Professor Ozkan: ‘My mission is to make students excited about finance’

Our new Head of Department of Accounting and Finance is Professor Aydin Ozkan. Dr Ozkan has over 20 years of experience in his field. Here he reflects on his journey through academia and his first few months at Kent Business School.

“It’s ironic, one of the first ever courses I took was in Kent!” laughs Professor Ozkan, who grew up in Turkey. “It was an English language course in Broadstairs a very long time ago and the last six weeks of the course were on the University campus. I fell in love with the city then, so it wasn’t a hard decision to come and work here.”

Professor Ozkan is famed for his research and has a background in economics and finance and for the last 20 years has been working in financial research with a focus on corporate financial decisions. 

“The recent areas of research for me are corporate social responsibility and climate risk. I am a finance researcher, but I diversify into different areas,” he explains. “I have some very exciting research that is in progress as we speak, which fits perfectly with the mission of Kent and the mantra of Sustainable Innovation.” 

Much of Professor Ozkan’s research has been well received, including papers he published on the cash holdings and capital structure decisions of firms that received about 3,000 citations over the years. 

“They were in my earlier years as a lecturer, but are still having an impact now,” he highlights.   

Professor Ozkan admits that he ‘fell in love’ with research while studying an MSc and is inspired by the ‘buzz’ of being acknowledged by peers and presenting something new while also inspiring others. 

“I am proud that I have impacted many young researchers and am still working with some of them. Many of my PhD students of the past are now serving in academia as lecturers and professors” he remarks. 

Teaching and mentoring are very important to him, and he hopes to inspire Kent students with a ‘passionate’ approach that is also relaxed and relatable. 

“I have enough experience to know when students aren’t on board with what I am explaining. My mission is to make students excited about the world of finance and notice the potential of the topic in many areas of life.” 

As a staff member at KBS Professor Ozkan is relishing his fourth role as a department head and hopes he can bring many qualities to the table that will positively impact those around him.   

“You learn something new from everywhere you work. I like to think over the years I’ve collated experience to manage people and work with people in a positive way. Universities are a dynamic environment, and all institutions have specific differences, and it will take time for me to get to know the Kent family, but I am good at adopting to new circumstances.” 

Outside of work Professor Ozkan enjoys music – he is an accomplished player of Turkish string instrument, the saz. He enjoys nature, gardening and playing chess and time off is often spent at his summer house in Turkey with his family. 

The Accounting and Finance Department at Kent Business School engages in world-leading research that has a strong impact on academics and practitioners. The Department enjoys a significant international presence and reputation in several fields, including critical accounting, accounting history, sustainability accounting, corporate finance, banking and options pricing and performance.

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