Expert Solutions

Practitioner Experience, Academic

Williamsburg Expert Financial Analysis (WEFA), LLC provides specialized analysis in finance, including expert witness testimony, company valuation, market studies and consulting services.

Our firm combines practitioner experience with academic leadership to design and deliver expert solutions to complex problems.

WEFA Principal John Merrick, who has split his professional career between academia and Wall Street, brings eleven years of practitioner experience with both bulge bracket and boutique firms in research, product management and proprietary trading in securities and derivative markets.   His academic research program focuses on securities market frictions, securities valuation and market manipulation.

WEFA Principal Vladimir Atanasov  has consulting experience with U.S. start-up companies, private equity funds and investment companies concerning equity valuation, private equity investment contracts, portfolio management, asset allocation and product development. He is an academic leader in applying higher standards of test design for making causal inferences regarding attribution of impacts and damages in financial settings (see “Shock-Based Causal Inference in Corporate Finance Research,” forthcoming in  Critical Finance Review).

Causal Inferences about Damages: Design Matters

Do financial intermediaries interact with customers who are attempting to execute a strategy to manipulate a market? If so, these financial intermediaries may share part of the blame for any damages caused. In such a case, a methodology to estimate the how much of total damages should be attributed to these intermediaries needs to be designed.  

In their paper, “Financial Intermediaries in the Midst of Market Manipulation: Did They Protect the Fool or Help the Knave?" (forthcoming in the Journal of Corporate Finance), WEFA Principals Atanasov and Merrick design "but for" platinum and palladium futures contract pricing benchmarks that separate the impacts of the manipulating customer's bang-the-close trades from those of noncompetitive NYMEX metals market floor traders. 

Such custom pricing benchmarks based on specific underlying market structure permits proper attribution of damages caused in a case with multiple actors.