesis (AMH) considers the theory of cognitive psychology, neuroscience and socio-biology in order to provide a theoretical framework which incorporates the market efficiency along with its alternative behavioural theories. A risky decision is one where the mathematical probabilities of the possible outcomes are known to the decision maker. While in case of an uncertain decision the possible outcomes cannot be expressed as mathematical probabilities. This research will examine in an experimental setting how investment and risky decisions are made by the investment managers and stock traders and to what extent behavioural aspects effect the investment and risky decision making process.

Topic: Bank diversification into NBFI activities: risk and return impact
Supervisors: Dr Mohamed Nurullah and Dr John Pereira

Should commercial banks be engaged in investment banking activities? If so, how? Should they be engaged in distribution activities or underwriting activities as well? Should commercial banks be engaged into other non-banking financial institution (NBFI) activities? If so, what are the potential risks and benefits? Do the economies of scale and economies of scope exist for these cross business activities? According to portfolio theory, diversification spreads the risk and thus it should reduce risk. If this is the case, investment banking activities may be beneficial, since it allows commercial banks to diversify into NBFI activities and thus reduce the risk of failure.
On the other hand, NBFI activities may be riskier than banking activities when viewed on a stand-alone basis. If this is the case, banks may increase the risk of failure. Therefore, this issue needs to be tested empirically.

Topic: Comparative study of non-financial report practices in Asian and European Countries
Supervisors: Dr Mohamed Nurullah, Dr John Pereira and Professor Salma Ibrahim

Non-financial reporting empowers companies to communicate their non-financial aspects of management. Over recent years, the level of interest from stakeholders in sustainability reporting has increased significantly and the current ongoing pandemic has made this issue even more imperative. The World Economic Forum also recognised that the Covid-19 crisis demonstrates the importance of people, planet and transparency in business decision making. Stakeholders are more interested in understanding the approach and performance of companies in managing the sustainability (environmental, social and economic) aspects of their activities, including the potential for value creation. With this background some of the research questions which will be addressed are:

  1. What are different forms of non-financial reports published in Asian and European countries?
  2. What are the cross-cultural differences in non-financial reporting practices and their possible reason across these two regions?
  3. What are different frameworks which are adopted in Asian and European countries like <IR> framework, GRI or SASB?
  4. What are the emerging trends in non-financial reporting and its impact in these regions?
  5. What are the driving forces for adoption of non-financial reporting practices in these regions?
  6. Does the adoption of non-financial reporting framework lead to better firm performance?

Topic: Capital budgeting theory and practice
Supervisors: Dr Mohamed Nurullah and Dr Ehsan Khansalar

Capital budgeting is crucial in order for companies to sustain themselves, survive and flourish in markets and to increase shareholders' wealth. Decisions on capital budgeting are critical owing to the influence of uncertainty factors and dramatic changes in the environment milieu. Capital budgeting practices vary from country to country, from company to company and from project to project. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the prevalent choice of capital budgeting practices and influences of firms' characteristics on their choice based on emerging markets, to identify uncertainty factors and its influence on use of capital budgeting practices and to explore the interacting effect of uncertainty factors between capital budgeting practices and performance, and finally, to develop a capital budgeting model that would meld with the core components of uncertainty.

Topic: Public financial management for sustainable economic development
Supervisors: Dr Mohamed Nurullah, Dr Jia Miao and Professor Salma Ibrahim

This research focuses on "Strengthening Public Financial Management (PFM) for sustainable economic Development and the key Issues, Challenges and the role of related institutions". Sound Public Financial Management plays a strategic, significant and critical role in achieving key economic development targets. There will be two sets of methodologies in the research-quantitative and qualitative. A quantitative approach will be used in measuring the PFM performance, and a qualitative approach, more specifically semi-structured interviews, will be used in assessing the public policy and sustainable development. For the quantitative part of the research, the World Bank's PEFA (2016) Framework will be used. PEFA is a methodology for assessing public financial management performance. It provides the foundation for evidence-based measurement of countries' PFM systems. PEFA includes 31 performance indicators across the broad array of PFM activities performed by governments, which are grouped as:

  • Budget reliability
  • Transparency of public finances
  • Management of assets and liabilities
  • Policy-based fiscal strategy and budgeting
  • Predictability and control in budget execution
  • Accounting and reporting
  • External scrutiny and audit.

Topic: A study of the implications of using non-financial performance measures in executive compensation on financial performance
Supervisors: Professor Salma Ibrahim and Dr Jinsha Zhao

The study will involve an examination of the compensation mix of publicly listed UK companies following the recommendation in the UK Corporate Governance Code to link incentive compensation to firm performance. Furthermore, the study will investigate the link between the employment of various non-financial performance measures with financial performance of the firm as well as the prevalence of earnings manipulation.

Existing research strength: This topic fits in with research interests and strengths of the supervisors. Specifically, the proposed supervisors have published in the area of executive compensation and earnings. Furthermore, a PhD student has completed at Kingston University after examining a similar topic which resulted in a further publication.

Topic: The sustainability of the NHS financial structure
Supervisors: Professor Salma IbrahimDr George Giannopoulos and Dr Mahmoud Elmarzouky

Following the onset of the current coronavirus pandemic, it has become clear that the National Health System (NHS) as it stands is in dire need of additional funds, both to carry out essential duties and to cope with the surge of additional patients. This study aims to investigate the financial structure of a subset of NHS hospitals to determine efficiencies and inefficiencies in the use of funds. Furthermore, the aim is to identify key drivers of financial decision making and reporting in order to provide recommendations on improving the efficiency of the use of funds.

Topic: Earnings management – a behavioural perspective
Supervisors: Professor Salma IbrahimDr George Giannopoulos and Dr Mahmoud Elmarzouky

Earnings management, whether as an opportunistic or signalling mechanism, is usually tested empirically. Limited studies attempt to explain the underlying incentives that drive it from a behavioural perspective. This study aims to examine, through a qualitative study, the underlying mechanisms which drive earnings management in practice. Alternative forms of businesses with different situations will be approached to advance our understanding of incentives and implications of earnings management behaviour.

Topic: Extended audit report – a disclosure perspective
Supervisors: Dr Mahmoud Elmarzouky, Professor Salma Ibrahim and Dr George Giannopoulos

The auditing environment has been changing rapidly. The new dynamic change in the international standards such as ISA 701, ISA 705, ISA 570 (revised), ISA 720 (revised) has formed a new shape for the audit process and audit reporting. There is also a significant change in the audit market, investor expectations, financial reporting and audit practices. This study aims to focus on the impact of new auditing standards ISA 700 and ISA 701 on the level of assurance provided to the stakeholders, audit quality, audit cost and reporting quality.

Topic: Cryptocurrencies, blockchain and financial markets
Supervisor: Dr Jinsha Zhao

The rapid rise of price in 2017 and 2020 has popularized Bitcoin into the mainstream. Now news about Cryptocurrencies is as common as stock market reports. This topic area aims to examine various issues surround the fast-changing landscape of cryptocurrency. What is cryptocurrency's role in the traditional financial markets? Are crypto-assets new forms of investment assets that can outclass existing assets? How does valuation of crypto related assets differ from traditional asset valuation? What advantages do blockchain based assets offer over traditional assets? How should crypto assets be taxed? Are prices of crypto assets manipulated?

Contact us

Professor Salma Ibrahim
Accountability, Governance and the Capital Market Research Hub
Kingston Business School
Email: s.ibrahim@kingston.ac.uk