Kent Clark, Chicago Booth Alumnus
Kent A. Clark, ’90

When friends and colleagues learned of the untimely death of Kent Clark, ’90, they wanted to find a way to turn the tragedy into a tribute to honor his memory. As a result, Chicago Booth’s Initiative on Global Markets (IGM) will become the Kent A. Clark Center for Global Markets—a fitting accolade to Clark’s career in finance, as well as to his great appreciation for Booth faculty and their research.

“Kent was an exemplary Booth alumnus and a dedicated supporter of our students,” said Dean Madhav Rajan, the George Pratt Shultz Professor of Accounting at Booth. “This generous gift is a testament to the impact Kent had on his peers and the finance industry. It will allow the center to sustain Booth’s role as a thought leader on how global markets work, their effects, and the way they interact with policies and institutions.”

Described by those who knew him as warmhearted, brilliant, kind, modest, patient, and generous, Clark was born in Calgary, Canada, and received a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Calgary. He then went on to earn an MBA from Booth, where he also reached candidacy in the PhD Program in Finance.

While pursuing his PhD, Clark met Cliff Asness, MBA ’91, PhD ’94, who later went on to be managing and founding principal at AQR Capital Management. Asness recruited Clark to Goldman Sachs, and they remained lifelong friends. At Goldman, Clark joined classmate John Liew, AB ’89, MBA ’94, PhD ’95, who went on to be a founding principal at AQR and is now a University of Chicago Trustee.

“Kent was one of the best friends and colleagues that anyone could have had. His kind nature and calm demeanor set him apart in an often high-strung and stressful environment. It is a true privilege to be a part of honoring Kent with this center,” said Liew.

Clark joined Goldman Sachs as an associate on the quantitative equity team and spent his entire career with the firm. He was named managing director in 1998 and partner in 2012, retiring in 2020. He was instrumental in the expansion of Goldman Sachs’s open architecture hedge fund platform and heavily influenced the firm’s global alternative investments and manager selection business. Clark was also a thought leader who published research articles in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Alternative Investments, and other publications.

“This generous gift is a testament to the impact Kent had on his peers and the finance industry. It will allow the center to sustain Booth's role as a thought leader on how global markets work, their effects, and the way they interact with policies and institutions.”

— Dean Madhav Rajan

Clark joined the Council on Chicago Booth in July 2022 and attended his first Council retreat with his wife, Helen Vera, in London last fall. He and Vera also regularly attended faculty conversations and other events.

Clark, who lived in Short Hills, New Jersey, is survived by Vera; his son, Stuart; and his daughter, Stephanie, who is currently pursuing her MBA at Booth. He loved reading, playing the guitar, and traveling the world with his family.

Of the tribute in honor of Clark, Vera said, “There are not enough words to express our sincere gratitude to everyone responsible for honoring Kent’s memory with this meaningful and thoughtful tribute. My family is humbled by your amazing act of kindness and generosity and will be forever grateful to all of you.”

This gift ensures that the Kent A. Clark Center for Global Markets will continue to foster groundbreaking insights and research, thus empowering policymakers to make better-informed decisions on issues that affect markets and policy around the world.

IGM supports researchers through robust databases and other resources; disseminates research findings; offers insights into business and financial markets through the Economic Experts Panels; and connects thought leaders to discuss policy and economic issues through the US Monetary Policy Forum and other events.

“Kent was one of the best friends and colleagues that anyone could have had. His kind nature and calm demeanor set him apart in an often high-strung and stressful environment. It is a true privilege to be a part of honoring Kent with this center.”

— John Liew, AB ’89, MBA ’94, PhD ’95

IGM is led by codirectors Eric Budish, the Paul G. McDermott Professor of Economics and Entrepreneurship and Centel Foundation/Robert P. Reuss Faculty Scholar, and Anil Kashyap, the Stevens Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Finance.

“This gift will allow us to increase our activities substantially and help us reach more people who can benefit from our programming,” said Budish and Kashyap.

Looking forward, the gift will extend the influence of the Clark Center by enabling it to grow its footprint in the field of market design, become more involved with policy issues, increase activities that are relevant to policy debates around sustainability and ESG reporting, and expand its experts panels.

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