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AFP 2023 Blog

AFP 2023 Blog

AFP 2023 Blog

Aswath Damodaran Combines Narrative with Numbers

Apr 24, 2023

Given the title “Dean of Valuation,” and having been described as the “guru of finance,” Aswath Damodaran is a world-renowned thought leader and academic in the realm of corporate finance and valuation. He can tell you how to value a company, as well as why some thrive while others fail.

Professor, author, blogger and pundit, Damodaran has sought to open-source his wisdom for decades via social media platforms, various podcasts, his blog, and appearances on such media outlets as CNBC. “I describe myself as a Kim Kardashian of valuation,” said Damodaran.

In his AFP 2023 FP&A Keynote, “Narratives and Numbers: Where Story Meets Valuation in Finance,” Damodaran will explain why stories matter, but only if they are supported by data, and why numbers are empty unless they include a compelling narrative. Further, he will discuss the process by which narratives are built, checked against reality and converted into valuations.

“A good valuation is a marriage between stories and numbers,” said Damodaran. “When you show me the valuation of a company, every number in your valuation has to have a story that’s attached to it. And every story you tell me about a company has to have a number attached.”

The Kerschner Family Chair in Finance Education and Professor of Finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, Damodaran is the recipient of the Giblin, Glucksman and Heyman Fellowships, a David Margolis Teaching Excellence Fellowship, and the Richard L. Rosenthal Award for Innovation in Investment Management and Corporate Finance.

Even after 37 years of teaching, Damodaran has never lost his passion for it, having been voted Professor of the Year by the graduating MBA class nine times. He was the youngest winner of the University-wide Distinguished Teaching Award in 1990. It is this passion and desire to share that will surely come through in his session at this year’s annual conference.

“I am a teacher first, who also happens to love untangling the puzzles of corporate finance and valuation, and writing about my experiences,” said Damodaran.

In addition to his teaching accolades and awards, and innumerable publications in academic journals, Damodaran is the author of several highly regarded and widely used academic texts on valuation, corporate finance and investment management. His most recent book is Narrative and Numbers: The Value of Stories in Business.

Damodaran received a bachelor’s in accounting from Madras University and an M.S. in Management from the Indian Institute of Management. He earned an M.B.A. and Ph.D., both in Finance, from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Number crunchers and storytellers combine to create the valuation story for your organization. Learn how in Aswath Damodaran’s keynote session this October at AFP 2023.