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Chicago Booth’s Fama-Miller Center Launches New Website

December 14, 2011

The recently-opened Fama-Miller Center for Research in Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business has launched its new website, the school announced today (Wednesday, December 14, 2011).

The Center, designed to encourage more academic research in finance, provides direct funding for Chicago Booth faculty research and visiting scholars from other institutions. The Center also provides funding for conferences and other public research activities, and support for Ph.D. students both financially and intellectually.

The website highlights current research by scholars at the Fama-Miller Center, including “CEO Ethics and Lavish Lifestyles: Implications for Corporate Investment and Financing,” “How Do Hedge Funds Manage Portfolio Risk?” and “Housing, Labor Mobility, and Unemployment.” The site also provides other information about the Center.

“Now that we have the increased resources of the Fama-Miller Center we intend to make sure Chicago Booth remains the top global destination for finance researchers,” said Sunil Kumar, dean. “Finance is one of our core strengths and we have no intention of resting on our laurels,” said Kumar, who also is the George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management.

The founding gift for the Center came from Mac and Leslie McQuown, long-time friends of the University of Chicago. Mac McQuown is a co-founding member of Dimensional Fund Advisors’ board of directors. He is also a co-founder of Diversified Credit Investments, a San Francisco-based investment firm. His wife Leslie is a trustee of the Aspen Music Festival, an interior designer, and active in organizations that focus on education and ecological sustainability.

The McQuown gift was given in appreciation of Booth professor Eugene Fama and in memory of Merton Miller, a Nobel-winning economist who taught at Booth from 1961 until his death in 2000. Fama is the Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance and a colleague, partner and friend of the McQuowns. Miller taught and mentored Fama and Mac McQuown. “The work done by both Fama and Miller has had broad and lasting impact on both academia and investment practice. Our gift to the Fama-Miller Center is meant to support research following in this great tradition,” said McQuown.

In 1971, McQuown led the team at Wells Fargo that created the first institutional index fund, based on Fama’s efficient market hypothesis and his own belief that computers and quantitative analysis could measure risk and return for virtually the entire equity market.

“The Center’s mission is to maintain and advance the legacy of professors Fama and Miller by providing the institutional structure and resources to push forward the boundaries of research in finance,” said Douglas Diamond, Merton H. Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance and co-director of the Fama-Miller Center.

“In addition to funding faculty research and visiting scholars, the Center will also support large-scale projects including the experimental evaluation of decision-making, the interaction of traders in markets, and large-scale survey work,” said John Heaton, Joseph L. Gidwitz Professor of Finance and also a co-director of the Center.

In addition to Diamond and Heaton, the board of directors of the Fama-Miller Center is comprised of John Cochrane, AQR Capital Management Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, Steven Kaplan, Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, and Tobias Moskowitz, Fama Family Professor of Finance.