Tray Spilker

Tray Spilker
  • Assistant Professor of Finance


BusAd E-601k


(808) 956-8738

Academic Background

  • Ph.D. in Finance, Boston College
  • M.B.A. (Finance), University of Maryland
  • Graduate Diploma in Management (Finance), Harvard University
  • B.S. Business Administration, (Finance), Virginia Tech

Professional Background

Professor Spilker's research explores the social networks of institutional investors on portfolio choice, machine learning methods for alternative investment portfolios, and the dynamics of passive investments in active mutual fund families. His research has been published in leading academic journals like the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis and the Journal of Banking and Finance, and covered in media outlets such as Bloomberg and Institutional Investor Magazine. Professor Spilker teaches in the masters and undergraduate programs covering the areas of investments, portfolio management and optimization, and financial derivatives and risk management, and has received several teaching awards. Prior to joining academia, he constructed portfolios of hedge fund managers for clients at Cambridge Associates (an investment consulting firm) and K2 Advisors (a hedge fund of funds), conducted sell-side equity research at UBS, and served as portfolio manager for Terrapin Creek Capital (a family office). Prior to his capital markets career, Professor Spilker served as a financial administration officer at Harvard University and a financial analyst at General Electric. Professor Spilker holds a PhD from Boston College, an MBA from the University of Maryland, College Park, a graduate diploma in management from Harvard University, a bachelors in finance from Virginia Tech, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

Research Interests

  • Alternative Investments
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Investment Performance Persistence
  • Institutional Investing
  • Market Efficiency
  • Social Networks

Selected Publications


Working Papers

  • “Alpha by Affiliation,” with N. Patel and J. Reuter. Available at SSRN 3518906.
  •  “Modeling Private Equity: A Machine Learning Approach,” with A. Fragkiskos, O. Krasotkina, and R. Wermers. Available at SSRN 3367079.
  • "The Modern Mutual Fund Family," with Caitlin Dannhauser.
  • “Toeing the Informed Trading Line,” with H. Cheong, J. Kim, and F. Münkel. Available at SSRN 3239708.

SSRN Author Page:

Awards & Honors

  • Professor of the Semester, business core course, Fall 2019
  • Professor of the Semester, in major course, Fall 2019

Board Service

  • CFA Hawaii Society
  • Wai'alae Elementary Public Charter School


  • Chartered Financial Analyst®, CFA Institute 
  • Private Pilot (Single Engine Airplane Land), FAA