Rachel Pownall is a Professor of Arts & Finance at Maastricht University School of Business and Economics and Director of the Executive Master in Cultural Leadership – a joint programme with the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
Rachel’s research interests broadly covers the realm of understanding investor behaviour. She has a particular focus on art markets and assets with an emotional attachment. She is interested in the behavioural issues of how emotions and psychology influence individuals’ financial decision-making involving risk. This includes understanding the non-pecuniary benefits from investment, such as how aesthetic, environmental, and emotional values, and the influence of individual aspects of status and relative wellbeing influence investment decisions. Rachel is also interested in using neuro-imaging techniques, adopted to measure brain activity, in the recently established field of Neurofinance. Her passion for research stems from a belief that through a better understanding of how individuals make risky decisions and incorporating non-pecuniary returns to investment into decision-making will help promote a society that makes more sustainable investment decisions in future.