Seth Armitage Headshot

Professor of Finance & Head of Accounting and Finance Group

+44 (0)131 650 3794


Seth joined the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer in finance in 1989, having previously worked as a credit analyst and lending officer for two merchant banks. He has since taught a wide range of finance courses on undergraduate, MBA and MSc programmes.

In 2002 he moved to Heriot-Watt University, where he established an MSc in Finance and became Head of Department of Accounting and Finance. He rejoined the University of Edinburgh in 2007, and has served as Director of MSc in Finance 2007-11 and Head of Accounting and Finance Group 2010-15. His current teaching and research interests are mainly in corporate finance. He holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Oxford), an MPhil in Philosophy of Mind (St Andrews), and a PhD in Finance (Edinburgh).

He is an associate editor of European Journal of Finance, and the author of The Cost of Capital: Intermediate Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2005). Seth is interested in supervising PhD students in corporate finance.

Research Interests

Seth's research and teaching are mainly in corporate finance, including payout policy, seasoned equity offers, and the cost of capital. He has also conducted research on bank lending to companies, bank governance, and mutual financial institutions. Recent projects include:

  • flexible payouts: the role of special dividends and repurchases in the UK
  • the impact of pension contributions on company dividends
  • choice of discount rate to value defined benefit pension obligations  
  • effects of professional investment in family-controlled companies
  • a comparison of the cost of capital and social discount rate
  • the impact of bank CEO remuneration on the bank's dividends and risk-taking
  • the extent to which individual funds within a given asset-management group coordinate their trading in investee companies.

Research Fingerprint

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Works Within

Research Area