Mahmoud Agha

Dr, BBkg&Fin Jordan, PhD Melb.

  • The University of Western Australia (M250), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Mahmoud Agha is currently an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Western Australia. Mahmoud completed his PhD degree from the University of Melbourne in December 2008. In his PhD thesis, Mahmoud analyzed the role of managerial incentives and corporate governance in mitigating the agency costs of free cash flows. He developed a model able to identify those problems associated with the agency costs of free cash flows like: overinvestment and underinvestment, overpayment and underpayment of dividends, the role of different managerial incentive schemes and corporate governance in mitigating these agency costs, and the ultimate impact on firm performance. His empirical findings uncover many missing interrelations in the Finance literature.

Mahmoud started his academic life in 2005 when he left his professional career to complete his PhD degree. During his PhD studies at the University of Melbourne, Mahmoud tutored two third-year subjects: Corporate Finance and Derivative Securities. Being a CFA Charterholder, Mahmoud also lectured in 4 CFA review programs organized by the CFA Society of Melbourne.

Roles and responsibilities

Mahmoud has been a lecturer at UWA Business School since 2008. He teaches two finance units and also supervises Honour and PhD students. Mahmoud also heads the group of corporate finance cluster and acts as the principal contact person with the CFA institute. Mahmoud is frequently nominated by his students for excellence in teaching award and persistently exceeds the university’s teaching expectations. However, for personal reasons, Mahmoud normally does not apply for the teaching awards.

PhD students under current supervision:

  • Anna Retnawati: since February 2017-Present. Co-supervised with Professor Dirk Baur.

Supervision of PhD students toward completion:

  • Man Duy Pham: since October 2016-October 2020. Co-supervised with Dr. Jing Yu.
  • Seyed Amir Sabet: Co-supervised this student with Professor Richard Heaney from March 2012 until final award of the PhD in 2015. Amir had submitted his PhD thesis in August 2014 and was granted the PhD degree in 2015.

Supervision of Honours students toward completion:

  • Jack Merrit: co-supervisor in 2017. The student completed his Honours degree successfully.
  • Matthew Auw: sole supervisor in 2016. The student completed his Honours degree successfully.
  • Shivani Pramathevan: sole supervisor in 2016. The student completed her Honours degree successfully.
  • Clement Cher: sole supervisor in 2014. The student completed his Honours degree successfully.
  • Devon Dundelowitz:  co-supervised this student with Robert Durand in 2010. The student completed his Honours degree successfully.


Funding overview

Mahmoud is entitled to an annual research grant of AUD 10,000 provided by UWA business school.

Previous positions

Mahmoud had around seven-year professional experience. During his professional life, Mahmoud worked as a Loan Officer, Financial Markets Analyst, Credit Analyst, and Financial Consultant in Jordan, Dubai, Sharjah and Kuwait.

Current projects

  • Mahmoud Agha "Pecking order theory vs. tradeoff theory: is there a race?"
  • Mahmoud Agha and Shivani Pramathevan "Executive gender-age combination and corporate financial decisions and performance"
  • Anna Retnawati, Mahmoud Agha and Dirk Baur. “Unintended Effects of a Successful Policy? Evidence from Indonesia's Mandatory Small Lending”.
  • Anna Retnawati, Dirk Baur and Mahmoud Agha. “Mandatory Small Lending and Bank Performance: Evidence from Indonesia”.
  • Mahmoud Agha and Mosharraf Hussain "Acquisitions and rent extraction: Evidence from Australia"

Industrial relevance

As a CFA Charterholder, Mahmoud has a connection with the local CFA Society-Perth. His research areas are also important for corporate decision-making process.

Teaching overview

Mahmoud currently teaches the following units:
- Business Analysis and Valuation (FINA2207)
- Financial Statement Analysis and Business Valuation(FINA5523)

Mahmoud also taught the following units:
-Funds Management (FINA5526)
-Advanced Corporate Finance (FINA4482)
-Introduction to Finance (FINA1221/FINA2221)
-Derivative Products and Markets (FINA2204)
-Financial Planning (FINA2209)


His research interests are generally focused on corporate finance areas such as: principal-agent problem, executive incentives structures, corporate governance and factors affecting corporate financial decisions.


English and Arabic

Education/Academic qualification

Finance, PhD, Investment, Dividends, Firm Performance and Managerial Incentives: Another Insight into the Value of Corporate Governance, University of Melbourne

Feb 2005Dec 2008

Award Date: 6 Dec 2008

Research expertise keywords

  • Corporate Financial Decisions
  • Corporate Governance
  • Mergers And Acquisitions
  • Capital Structure
  • Agency Cost Theory
  • Corporate financial decisions
  • Agency costs of equity
  • Corporate governance
  • Ownership and control


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