Investment Scholar to Fill Collins Chair

Investment Scholar to Fill Collins Chair

U of Washington's Wayne Ferson to join CSOM faculty in fall

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

University of Washington professor Wayne E. Ferson, a leading scholar in financial economics and investments, has been appointed to the John J.L. Collins, SJ, Chair in Finance in the Carroll School of Management.

Ferson, who currently holds the Pigott-PACCAR Chair in Finance at Washington, will join the Boston College faculty in the fall.

"Wayne Ferson is clearly one of the top scholars in the field of investments today," said CSOM Dean Helen Frame Peters. "He has provided a real service to his field, and it is very important to have someone of his caliber on our faculty."

"I really had no intention of leaving the University of Washington," Ferson said. "It's been a great place to work. But when [Peters] called and proposed this, it became pretty impossible to say 'no.'

"It's a match made in heaven," he continued. "For the past few years, the most fun I have had in this field is doing research and working with advanced graduate students, and that's just what they want me to focus on at BC. The people at Boston College saw those connections even before I did," he said. "It's like a hand in a glove."

Ferson is currently president of the Western Finance Association and has served as editor of the Review of Financial Studies. He is an associate editor for The Journal of Financial and Qualitative Analysis, Journal of Financial Research, Journal of International Financial Markets, Management Science and the Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, and a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Wayne Ferson

In addition to his teaching appointment at Washington, Ferson has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University, where he received his doctorate in 1982.

Ferson said that he looks forward to the academic environment of a smaller, private school after teaching in a large state university. "I have always had a lot of respect for the faculty at Boston College," he said. "I have known just about everyone in finance there for a number of years, and it's going to be exciting to be a part of that group.

"I did my own undergraduate work at Southern Methodist University, and I am looking forward to returning to that same type of community - a community where there is a lot of respect, values and ethics," he said. "That really appeals to me."

Assoc. Prof. George Aragon (CSOM), chairman of the Finance Department, shares Ferson's enthusiasm. "Wayne's coming to Boston College is a huge endorsement of the finance department's already strong reputation for research and teaching," he said. "The news of his appointment to the Collins Chair has spread quickly around the country and has had an immediate, positive effect on our recruiting efforts this year."

Aragon predicts that Ferson's appointment to the finance faculty alongside Cleary Professor of Finance Edward Kane "will increase the prominence of the department in the financial services industry."

Ferson earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and an MBA from Southern Methodist in 1972 and 1974, respectively, and took a master's of administration degree in economics from Stanford in 1979.

The Collins Chair was established in 1990 with a $1 million gift from University Trustee and former Fidelity Investments managing director Peter Lynch, '65, his wife Carolyn, and a group of other donors. It honors Fr. Collins, who joined the faculty of CSOM's forerunner, the College of Business Administration, in 1948 and founded CBA's Finance Department the following year.

Fr. Collins, who retired from teaching in 1983 but remains active as a career counselor and employment advisor, helped develop the department into CSOM's largest academic unit, with 1,140 students currently enrolled.


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