New Director Seeks to Raise Booth's Intellectual Profile

weitzmanHal Weitzman
has been named executive director of intellectual capital, a new position that aims to showcase Booth's research and ideas in order to elevate the school's visibility and influence.

From 2000 until joining Booth in September 2012, Weitzman was a reporter and editor for the Financial Times, one of the world's leading financial publications. For the past five years, he served as the newspaper's Chicago and Midwest bureau chief.

The new position will support an initiative by dean Sunil Kumar to more widely disseminate the knowledge created at Chicago Booth. Weitzman is charged with creating and carrying out a vision for sharing Booth's intellectual capital in ways that will contribute to lively and thoughtful public discourse. He will translate faculty research to alumni, media, and general business audiences, using a variety of platforms from traditional print to social media.

"Booth can increase awareness of the research being done by faculty, delve a bit deeper, and show the breadth and depth of Booth's intellectual resources," Weitzman said.

Weitzman began his career at the Financial Times as a London desk editor for the comment and analysis pages, and then served as editor for coverage of North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He moved to Lima, Peru, in 2004 to establish a new Financial Times editorial bureau covering five countries in the Andean region. He is the author of Latin Lessons: How South America Stopped Listening to the United States and Started Prospering (Wiley, 2012).

In 2007, he moved to Chicago to head the Financial Times' Chicago and Midwest bureau, where he covered financial markets, interviewed CEOs, and wrote several features about Booth as part of the paper's broader coverage of business education.

Weitzman said of his new position, "This is a fantastic opportunity for Booth to tell its own story." - Judith Crown 

Photo by Vincent Vernet


Council, Global Advisory Board Welcome New Members

Comprising business leaders and entrepreneurs, including alumni and friends of the school, the Council on Chicago Booth and the Global Advisory Board consider and provide input to the dean on strategic choices facing the school and work to broaden and leverage the school's impact around the world.

New members for 2012-13 are:

Council on Chicago Booth

Jaime Chico Pardo, '74
President and CEO, ENESA, Mexico City

Stephen Czech, '98 (XP-67)
Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Czech Asset Management LP, Greenwich, Connecticut

Gregory Durant, '88
Vice Chairman and Managing Partner, Clients & Industries, Deloitte LLP, New York

Thomas Kalaris, '78
Chief Executive, Wealth and Investment Management and Executive Chairman, Americas, Barclays PLC, London and New York

Cary Kochman, MBA '90, JD '90
Managing Director and Head of North American M&A, Citigroup Inc., Chicago

Roxanne Martino, '88
Partner, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Portfolio Manager, Aurora Investment Management LLC, Chicago

Immanuel Thangaraj, AB '92, MBA '93
Managing Director, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, Palo Alto, California

Global Advisory Board

Americas Cabinet

Ricardo Haneine, '84
Partner, A.T. Kearney Inc., Mexico City

Ramon Tisaire, MBA '91, AM '91
Corporate Adviser, Madrid and Miami

Asia Cabinet

Benjamin Lee, '83
Managing Partner, Phoenix Property Investors Ltd., Hong Kong

Adil Zainulbhai
Managing Director, McKinsey & Company, Mumbai

Europe, Middle East, and Africa Cabinet

Vera Calasan, '08 (EXP-13)
CEO, ManpowerGroup Germany, Frankfurt

Renaud de Planta, '87
Managing Partner, Pictet & Cie, Private Bankers, Geneva


Research centers

CRSP Indexes Debut on the Big Stage

In the early 1960s, the Center for Research on Security Prices (CRSP) launched a series of stock market indexes that were unrivaled in historic breadth, accuracy, and integrity. But the indexes had one key shortcoming: no one could invest in them.


"They were a very good economic baseline," said David Barclay, chief operating officer of CRSP, one of 11 research centers at Booth. "But they weren't anything that a practitioner could hope to trade."

Barclay and his team decided the time had come to redesign their indexes for the real world. In November 2010, CRSP announced its first investable index - the Total Market Index. It subsequently introduced additional market capitalization-based indexes, industry sector indexes, and most recently, indexes for value and growth stocks. The portfolio now includes 26 investable indexes.

"The new CRSP indexes are a logical extension of our core products and demonstrate not only our innovative thinking, but also the depth of our commitment to positively influence practices in the financial arena," Barclay said.

CRSP had the help of a heavy hitter. Investment giant Vanguard provided operational insight and development funding and became the first licensee of the CRSP indexes. Vanguard announced on October 2 that 16 of its US stock funds would move to the benchmarks developed by CRSP. The CRSP indexes will become available for license by other mutual fund managers.

"We were able to sit with traders, the executive management, and the people in the back offices," Barclay recalled. "We asked, 'How do you do your job? What makes it more difficult? What makes it more expensive to execute a trade?' This was a living laboratory beyond what we could have anticipated." CRSP Index

The partnership enabled CRSP to blend insights from academic research and the practice of investment management. Transparency and cost efficiency were top priorities.

To help build the indexes, Barclay enlisted John Heaton, Joseph L. Gidwitz Professor of Finance, and Lubos Pastor, Charles P. McQuaid Professor of Finance.

Perhaps the pair's biggest challenge was to maintain the purity of the indexes but still find a cost-effective way to migrate stocks across indexes. "You want to minimize turnover, which raises the cost of trading," Heaton said.

As a result, the CRSP indexes migrate stocks gradually in a process it calls packeting. "We make sure the stock crosses sufficiently deep into the territory of the adjacent index before taking any action at all," Pastor said. "And even if it crosses into that territory, we only initially migrate half of that security because in the next quarter it might just go back to where it was before."

The pair brought special insight to development of the value- and growth-style indexes. "It's not obvious whether a stock is value or growth," Pastor said. Through empirical research, the pair homed in on the five value factors and six growth factors that mattered most to academic researchers and to investors. Then they blended those factors into a single indicator that tips the stock into the value or growth bucket.

"It turns out to track pretty well to what value and growth managers do," Heaton said. "It produces reasonable amounts of trading and reasonable characteristics and it's pretty simple to explain to someone trying to track it."

The indexes are well-suited to passive index investment products that are increasingly popular at a time of sparse equity returns.

"Investors are thinking, 'I'm getting low returns and I'm still paying high fees,'" Pastor said. "As a result of that, we have been seeing huge growth in passive index products, and we are jumping on that trend of minimizing transaction costs." - Dan Kedmey and Judith Crown

Photos by Chris Strong

Last Updated 1/16/14