An NLP text mining model for assessing the predictability of financial risk management reports and its influence on firm performance

Carl-Erik Heyvaert

What was my dream when I was little?

When I was four years old, I wanted to become a head cook and serve delicious food to my guests. This quickly changed towards willing to become a Pokémon trainer, until I discovered there are still parts of the world who remain untouched, changing my dreams once again to become an explorer.

What am I doing when I am not working on my PhD?

You can often find me working out - performing calisthenics, weightlifting or simply going for a run - after a day of hard brain labour. I strongly believe in the latin adage “Mens sana in corpore sano”. Furthermore, I like to hang out with my friends and play board or video games.

What is my PhD about?

My PhD is about the predictive power of topic modelling in risk management reports for firm performance through the application of artificial neural networks and natural language processing techniques. Additionally, my research looks at an explorative analysis of topic interpretability and the role of CFOs in risk management (reporting).

Why is this important for practice?

Gone are the times where only financial data was used by companies. Indeed, in the digital age, the nature of data has changed drastically. Non-financial data (text, video or audio) are becoming omnipresent nowadays. As a consequence, practitioners believe annual corporate reports contain much more valuable information than initially thought. My goal is to find out whether such reports infer a certain predictability by applying cutting-edge AI technologies.

How do I like to be remembered after my PhD?

I hope people and colleagues will remember me as a positive, optimistic and hardworking person who is always up for a chat or a laugh and does not mind helping others in need.

How do I see my future?

After my PhD, I have the intention and ambition to continue my journey in the broad field of AI, eventually working for a technology company for a while before finally coming up with my own project and start-up company, centered around a certain algorithm that makes life easier, but also more durable and sustainable. I would love to combine this with a job as a professor at the KU Leuven or Vlerick for example, as I’d really like to teach students what I will have learned over the years.

& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times