Top of Mind

Luxury products often seek to evoke feelings of timelessness, but luxury brands must adapt to an ever-changing and increasingly global market. At the New York Times’ luxury conference, François-Henri Pinault, CEO and chairman of Kering, the parent company of Gucci and other luxury brands, described how sustainability efforts and new technology shape the business.

Maureen Chiquet YC ’85, CEO of Chanel, talked with Yale Insights about bringing French design to global markets. And Chris Cabot ’97, who leads Value Retail’s luxury fashion outlets in China, discussed entering new markets. 

3:11 PM - 11 Dec 14
James Choi — Investment companies including Fidelity, Putnam Investments, and Voya Financial are rolling out tools that tell investors how their retirement savings compare to that of their peers. This social comparison is intended to motivate investors to increase their savings; however, new research shows that it can have the opposite effect. Read More
Eric Spiegel — Tradeoffs are an inevitable part of doing business. And sustainability work in particular involves spending a great deal of time in the tug of war of competing priorities. Eric Spiegel, president and CEO of Siemens USA, discussed that company’s efforts to minimize tradeoffs. View Video
Damien McLoughlin — The holiday season is a time for joy and family and a staggering amount of shopping. In a video interview on UCD Smurfit’s Faculty Insights series, Professor Damien McLoughlin says that marketers make those sales by taking advantage of our holiday impulses, including the drive to be cheerful. View Video
Florian Ederer — The choices we make—the cars we drive, the neighborhoods we live in, the gyms we join—are influenced by our social networks, the people we surround ourselves with. Our financial choices are no exception. While thousands of studies have examined peer effects, a new study co-authored by Florian Ederer, assistant professor of economics, is the first to clearly identify the two channels of social influence—social learning and social utility—that explain why our peers’ financial decisions affect our own. Read More
Eugene Podkaminer — Smart beta is the hot thing in investing strategies, marketed as a new way to diversify and reduce risk. But Eugene Podkaminer ’01 argues that common smart beta strategies recycle long-established methods and likely aren’t the most efficient way to achieve those goals. Read More
Robert J. Shiller — Nobel Laureate Robert J. Shiller says that an event on the magnitude of the 2008-2009 financial crisis has to have many causes, but he sees “the spirit of the times” as a driving force behind many of them. In a lecture at Yale SOM, he described how he sees this spirit acting in everything from Fed policy to the growth in casinos. View Video
Retailers are increasingly offering products at rental rates that are comparable to traditional purchase prices. The question is whether consumers make decisions differently when they’re looking to rent rather than buy. Read More
Justin Murfin — Large, investment-grade companies such as Walmart and Home Depot that can easily borrow money in the capital markets often receive financing from their much smaller, credit-constrained suppliers. A new study examines the effects of this pattern of financing and finds that it squeezes small suppliers, creating a cash shortfall and causing them to cut back on capital investments. Read More
Sascha Steffen — Europe is still struggling to emerge from the financial crisis. Though recent stress tests by the European Central Bank gave passing grades to 90% of the region’s banks, critics question the transparency and rigor of the tests. Professor Sascha Steffen of ESMT European School of Management and Technology, a member of the Global Network for Advanced Management, talked with Yale Insights about the state of the banking system and the challenges of designing and implementing a single system to oversee banks across the Eurozone. Read More
Michael Sherling — Electronic medical records and big data have huge promise for improving medicine, but creating a system that works for physicians is a daunting task. By starting with a single specialty—dermatology—Modernizing Medicine has created an electronic application that allows doctors to rapidly enter clinical information, and to draw on the data gathered from thousands of others doing the same. Co-founder Dr. Michael Sherling ’02 discussed the endeavor and how it fits into broader efforts to mesh incentives, incorporate technology, and execute effective change. Read More
Christopher Cabot — Every global company wants to be in China. But for any company, accessing the Chinese market comes with unique questions and challenges. Chris Cabot ’97, the president of Value Retail China, talked with Yale Insights about how he expanded his company’s luxury outlet shopping villages into China. The first step to doing business in China, he says, is to assume you know nothing. Read More
Lei Zhang & Stephen Roach — Lei Zhang ’02 has been one of the most successful investors in China during a time of unprecedented change. In a conversation with Yale’s Stephen Roach, he talked about rapid shifts in China’s business and culture, the birth of a consumer class, the Chinese innovation model, and the outmoded views of the country that remain prevalent in the West. Read More
Rodrigo Canales & Charlie Cannon — If there’s one way to score a best-selling book, it’s to write about the next big thing in business. For many, design thinking has become that thing. But is it a fad or a reliable tool for building better products, services, and business processes? View Video
Robert Litterman — Computer-based trading dominates markets, with a majority of trading activity in major markets happening without any human intervention. Robert Litterman, a pioneer of the quantitative investing approach, spoke with Yale Insights about how ruthless competition keeps the field changing and why he believes human judgment remains an essential component of any strategy. View Video