A Bloomberg Markets “Most Influential in Global Finance” in 2011, Carson Block, founder of Muddy Waters Research, discussed his and his company’s work of exposing businesses that muddy the truth about their fiscal solvency at a Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity seminar. Photo by Timothy Archibald.

Take it from Carson Block, a man who admits to angering a lot of people on his way to making a name for himself on Wall Street: Crime doesn’t pay.

In Block’s world, the crime is “fraud” and his company, Muddy Waters Research, has consistently shaken up financial markets by exposing businesses that “muddy” the truth about their fiscal solvency.

It’s a reason Block was named by Bloomberg Markets magazine as one of the “50 Most Influential in Global Finance” in 2011 and Muddy Waters received the Financial Times Boldness in Business Award in 2012.

In a September seminar sponsored by the Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity (ZCCI), the Zicklin Graduate Accounting Society, and the Zicklin Forensic Accounting Association (ZFAA), Block shared his insights with a crowd of nearly 200 students, faculty and staff, and business professionals.

His advice: Be honest with yourself about who you are, do something you enjoy, be intellectually diverse, and never stop learning. “If you want to be successful, study other disciplines besides business or finance,” Block said. “Understanding people is the most valuable experience you can have.”

A key takeaway for current student Niall Murphy (MBA ’15), ZFAA president, was the importance of research: “It is easy to take everything at face value. But the more you research something, the more trust you can have in your decisions.”

—Barbara Lippman